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Where Our Vanlife Journey Began.

Before Covid hit, we like many others, were on a very different trajectory. Much like our instagram handle suggests, we were city dwellers living in East London, with the dream of emigrating to Canada. I (Lara) was working as the Head of Nutrition and Product Development for a supplement company and Charlie was working as a Customer Success Manager at a leading job board. We were in the rat race and we knew it but the idea of getting ourselves out seemed impossible. Fast forward to now and we’re living by the sea, building our dream van, still in the same jobs but cultivating a completely new way of life that’s on our own terms. But how did we get there?

Let Me Set The Scene….

Last March we left to go on a family holiday to Sri Lanka only to return 3 days early on the last flight out the country. The ever-growing impact Covid was having, was being felt worldwide and when we got home to London, it was a very different place to when we left. We worked from home as the government advised and much like the rest of you, we haven’t returned to the office since. Working from home was a refreshing change compared to the 3-hour roundtrip commutes and stuffy tubes, so we welcomed it with open arms and tried to stay positive! With international travel grinding to a halt and our Canada dream slipping through our fingers we couldn’t help but reflect upon our current lifestyles and ask ourselves why we had taken this route and were we happy? We had great jobs, were being paid well and were surrounded by our friends, yet there was still something missing.

Why Weren't We Happy?

Charlie and I have always loved adventure and try to spend any of our spare time immersing ourselves in either the sea or the mountains – 2 things that are few and far between in London! At the end of the first lockdown and when the government allowed it, we came to stay with my parents down by the sea for some much-needed “nature time”.

My brother had recently bought a converted Renault Master but at the time was working overseas so we thought it only fair to show it a fun time! We took it out every night after work, had beach BBQs with old friends, sunrise surfs and sunset movie nights. We had had a taste of vanlife and needless to say, we were hooked!

Our Initial Concerns

We knew this lifestyle was for us but we couldn’t be those people? Surely? What would our family and friends say? What would our work say? More importantly….would I ever be able to shower or use a proper toilet again?! We had a million questions going through our minds and hadn’t even worked out if we could afford a van let alone convert one too! All we knew was that we couldn’t keep living a life that wasn’t true to who we were as people and the dreams and ambitions that we wanted for ourselves and each other.

Trust Your Gut

After weeks of searching, we were close to giving up when out of nowhere Charlie managed to find a Mercedes Sprinter van for sale and without even looking at it in person –put down a deposit. We hadn’t figured out any of those questions above but just knew if we were going to do this, it had to be now otherwise, we would sit and talk about it forever, never actually committing. It’s now 5 months from then and we’re knees deep into our conversion. Vanlife is very much on the horizon and we have no regrets so far!

We Want To Help You Do The Same

Sometimes in life you’ve just got to trust your gut and jump feet first. You can go round and round with decisions and never actually take matters into your own hands and for us we knew, that was our moment so we jumped and we’ve never looked back!

We are by no means experts but if any of this resonates with you, we want to help! In these blogs we’re going to give you all the things you need to know about converting a van in order to get to where we are today. We’re going to cover everything from where to buy your van and materials to how much it costs and more. We've even got a "Shop Our Van" page so you know exactly what to buy.

It’s a minefield out there with conversions so our main aim is to help you feel confident to take that leap and live the life you’ve always dreamed of.

Don’t forget to subscribe to receive blogs and build tips straight to your inbox and follow us at @city2_vanlife for more daily updates!

We can't tell you how excited we are to have you along for this ride with us...

Let’s get to it!


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