The travel blogger benefiting from Europe in a transformed van
With travel restrictions still in place around Europe, accommodation is in-house – vacation available. Have you ever considered changing your car to explore the country with? We spoke to blogger Jess Meyrick, who did just that.
He has one of the Instagram posts that makes you quit your job and be consistent all the time. Quick scroll and you will find pictures of beaches and mountains, mountains of cities and sunrise, where Jess kissing the sun is always dipping everything inside.
But how do mobile bloggers get started? After leaving her job as a full-time employee at Bermuda, Jess bought a DSLR camera, learned to adapt and began touring around the world. When he started researching, he contracted a viral infection and decided to start over Wonderful Dreamer, Now boasts over 170k followers.
Aware of his nature, Jess Carbon removes all his planes using a non-profit organization My Season. But most of the time, they spend the distance driving and looking out the van.
Choosing to live in a van
With a steady vacation almost every week, it should be hard to stay on earth. But despite her positive experiences, Jess still managed to live a simple life.
Earlier this year, Jess and her friend Will bought a car, named Pat. The two live Pat the Van When they return to the UK and enjoy a trip to their British home country. Will’s job as a marine engineer means that he works in turn, so he spends two months in the car back together.
I ask Jess where they bought Pat and how they built it to fit their needs. “We bought a car from a family that uses it to transport their stray dogs in Norway,” he tells me. “We were consumers when we bought it, which was good for us.”
He created layouts on his computer to determine the amount that would cover the limited space. The high-end Mercedes model, the car is good, but it has enough space to stand out without having to search. The two tell me they often open doors and sleep with their feet up – dreaming.
Scandi beaches and rural areas of Britain
Jess tells me how she traveled all over Europe in Pat the Van, from the Lake District in the UK to the muddy seas and ancient towns in Germany, even as far as Scandinavia. When I asked if they were anywhere, they said, “It’s very difficult to stay in one place, because there have been so many!”
“I think there is something liberating about being a car – we often don’t plan our trips in advance and do our research on the road that gives us the freedom to make. We drive where we want to drive and stand where we want to stop. There is no time and schedule.”
With all the time in the world to find hidden gemstones, Jess recalls another beach in Sweden “that allows cars to drive.” He added, “This was very exciting for us, as we all love the sea. We decided to stay there, sleep with our doors open and enjoy the cool breeze from the sea.”
Would life be a challenge, living in such a small place?
The way they talk, I can tell that the van doesn’t take Jess’s way, and the house. Despite the inevitable lack of space and sometimes distractions, freedom makes it all worthwhile.
I noticed that the van had a full bed, clothes, chairs and a kitchen. Jess and Will have managed to squeeze into the small bathroom / cupboard – with the fridge coming out of the closet under their bed!
“We wanted to be able to have a group without missing camp. The car has solar panels on the roof that generate all the electricity we need for electricity, refrigerator and return ports. ”
When I try to ask how she dumps trash on the street, Jess laughs, “the most obscure, the worst thing I do in the swimming department.” He thought the ‘porta potti’ was a must for a car, especially during the winter in the mountains. But it’s not as confusing as you might think, “we just waste drinking water in camps or in workplaces.”
Jess concludes that being small is a bit of a relief. “We’re driving lightly in the car – we quickly realized from our first trip how we spend less.”
The key is to keep what you have and to have what you can, he says. The couple explains that their 80-day water tank can last for three days, while they bathe and use the bath water.
“On average, one person in the UK consumes at least 140 liters of water a day,” Jess tells me, “so what we have realized is, not to sacrifice, but to think of others.”
For Jess and Will, the road trip in the car will be filled with his favorite podcasts, Ted Talks and “we love to sing together,” she says with a smile.
“On our way to the Lake District, we listened to the Beatles!”.
Apart from the van itself, Jess lives a green life in a variety of ways. She promotes casual wear as much as she can on her Instagram account and explains, although it is not always possible, she tries to help local businesses.
The pair come up with new ways to reduce the amount of plastic they can make without losing any food – the leftovers just go away the next day. With a huge following on Instagram, it’s clear that Jess is a real believer in a little bit. He concludes, “if you have the power to persuade, it must be done properly.”