We were living a normal and common everyday life as most of people in the 21st century. Working hard, sleeping under a roof, between four walls, with a full fridge and a hot shower, all the comfort you could need… But what does « normal » mean? Where is the boundary between a normal and extraordinary life? According to us, you can find the answer at the moment when you get out of your comfort zone. Comfort means routine, routine means stagnating, a situation where you cannot learn new things or improve yourself.
It felt so good to get out of our comfort zone to explore another side of our dear earth.
At no moment we felt any regrets or disappointments…not in the least. But nobody said it would be easy. To reach your dreams or at least your targets, you cannot expect that everything will go straight on. Obstacles on the path you will meet to savour better your experience when the time comes.
After having traveled all around Australia in a camper-van for one year, we learned a few life-lessons that we could share with you. Today after having taken distance with our road-trip, we are able to bring our vision with more objectivity and distinguish what is essential or not.
For your next trip :
Use a watch like a compass, read a map like an open-book, drive hard like a truck-driver, with no boundaries. Follow the rays of the sun and let the breeze take you over limits. Keep your mind open and your eyes focused on the details around you. Feel each thing like it was the first time. Listen carefully and deeply the silence. Respect the wild without expecting the same in return, taste the wildlife and keep a sample for ever. Enjoy all kilometers on the road and all minutes on your trip.
Live your dream and do not dream your life.
The only risk you could take, is to discover who you are and what you really need to become happy for the rest of your life.
« My mind is so free. I can be what I want to be. No obstacle too strong. No road too long. In my mind I can do no wrong. » Alf Taylor
VAN LIFE // FREEDOM
Kampesnomads, Kampes vibes, Van, escape daily grind, adventure-mobile, freedom
Firstly you have to make the decision of leaving your comfort zone, your daily grind, your life cadenced by taking the subway in the morning, going to work, and coming back home at night to sleep. That decision is not easy at all and only a few people will make it. But once you have the balls, you never look behind you again, as you know this choice is the right one, now you can start to draw your dreams.
In most circles, living in your car is frowned upon but amongst surfers, climbers, backpackers, and other dirt bags, this simple existence can mean freedom. There’s nothing better than having all the comforts of home (or at least some of them) combined with the mobility of your car. The beauty of car camping is how accessible it is to everyone. With just a few bucks, your mom’s old station wagon, you can swing an extended surf trip without breaking the bank.
An mobile-house on wheels can be your ticket to inexpensive adventure, once you get over the cost of building one. Embarking on a cross-country road trip in a customized van might seem like the new rite of passage for people not quite ready to submit to the 9-to-5 grind, but it’s nothing new. Car camping has been a tradition for the young (and young at heart) for decades, hitting a high point in the late ’80s when VW wagons were many.
Fast-forward a few years, it seems like everyone with a backpack and a driver’s license is buying and rebuilding their own van in preparation for life on the road and freewheeling adventure.
Deciding on the right type of van could be the most important thing you do, so take your time. The obvious choice for any stylish traveler is a VW wagon, right? But the safest option is the best. Don’t buy what you want, buy what you need.
This van will become materially your best friend (and best enemy sometimes).
He’s not only a means of transport, you can believe me. He will be your house and even more: a symbol of a unique lifestyle, symbol of freedom, symbol of « no boundaries between you and your dreams ». Something what needs to be lived to be understood.
LIVING ON ONE DOLLAR // A MUST WATCH FILM
A unique look into the hardship and hope of life in extreme poverty.
Living on One Dollar is a documentary film as well as a tool to help reducing the deep and real poverty through showing this current curse.
The story is about four young friends who set out to live on just one dollar a day for eight weeks in rural Guatemala.
They wanted to live this experience, meet some daily matters like hunger or parasites, to understand better the situation and find answers. Basically, they put themselves on purpose to attempt to survive life on the edge. But they realized that there are no easy answers here.
They take lots of risks but in exchange they are able to meet locals people, families and kids, who turned this journey into an unforgettable and rich human experience.
Zach and Chris are the main narrators of this fascinating journey of understanding.
You will come away with a deep empathy for the people of Peña Blanca and feel empowered that you actually can change the world.
An unimaginable reality for most young Western people, the challenges they face are real and plague over 1.1 billion people around the world.
They left this adventure with a strong hope that there are effective ways to make a difference.
