Introduction to my van

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Felix

So here it is. The van which will serve the purpose of being my mobile living quarters whilst going on adventures. A 2008 Vauxhall Movano, long wheel base, high top. The Van has 110,000 miles on it and drives superbly. Previously it was owned by a mechanic friend who rebuilt the engine, fully serviced and gave it a new MOT (with no advisories). Mainly it was too cheap to pass up on.

The plan

Ok, so the van is a mess,. After years of abuse and transporting oily car parts it is in need of some serious TLC, the front cab in particular. The seats are a mess and the whole thing is filthy, it’s certainly in need of a good scrub but, beyond this, has huge potential.

         

My plan is to strip out the front and refurbish it to a higher standard. Ideally I don’t want to spend a lot on this part so will have to see what I can come up with. Watch this space.

The main load space of the van will be totally stripped out back to its bare metal ready to start fresh. If all goes to plan, when i’m done, the back will be fully insulated, have a full double bed, a cooker, sink and hopefully plenty of storage. Power will mainly be provided by solar, this way I can stay off the grid for extended periods without giving up too many of my modern comforts.

Bearing in mind I am aiming for this project to be done to a high standard but at a minimal cost. Even I am interested in how this might turn out. Plans are made so its time to get out the tools and get going.

 

Introduction to me

The beginnings of Rick Van Life

Well I’m hoping you’ve already worked out, this blog is about me and my van. If you haven’t worked that out then frankly there’s little I (or anyone) can do to help you. The short version is that I’ve gone off and bought a van which I’m going to turn it into a mobile sleeper and hopefully have some awesome adventures in. As a side note, I’m not going to attempt to convince you that this isn’t a mid-life crisis, because frankly that would mean trying to convince myself too. I’ve tried and failed. My crazy is showing, isn’t it?

Here’s a little background on me. I’m in my 30’s. I grew up…no, who am I kidding…I’m still growing up, in a town called Crawley in the South East of England. I’ve had a pretty interesting life so far. Travelled a lot of the world, lived in the USA for a short time.  Had a stint as a private detective (that was an interesting time, just saying), worked in IT, owned a construction company and hold a pilots licence,  most recently I have qualified as a drone pilot. It’s a pretty mixed bag and I’ve had some incredible experiences. After all this I’m not sure how it is that I still have no clue what I want to do with my life.

Anyway, at the beginning of 2017 for various reasons I needed an escape. I needed to get away. So I booked a one way ticket to Bangkok, packed a backpack and 3 weeks later I was on a plane. I had no real plan, just an impending desire to go find something. Preferably myself. The most significant thing I discovered was that I’m not alone. I’ve spent a lot of time believing that the way I think and feel isn’t something shared by others. Turns out it is!

I spent 4 months travelling in Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. I loved every second of it. What made it particularly amazing was that I found myself meeting and spending time with others who were as dissatisfied as I was with living the life that modern society has conditioned us to live. Where so much focus being on the materialistic aspects of life. Revolving around jobs we hate and money whilst forgetting what life is really about.  A life not appreciating what an incredible world we live in and the things that really matter to us as human beings. I didn’t want life to just ‘happen’ to me anymore, I wanted to go out and actually live it.

Obviously I didn’t quite decide what I wanted to do whilst I was away but it gave me the time and right kind of space to face some daemons. To sort some shit out in my head and believe that it was actually possible to start living a different kind of life on a daily basis. When I got back home I had a million different ideas floating around in my head. I knew the kind of life I wanted to live and finally felt it was okay to not have everything figured out yet.

I felt myself – no not literally, get your head out of the gutter – I felt myself again for the first time in a long while. Amazingly I had found my excitement for life again and I knew something big was coming up for me. Then one night it hit me. Like a freaking freight train. I’d spent the day relaxing and meditating, clearing my thoughts and as I lay there listening to some crappy chimes it just hit me. Suddenly everything fell into place, like an amazingly satisfying game of Tetris. It was all there, I knew what I had to do and that is how my van life began its story.

Coming along for the ride?