Saying yes can change anyone’s life in so many ways that it must be worth the effort. At least for the refresh that can bring the unexpected in an increasingly normalised world.
A declaration of intent that flows through the veins of Nadia & David, adventurers and nomads at heart that one happy day decided to leave everything behind and live the majestic-to-be inside a 1969 Volkswagen van. Travel photographers and bloggers, this uplifting couple share their vanlife dream in the hopes of inspiring all of us to make real the dream of hitting the road and taking the scenic route. Enjoy the ride!
If we are not wrong, you two met in Oslo some years ago. What were you doing there and how did you know that you were meant to start a (some would say) crazy dream life together?
We did indeed, way back in 2014 when we were young and even crazier than we are now! I was working in the tech industry in Oslo as a Project Manager, and David -- who had set off to travel the world a few months prior -- had nipped over to learn how to snowboard with a mutual friend of ours, Jerry.
Jerry decided that we both had to meet, and wouldn’t take no for an answer - which I’m pretty grateful for now! Three days later, we were both pretty smitten but I have always been quite the Independent Lady -- Cue Destiny’s Child clip! -- and David was traveling full-time, but when it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be, and it only took two months of us talking every day for us to decide that we were going to adventure around the world together!
You stand for a life that says “yes to travel, yes to taking the scenic route, yes to living a life free from boredom and regret”. How did you decide to start this unusual way of living and what’s the absolutely best part of it?
I have always lived a life of saying yes to as many opportunities as I can. I grew up with a quirky American mother who always encouraged me to do whatever I wanted and go against the grain. Her one rule was pretty much, whatever you do, do it well.
David had a more traditional British upbringing than I did, but he’s a rebel at heart. Starting his own business when he was 19 on a whim is just one example of how he rebelled against the norm (side note: it was a huge success, and despite leaving the company it still thrives today).
He didn’t travel much until just before we met, mainly spending his time working, and it was the monotony of work and lack of adventure that made him decide to go for it, and say yes to life, sell all his possessions and travel the world!
I can categorically say that if I hadn’t said yes as much throughout my life, I’d be living a boring life, I wouldn’t have great stories to tell, and I wouldn’t have such incredible friends around me. In my life, I’ve started fashion companies, won national championships, and had some painfully epic fails too - but I wouldn’t change any of it, because if you don’t go for it, you’ll never get the chance to reap the rewards.
For example, if I hadn’t said yes to a job offer in Oslo, I would have never met David!
Iceland, South Africa, Scotland, Bali... You two travel quite a lot. What would you say is your favorite, dream place so far?
Pretty much everywhere we’ve been has been incredible in its own right. I think that no matter where you go, be it a tropical island, or a park that’s a five-minute drive from your home, as long as you’re in the right mindset to find the good - you’ll have a great adventure!
Norway will always be the place that we return to, it’s the place that we both feel the most at home, the scenery is truly breathtaking, and there’s something about the Norwegian culture, and its wholehearted embrace of the outdoors that resonates with us.
What has been the most special or memorable place you two have slept in?
We stayed in a private treehouse in Tulum, Mexico - that was an incredible once in a lifetime experience! Not only did the treehouse happen to be circular, but the bed was too - that was pretty cool. There was also a mosaic bathtub and a giant swinging couch out on the balcony that overlooked the ocean.
We spent so much time just hanging out on that couch listening to the waves lap at the shore, and watching the kayakers out on the water that we almost forgot to go and explore!
We know you can actually be anywhere in the world, so... What do you see if you raise your eyes from the screen?
I can see people -- outside of our coffee shop work spot for the day -- walking up the very hilly Belgium street that we're on; it’s lined with historical buildings that make you feel as though you could be in Diagon Alley!
We’re in Toledo, Belgium, a UNESCO world heritage site - and given that honor, it’s perhaps unsurprising to hear that this is an incredibly unique location. With sword makers, castles, and Arab baths just a few of the things that we’ve experienced in the few days that we’ve been here!
However, despite being in the city right now, usually, when we raise our eyes from our screens, we see our bus, with the doors and windows open, usually parked on a beach or in the countryside - with the paddleboard ready to go should we want a break from work. It’s the simple things in life that we like the most!
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