Interview with Marta and Alex, the couple who formed the WanderlustVanLife Project

wander

We present Marta and Alex, a couple made up of a mallorcan woman and an australian man. They have just left Canada, where they have been turning their dreams into a reality since 2013. Here, they started their project Wanderlust VanLife Project, which encourages us to follow their travels and shows us how it’s possible to live in a house on wheels.

http://www.alexanderroephotography.com

Today on Yescapa we talk with this couple who were ready to enrich their life and decided to live in a simpler way,  first at the wheel of a motorhome and later a campervan.

Hi Marta, hi Alex! To start with, we want to congratulate you on your project. Seeing your website WanderlustVanLife really makes us want to cross the pond and go on an adventure.

Hi!!! Thank you very much 

Tell us what made you decide to start your adventure on wheels.

Ever since we first met, we bought a minivan and we started to use it at the weekend to escape to and sleep in. We really liked the convenience of being able to go wherever we wanted without hotel reservations and extra charges and above all we liked the freedom of sleeping surrounded by nature. Later, because we really wanted to travel and because we needed to save money and cut costs (where we lived, one of the major expenses was accommodation, where half of an apartment with one room cost CAD$1000 a month, around £540), we decided that the best idea was to have the experience of living in a motorhome full time whilst working, to save on rent and to know how it really was to share your life in such small spaces (PS: it was amazing!).

Was it the first time that you had travelled in a “house on wheels”, or had you already tried out the experience before?

Canmore got its fair share of snow over the last few days giving the Rockies landscape a new Christmasy look. http://www.alexanderroephotography.com

I have to point out that we didn’t travel in our first carmpervan. We had it parked because the idea was to live in it while going about our day-to-day life and also because it was winter in the Rocky Mountains in Canada(the snow is not the best friend of old campervans). Later, in spring, we were then ready to leave our jobs and travel. We sold the  motorhome because it used up more fuel. We bought a campervan and renovated the interior to suit our style and it was much lighter, with fewer home comforts as well, and in May we set off on the road!

Before going on a roadtrip for 5 months, we went on weekends away with our first minivan.

Living free and without being tied down to a fixed place is the dream for many, how do you manage to find a balance between this form of living and your professional life?

We have been working seasonally until the present today. We worked very hard for 6 months or maybe more, depending on the season or the plan. We saved up and travelled  later.

I think it’s not easy to live this kind of lifestyle in today’s society, but for people like us that don’t want a routine, a permanent job, a house or children et cetera et cetera, it’s easier. Or this could just be for a stage of your life,  it doesn’t have to last forever.

A lot of people normally think that we saved a lot or we had a lot of money. But far from the truth, we are hard-working people and we only have what we worked for; no-one helps us, and we do whatever we can; cleaning, collecting fruit, waiting tables. Alex is an electrician for example, but he also finds work in whatever comes up. Our lifestyle helps us a lot; we are not consumerists, we only buy what we need. Our luxury is the simplicity that allows us to have less material objects and live more real life experiences. It’s easy, but you you need to be ready to just do it and leave your comfort zone often.

You also love nature and outdoor sports like rock climbing and hiking. Do you think there is a connection between the freedom of travelling in a motorhome or campervan and outdoor sports?

For us, yes. Being nature lovers and being able to travel in a campervan brings us closer to nature. This means that we can sleep in the middle of the forest, wake up and go hiking or rock climbing just after getting up. It’s like moving your house to wherever you want! We also always make sure to respect the designated areas (fortunately there are a lot).

You’ve probably heard this question a lot of times before but don’t you miss your “old life”?

Honestly no, we prefer our new life, it’s more fun!

After years of life on the road, you’ve just left Canada. What’s your next adventure?

Here I’d like to correct myself. We’ve been on the road for 3 years and we spent a year between our campervan and our caravan (that we had previously used to live). After leaving Canada, we visited Spain for three months and we moved to Australia in May, and we’ve thought about buying another campervan :).

They say that travelling changes the way you see the world. In your case, what aspects have changed since you made your Wanderlust project a reality?

It has really changed our way of appreciating the world, meaning the little things, nature, less is more, anti-consumerism, anti-routine, living every day as it comes, respecting nature, conserving the planet and a lot more. tIt has taught us a new moral, ethical code.

You have toured through a large part of Canada, which stood out to you the most out of all the places you have visited?

We have toured through Alberta and British Columbia, and without doubt they are amazing, because there is lots to explore. The wildest and remotest areas stand out the most in our memory.

It seems that tourism on the road is very widespread on the american continent. Have you ever experienced problems finding service areas or somewhere to sleep?

There are areas that are more equipped than others for staying overnight for free and finding these was our daily goal. There are a lot of areas but the majority require a certain level of adventurism! But no, it’s not a problem, there’s always a place to sleep or facilities to take a shower, etc. It’s very well adapted to this kind of lifestyle.

What do you think of  motorhome and campervan rental between private owners?

We have never done it but we think it’s a great idea, it’ the sale as renting out your house!

This way of travelling is becoming more and more popular. What advice would you give to those who are starting out in the caravaning world?

For us, the most important thing is to respect the other caravaners and to respect nature. It’s very important for us to allow us to continue what we’re doing and to make sure that everything doesn’t get privatised. You can learn a lot from this lifestyle and realise just how little you need to be happy.

To finish up, if you could decide, what place in the world would you like to tour through in your campervan?

The whole world!!!  Right now, our next destination is the south-eastern area of Australia, we are very excited! And the next trip we hope will be in Europe.

We wish all the best on your next journey!

You can follow Marta and Alex with their accounts on Instagram and Youtube, as well as on their webpage WanderlustVanLife.

You can find all of the photos on Alex’s photography page.

We’ll leave you with a little extra treat! We couldn’t end the interview without showing you the video where Alex and Marta show you how they built their campervan. You can pick up lots of tips!

Joseph T

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