Check out the trailer right below or watch the full documentary on Youtube.
This documentary is an expedition from the mountain to the ocean in Alaska with one professional snowboarder, Mathieu Crépel, and one free surfer, Damien Castera. This is an adventure where they use natural elements to travel through lands and seas.
During five weeks, they are confronted together by glacier downhill, packraft on first thaw, canoeing through boreal rivers and surfing in the paradise of humpback whales.
This is an odyssey about water movement, following a drop of water from eternal snow to pacific waves.
At the end of the arctic winter, they started their journey to discover one of the most unexplored mountain range of Alaska.
Snow is still fresh and weather is unpredictable. They can hear a few storms not so far away, their destiny is in the hands of the mountain. A white and bright landscape around them with a sunshine appearing, the summer is coming.
They chose this period of transition between seasons to launch their odyssey.
Watch here the trailer.
Realised by William S. Touitou
Written by Mathieu Crepel et Damien Castera
Produced by When We Were Kids et Bonne pioche
Photo Credit @Greg Rabejac
LIFE LESSONS From a 7-Thousand-Mile Bike Ride
Adventure travel / Road Biking / The Essentials / Real Life / Jedidiah Jenkins
Once upon a time, Jedidiah Jenkins from Florence in Oregon decided to live another life, or rather, starting to live a meaningful life with fullness, humanity and reality…In August 25, 2013, he chose a simple bicycle to achieve his dream. The routine is the enemy of time, your learning goes away, your brain turns off. Travelling make you feel alive every single day and keep watching the world through kid’s eyes. Get out of your routine, explore newness, control your days and choose your life. Read his story and keep in mind that our life-time goes fast.
« I just turned 30, and I’ve decided to use this year to radically shape the rest of my life. I am about to leave my job and ride a bicycle for seventeen months, from Oregon to Patagonia. The need to do it hit me about three years ago when I read a quote from famed naturalist John Muir. “I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news.”
The newness of life and career and cities and friends began to find their comfortable patterns, and once you see the pattern, time speeds up. That’s why we hear old people always warning us of how fast life passes. It really doesn’t pass by any faster than those long childhood summers, but we just lose fascination, or I should say we lose wonder. We are no longer astonished by the way the world works. A famous cure for that is travel. Many of my friends do not find it surprising that I would do this trip, though my conviction to do it surprised me. I never thought I’d follow in my parents’ footsteps.
My parents never pressured me to be a writer or a traveller. They never really pressured me to be anything other than myself. My journey is not a reaction to distaste. It is a reaction to an observable trend: human beings amass comfort and minimize risk as they age. I get it. I can see the value in that. But both of those things have a tendency to diminish character. It is a choice to look squarely at the decisions we all feel like we have to make and the priorities we all forget.
I am 30 now, and I don’t want a mortgage. I don’t want property-based responsibility because I think it’ll change my brain chemistry. It makes you focus on protecting what you have rather than fighting for what could be. It seems like the observable transition from idealism to conservatism. As for now, I do not want that.
I want to pursue wonder, appreciation, and adventure. I want to meet people and learn from them and write their stories and tell others. I want to become a man that pursues virtue and character and color and romance. It feels like the people in our lives who seem to have done that are the ones we love most. If I have a family some day, I want to give them a father full of stories and whimsy and love for being alive. I see too little of that.
You may think I am prolonging adolescence and avoiding responsibility. Well, I can simply say that I am not impressed by grownups or their society. But I will also say that I disagree with you. The choice to pursue a dream, at the destruction of my comfort, with the loss of safety and certainty, all for the purpose of doing something that inspires others to a fuller life of wonder and creativity and quality. To me, that is growing up.
Benjamin Franklin said, "either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." I like that. I intend to do both. »
HIS NAME IS HANK AND HE BOUGHT A BUS
Architectural project / Living on the road / Magic Bus.
Hank was in architecture school and he was fed up of drawing buildings that would never exist. He wanted to work with his hands and enjoying the results of his hard labour. One day, he decided to buy a school bus and convert it into a tiny living space.
The bus was purchased for $3000, and has had about $6000 in improvements. The majority of the work was completed in 15 weeks, just in time for my final review. He wanted to show people the potential in converting an existing vehicle. This project was a way to show his vision: how building a small structure with simple detailing can be more valuable than drawing a complex project that is theoretical and poorly understood.
