Two people who like being on the road… The longer they are, the better. The more to the East, the more exciting. Not excluding the West! For example, the feminine half of this blog adores France – with its wines, exceptional cheese or delicious croissants; the male half prefers heights – the mountains, the tallest places in a city, destinations such as Albania, Bulgaria, India etc. We are Laura and Smără.
I have tried to remember where the idea of traveling through the world came from and I have not succeeded, but I think it all started from a common desire to visit Iran. Shortly after we met each other, we found out that we have the communication and understanding that you need when you travel. (as time passed, I came to understand that the company’s choice for travel is more important than the destination.) In 2015, during a trip to Cappadocia, we met, in the camping where we built the tent, a couple of Germans who had sold everything they had , they bought a truck arranged to be inhabited and set out through the world for (they said then) three years. One of the countries on their route: Iran.
Back home, we sat at the table. Not to eat, but to analyze in detail what needs to be done to reach our dream of seeing Persepolis. And I (Smără), as every time I have a map of the planet in front of my eyes, I started to push the destination. Further east. “Well, if we get to Iran, is it not a shame not to drive a few kilometers more and visit the north of Pakistan? And Jammu and Kashmir is a territory that belongs to India. So we can see India too! Up to the south! And then Vietnam is not far away, and we can ship the car to Korea, then Japan, then Vladivostok and back through Mongolia and the Stans to home!”
Um, what a good idea! How come I have not come to this so far?! 🙂
In these years, since we’ve known each other, we have visited southern France, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. And if all these trips were done with a Renault Symbol, a small car with a large trunk, enough for a tent, two chairs and a folding table, plus a refrigerator and some clothes, now we had to make our plans taller, wider and longer. Long was also the period that followed, full of searches, calculations, money saving, aggressive information, meetings with people who traveled like this, joining Facebook “profile” groups. A milestone was the acquisition in July 2017 of the “house” that is about to take us around the world. A Volkswagen Transporter T5, bought honestly from a dishonest merchant (we later discovered that the car had at least 20,000 km more than what the van’s display showed), which we were going to modify and adapt to the desired goal.
Again, searches, calculations, aggressive information. We started by making drawings on paper. We divided the 3m * 1.6m of the car into 3 rooms: kitchen, bedroom and living room. Well, the toilet overlaid with the bedroom, and some of the kitchen got into the living room. 🙂 After that I decided to make a 3D version, so I made a cardboard layout at 1:10 scale. Things got another perspective, what I drew on the paper did not fit anymore.
But, slowly, with negotiations and more brain-storming, we reached a final version. And, from where I imagined that I would make all the changes and arrangements with my own hands, I came to hand all the work to a company composed of father and son, with a workshop, tools and some experience in the field. With much patience, consultation, money, and again patience, at the end of August 2018 the car was transformed into a caravan, with all the comfort that 4.8 square meters of space can offer. 🙂
From that moment on, the world could be ours. The 2018 holiday was scheduled in september and also functioned as a test of human-machine communion. A 3,400km trip through the Balkans has shown us that dreams can sometimes be overtaken by reality. The car behaved very well, we adapted perfectly to “living in a van”, and when we returned home we felt like we were living in huge palaces.