The first post from my van!

I decided it was time to test the experience of writing in my van, parked in a lovely alley in the center of Rotterdam. I’m breathing second-hand air from shop-owned air conditioning outlets. And I have a view of bumped business cars and years-old trash. However, I feel nice! Because I know that the view through my windows will only get better from here.

The date is set

These little moments are getting more and more important to me. My departure date is set. The 4th of March will be the day I enter my van to set course South. Far South. From Rotterdam to Thessaloniki. A trip of at least 3.500 km (over 2.000 miles). Nevertheless, a journey that only marks the beginning of my adventure. Counting down the days till my departure has begun. And office life is (finally) over for me.

However, while the dreamer in me is extremely excited to start, the realist is anxious and worried. There are a thousand things to think about and another thousand that can go wrong. Besides, there is doubt. What if I crash my van tomorrow? What if I don’t finish on time? Or what if I hate van life?

Saying goodbye

I am also struggling with my emotions lately. I cry often from simple things, like cuddling my bunny on the couch or a small argument with my boyfriend. I know that life as I know it is about to be over, at least for a while. I will start the first 3 weeks of my journey with my boyfriend, but then he will fly home, and I will continue by myself. I will not have him next to me, I will not have my friends and family close by, and I might not see my bunny again after spending nine years together. In a way, I’m grieving all those things I have here. I just don’t know if and when I will get this back.

Besides, I feel a strange kind of loneliness. Not lonely like being sad or isolated, but alone in what I do. Everyone and everything around me continues the way it has always been, except for me. I chose to step out of the life I had, but this life is still there. And while the rest of the world goes on, I am alone in the challenges I am facing. It is my own journey, that actually already started.


I believe the main reason for my doubts, worries, and emotions is exhaustion. I have spent weeks working during the day, writing in the mornings, and building in the evenings. These long days asked a lot of me, mentally, as well as physically. I can’t remember the last time my back was able to straighten. I can’t heat up soup, because my hands can not hold a spoon for more than a minute. My body begs for rest, but there are only 16 days left.

Celebrate the little successes

I have to pull myself through the busy days and physical pains. Luckily, not working gives me time to start enjoying the van more. Today I write my first post on my self-built couch and feel happy sitting here. Yesterday, I took the van out for a drive in the sun, and I felt the freedom that is awaiting me. And on the weekend, we installed a solar panel on the roof, so I can now produce my own energy. During these moments, I feel so proud and happy. No matter how exhausted or emotional I am, the result is worth it!

What shall I name my van?

The ancient Greeks named their boats after one of the gods or goddesses. The god the vessel was named after would protect the vessel, as well as, its sailors, on their journey.

Since I only have a driver’s license for three months, I can use all the protection there is. Until now, I have been calling my van, my Vanaki. Which literally is Greek for little van and is not that creative. Maybe Eleftheria (freedom), Chara (joy), or Maniae (the spirits of madness and insanity)? Or maybe Vivaraki, little Vivaro? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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Girl traveling in Greece on small boat over blue water

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