All the space is organized to create a comfortable, functional, and flexible environment. He thought about all details.
The modular units are grouped to create four primary zones: Bathroom, Kitchen, Seating, and Sleeping.
One of the primary goals during the design phase was to develop a large and open living space (225sqft). In order to accomplish this, he developed a thin wall system integrating structure, insulation, electrical, lighting, and facing, leaving the interior open for occupation.
The windows also contribute greatly to the open feeling in such a small space. This results in natural lighting and obscures the fantastic panoramic views, in order to find a happy-middle between privacy and insulation. Additionally, two skylights are placed where emergency hatches once sat, bringing a fantastic amount of light into the space.
In the bathroom, one side of the aisle is walled off to enclose the portable toilet, but will hopefully be replaced by a plumbed toilet in the coming years.
The kitchen occupies two window bays, and currently features a foot-pump sink as it’s only true utility, with soon a chest fridge and a gas cooktop to be installed. Storage bins were used to hold goods and supplies.
The seating space is one of the most versatile and the largest as it occupies four bays. This zone features four large seats on either side of the aisle and this platform can be covered with cushions to create a queen-sized sleeping area. The next seat down on either side of the aisle can be raised or lowered to create a table surface for eating or working. This allows for up to four people to have table space without having to climb over each other. The flexibility of this zone allows it to accommodate a large number of conditions and situations.
The sleeping space is composed of two narrow beds with deep storage underneath. In order to accommodate varied sleeping arrangements, the port-side bed rolls into the center aisle, creating a queen-sized sleeping area. This allows for a total sleeping capacity of up to six adults.
The cabin can be separated from the living space by a sliding door panel, which is left open while on the road to communicate with the driver.
As a whole these elements come together to form the ultimate road trip vehicle. From now, you can check out his trips through photos and travel posts.
Credit photos: Justin Evidon
WE-VAN X KAMPES NOMADS // CAMPER-VAN LIFE & SURF TRIP
We tested a Camper-van from We-Van to enjoy a surf trip in the Bask Country & Landes (South-west of France). We rented « l’Esquisse », a 2-seater Camper van, fully furnished by We-Van, that runs on the illustrious VW chassis. A revival of the true essence of camper vans and of wandering travel: simplicity, efficiency, comfort.
Renting this Camper-van to realize our surf trip was definitely the best option. When you surf, you need to check out first the conditions depending on the forecast. You have to check swell and drive a few kms before finding the right surfing spot of the day. With a Camper-van, you can park the night before in front of this spot in order to enjoy an early session the next day. If the waves are not there as expected, you just need to move on the next one.
Here was our daily schedule:
- A rich breakfast high in vitamins before surfing while you are watching and understanding the swell,
- Having an after-session coffee break, a good lunch and some rest before going back into the water when the tide is on,
- After enjoying a sunset session, going away into the wild and find another spot for the night.
During this week, we had the chance to enjoy the International Surf Film Festival in Anglet. Among others « Lost in the swell » was a very interesting documentary film about travelling, sailing and surfing around Solomon Islands. Then, we enjoyed the Big Festival in Biarritz with many live musicians on the beach and also witnessed the « Big Surf Invitational » event. We enjoyed a week long amazing drive on the coast from Hendaye to Seignosse, with the famous road « La Corniche » which gives you a panoramic view between ocean cliffs, wildlife of the country and mountains in the background…What else would you want…
Once you make the decision to travel in a different way, you will notice lots of advantages. No daily grind, as your environment changes all of the time: your neighborhood, the landscape, surrounding noise with the groundswell or drunk kids playing around. You can enjoy every single moment because they are unique and time goes too fast. This is a priceless life-time experience.
You don’t have any limits to explore the world around you, you can go whenever and wherever you want.That’s the real Freedom. Going away from touristic places and getting lost into the wild, because your home is where you park it.
Sometimes, you can feel like an alien when lots of people are watching you in the van. Are they curious or just noticing a pure happiness? Most of them are very interested by this way of life but might not take the plunge. Compared to other countries, they are not used to it yet.
Living in this Camper-van by myself felt…safe, either in a street with the ocean view or in a camping-car-area. Those places are great because you feel part of a traveller community, able to meet people from everywhere with different stories but with the same will: staying wild and free.Those people make you travelling further than where you are going actually.
