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For one year Emily and Dennis from near.so.far were on the road with their Van Kosmo on the streets of Europe. They even ventured to Asia. We were allowed to accompany them on the adventure of a lifetime, from the Balkans to Greece, to Turkey, to Italy, Morocco, Portugal and back again to the four walls at home, which the two exchanged for 365 days against 6 square meters in the van. What is it like to arrive? Back to a life lived for a year in the smallest of spaces, but with breathtaking views?
When we crossed the border into Germany, we had an almost queasy feeling. It was crazy - we had been on the road for a whole year and suddenly we were back home with this border crossing. We saw our families and friends again and moved into our apartment, which we had sublet for a year.
From 6 to 50sqm - what are we going to do with all that space? When we unpacked the stored boxes we knew pretty quickly what all the space was for. Unbelievable what accumulates in an apartment so everything. All the things we didn't need and didn't miss for a year.
A year in which we have lived very minimalist and close to nature. A year that has shown us what you really need to live. Insights that we take with us to Germany. What we also take with us - the feeling of freedom and the serenity to pay more attention to ourselves and our needs. No one can take this experience away from us.
Such a trip definitely leaves its traces. Traces of experiences, insights and a lot of new things. We are so happy to have taken this step and to have made all these experiences. all these experiences.
Bye Bye Kosmo
Already on the journey it was clear for us - Kosmo will be in new hands. But there was not much time to say goodbye, because a new owner who fell in love with Kosmo was found quickly.
It is crazy to give away his home of the last year, which you made yourself and with which you were allowed to experience so much. But it is nice to know that Kosmo is in good hands and will experience new adventures.
One thing is for sure: Vanlife will not disappear from our lives so quickly. A new project is already in the starting blocks and is waiting to be implemented.
One year with a composting toilet
One year minimalist and close to nature also means not having a classic toilet. But the change to a dry composting toilet was easy for us and worked out well.
We were on the road for a year with the dry composting toilet Timber M from Trelino® for a year and were very satisfied.
The biggest advantages for us
- Flexibility -> you are not bound to disposal stations bound
- Environmentally friendly -> no chemicals
- Less odor due to the separation of solid and liquid and liquid
- Water saving
How was it to live on 6 qm as a couple?
Definitely a challenge. 6 square meters are just 6 square meters! We would say it stands and falls with the organization of the place and also with the weather conditions. So when it's sunny and 30 degrees, there's always a door open and life takes place outside. But as soon as the rain comes and the weather gets worse, it is important to have a good organization and communication, otherwise it quickly becomes chaotic.
Challenges and lessons learned
- Life in the van depends very much on the season. Winter or summer are simply not comparable.
- Searching for a parking space is sometimes incredibly exhausting and can take up to half a day.
- Every day in a new place means a lot of acclimatization and stress for body and mind.
- Slow travel (it was better for us to travel slower and be more aware of everything).
- Daily basics (filling up water, sewage, toilet, etc.) take so much more time than in an apartment.
- Travel with without prejudice (this is the only way to get your own experience).
- Don't make too precise plans - often the most beautiful experiences were the ones not planned.
Our favorite country
Since we have traveled to many beautiful countries on our trip that enchanted us in different ways, we have created a few rankings for different categories.
Our top 3 overall favorite countries
- Sardinia (Italy)
Top 3 most beautiful landscapes
Top 5 most camper friendly countries
Our year in numbers
We are incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to make our dream come true and to travel the world for a year in our self-built van. We can only encourage every dreamer to hold on to their dreams and turn them into reality. All the challenges and problems will pay off in the end.
Things EVERY camper should keep in mind!
- Leave pitches clean
- Support local services
- Be friendly to residents and tourists
- Park in 2nd row (give priority to day visitors)
- If possible, do not block the view, e.g. to the beach, with the big vehicles.
- Respect nature
- Do not permanently block parking spaces
To be continued...
A new project is waiting...