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24 Countries in 2 Years: Big Dreams in Their DIY Van Life

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Chantal (from the Netherlands) and Lukas (from Switzerland) were dating long-distance and tired of being apart but didn’t know where to settle down. So they decided to ignore the question, convert an Opel Movano bus, and travel Europe! In the past two years, they’ve visited 24 countries and have big dreams to see more of the world from their van.

They call themselves a “traveling circus” with their ginger cat Ollie and newly adopted rescue dog Lefka along for the ride. Ollie rules the roost, but Lefka is finding a happy spot inside their little van. Enjoy their tour below and check out their van dreams at the end of the post!

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Their “Traveling Circus”: Two Adults & Two Pets

Big Van Dreams in Their DIY Rig 14

Images via @chantilukiollie

Their bed is a couch during the day and slides out into a bed at night.

Big Van Dreams in Their DIY Rig 3

Images via @chantilukiollie

There’s a two-burner cooktop and little sink.

Big Van Dreams in Their DIY Rig

Images via @chantilukiollie

A compact dorm fridge keeps food cold.

Big Van Dreams in Their DIY Rig 2

Images via @chantilukiollie

Some art, some meters, a fruit basket.

Big Van Dreams in Their DIY Rig 6

Images via @chantilukiollie

Their cat, Ollie, is the star of the show.

Big Van Dreams in Their DIY Rig 9

Images via @chantilukiollie

Ollie, trying to drive.

Big Van Dreams in Their DIY Rig 12

Images via @chantilukiollie

Meeting some other cats on the road.

Big Van Dreams in Their DIY Rig 16

Images via @chantilukiollie

A sunny nap. Her sheepskin on the dash is her favorite spot.

Big Van Dreams in Their DIY Rig 13

Images via @chantilukiollie

They have a pretty short van with a stealthy exterior.

Big Van Dreams in Their DIY Rig 10

Images via @chantilukiollie

Lefka, their adopted dog, is a new member of the family.

Big Van Dreams in Their DIY Rig 7

Images via @chantilukiollie

I love the twinkly lights inside the van.

Big Van Dreams in Their DIY Rig 8

Images via @chantilukiollie

They’ve enjoyed traveling Europe in the van.

Big Van Dreams in Their DIY Rig 18

Images via @chantilukiollie

Ollie didn’t love vanlife at first, but now she’s a rockstar.

Big Van Dreams in Their DIY Rig 15

Images via @chantilukiollie

Life on the road suits them.

Big Van Dreams in Their DIY Rig 17

Images via @chantilukiollie

They have big travel dreams! Read them below.

Big Van Dreams in Their DIY Rig 4

Images via @chantilukiollie

Their Dreams (And some inspiration for your travels!)

Taking the Queen Mary 2 cruiseschip, where you can take your animals from UK to USA. Than they don’t need to fly. Ship our van by boat and travel from Alaska to Argentina.

Driving via Romania (🐻) to Turkey. From there following the hippietrail (including skiing in Iran & Pakistan) to Kathmandu, Nepal. The country where Chanti lost her heart. Maybe if we’re anyways on the road, somehow drive on to Japan? Because why not?

“Just” a crazy wintertrip towards Lapland.. and maybe ship the van to Iceland? Ollie sais no to snow. And Chanti wants to be able to freeride on ski’s before doing that.

Buy a piece of land in Lefkada, Greece or somewhere else. Build up a place to be during spring, summer or autumn. And than spend the winters somewhere in the Alps or Dolomites.

Buy a beachhouse in the Netherlands near Brouwersdam. Live in there in summers and the rest of the year rent it out. Build a truck van to live the autumns and springs on random places. And put the big truck in winters near a ski area.

Have the happiness, financial stability, love, safety, peace and health to keep on dreaming. Start everyday with a coffee, a hug to each other and the animals, a walk in the nature and being surrounded by the kindest friends, family and other people. 🤮, BUT TRUE!!

Learn more

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Our big thanks to Chantal for sharing!🙏

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
{ 2 comments… add one }
  • vee
    June 23, 2023, 6:07 pm

    This did it for me —- the cat!! Nice to see they’ve added another pet. Looks great to me — in many ways!!

  • Marsha Cowan
    June 24, 2023, 6:00 pm

    So cool! I love i!

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