Families, couple or friends are all there to enjoy day by day their time off. So if you don’t feel comfortable with the idea of staying alone in remote areas, you can relax there for only 10€ (last 24hours). Whatever your choice, the good point is to have the choice. Have a look on www.park4night.com and you will find all informations you need. We-Van Camper-vans make you feel like home anywhere. This lifestyle is safe, easy and cheap, so what are you waiting for?
In 2011, Foster Huntington created the #vanlife Instagram hashtag, and unexpectedly spawned hundreds of thousands of posts and a family of eager followers. It became a community of like-minded individuals who delight in the kind of adventure you can only get by traveling through the wilderness in a clunky, decades-old vehicle. This documentary present a group of #vanlife enthusiasts to uncover what the lifestyle means to them.
This community is fed by a group of human beings who want to live a simple life and enjoying simple things in a natural environment with no superfluous elements. Camp life, getting lost in the middle of nowhere in the woods and sharing experiences.
Nobody said it gonna be easy as your time depends on the weather and your trip depends on your van’s conditions. That’s the thing: your days are full of unforeseen, surprising meeting and continual discoveries. Each day is unique and the routine doesn’t exist in a way. The routine might be one of the biggest fear of travelers, because it make your life tasteless and insipid. Traveling sort of stops the time in order to savor each singular moment. This time is priceless.
This hashtag help to build this community which lives originally more or less off the grid. It connects people virtually, but also bring about meetings and new friendships in the real life. It make stronger relationships and give tips on the open-road life. They are sort of modern nomads who use this new means of communication to authentic purposes. There are so many lands to explore, that each #vanlife is different with singular experiences. Either you are an inspiring influence for the community or you are inspired by someone who live elsewhere. So we want to say thank you to Foster for starting that…let’s continue all together the adventure with #vanlife.
THE SOUND OF SILENCE // UNPLUG YOURSELF FOR A MOMENT
What would happen if we unplug ourselves and get lost without any electronic devices. We might, breath by breath, enjoy the moment and step by step, observe the land. These both surfer girls went back to essentials in order to be lorn.
« The sound of silence » is about Lee-ann Curren and Bianca Buitendag exploring backcountry's coast of South Africa, being on a quest to find blank waves, without smartphones nor wifi. Nowadays, it’s sounds crazy to live without those things which occupy the most of our days. By wanting to capture our best moments, friends, meals…anything actually in our smartphone, we are just missing the most important, what is to live simply the moment.
These girls understood that and tried to live a few days the same way as during the good old days. They speak about adventure in its purest way by showing beautiful landscapes of Eastern Cape, where they are looking for remote surfing spots. They have one goal during this journey: discovering the feeling of being lorn.
During 10 days, these girls traveled without any connected devices, instead their target is to be connected with the land and their inhabitants only.
Through this short-film realized by Dan Mace, you can enjoy an amazing, wild and quiet nature. Lee-Ann kept good memories from this experience, by sharing unique moments with locals, learning more about their culture and traditions and respecting the south-african wildlife. This short-film will definitely give you something to think about, with a real life-lesson to remember.
THE NOMAD BUS, THE FIRST POW & WAVE CHASING HOSTEL ON WHEELS
From a School Bus to a hostel on wheels/ Nomad life, roadtrip, kampesnomads vibes.
Tim and Val started to build their own adventure hostel on wheels in 2014. Today, they are almost ready to share this magic bus with people who want to explore and enjoy the great outdoors. If you need snow or waves, they will go to the best spot for you. As surfer or snowboarder, you know that we all depend on weather conditions. Instead to be stuked in the same place and waiting the perfect day to enjoy your ride, move on with the nomad bus and enjoy every single day.
"It is not so much about the unknown itself; it is all about the love I have for the road that leads to the unknown. And for me there is no greater feeling then being on that road, it brings me into the flow of life. It is like climbing up a mountain in the winter not knowing how the descent will be. It is about that feeling we all love: when there is no need to think about tomorrow or yesterday, all there is, is now."
Now, you can book differents packages for a few destinations (Grenoble, Bordeaux, Bilbao) from July to October; What is included a comfy bed, use of the kitchen, bathroom and living room, coffee and tea all day, outside chill zone area & rooftop deck, Wifi, one apres-surf at the bus (6 beers included), camping and parking costs. Every kilometer spent on the road will be 100% carbon neutral.