Nick Bostelaar, the wood worker of South Portugal
8years ago i decided to make a change in my live. The moment that changed everything I was sitting in the train driving from my hometown to cologne.
Everyone around me looked tired and stressed and I suddenly realised that I don't want to commit to this kind of living. Always planning for later, to work hard now, to be 'safe' in the future. And if I was honest with myself in a quiet moment I didn't like the future outlook on my live just working, grafting without even asking if that's really my wanted purpose of living a happy live.
Exit the "matrix" was the hardest thing I've done but then quitting my flat and mostly giving away all furniture and things I thought of I do need then felt so relieving and I realised how much stuff we actually keep without realising we don't need them at all and not even miss once they're gone.
There was no backup plan we just decided to hit the road with our kids and explore Europe.
I fell in love with this lifestyle but also realised that if you live on wheels for good with kids you need a certain amount of space so 6years back I bought an old mercedes 813 lorry and converted it into a rolling home.
A woodburner for cold winter nights and a proper shower and nice kitchen included.
During my journey on the roads of Europe and within myself I realised that beside the freedom to just travel wherever I want, I really like the ecological aspect of my lifestyle as well and it turned slowly into one of my fundamental believes why I live on wheels.
Also I try everyday to teach my kids on the one hand to value and respect nature- all our energy comes from (2nd hand!!) solar panels and I am trying to make them aware of using only as much water as they really need and on the other hand to show them a total contrary lifestyle but at the same time always point out that everyone should be free to choose his path to happiness. Whether this might be as a stockbroker in London or a beach bum in search for waves.
Also I have to be honest; sometimes vanlife really sucks. Cold and rainy weeks- feeling stuck in a limited space, smelly dog included, no good parkings where the kids can play safely and so on. But overall the pros outweigh the cons.
At the moment we are based for a few years in south Portugal. So I am torn between the two worlds, running a carpentry and tree surgery business in the "real world" and living off grid on our own piece of land.
We have a compost toilet block, all our water is from a well which fills up with rain in winter and lasts all summer.
And we use the combination of wind and solar power to run all our electric systems.
I try to use recycled materials to build things on my land. It gives me a feeling of peace.
My shout out to you is try to keep our planet clean-recycle and give something back to nature which provides us with such beauty everywhere we park.
Pick up rubbish everywhere you stay for a bit and try to reduce your waste impact on our planet.
Respect each other.
We all have the right to create our own Livestyles as long as we don't harm our sourunding.
There's not one but many paths to happiness and I be found mine on wheels.
Carpenter and Tree surgeon based in south Portugal