Charlotte and Damien from the vanlife travel blog adVANture_FR are a French couple in their late twenties. They acquired a VW camper through a family member just over a year ago and already have quite the appetite for an adventure. They have some fantastic images from the road to share with us.
“As soon as we received the keys we immediately wanted to give it a personal touch, the ideas quickly came so we just had to get started” writes Charlotte.
Most of our work started with changing the look of the furniture. We found decorative vinyl rolls, a really nice wood effect, in a DIY store. We treated all of the panels and I love how it has turned the original look into something very custom.
Concerning the interior decoration we wanted to dress the floor and the simplest for us was to find two small rugs in sea grass, just to isolate us from the cold a little better. But it turns out that it is especially useful to be able to shake them outside to clean the van, too! Then, we took care of the interior lighting by installing a strip of dimmable LEDs in order to consume less electricity from the camping battery and to be able to adjust the lighting according to our needs when camping a bit more stealthy.
On the exterior of the van, we wanted to give it that adventure/swamper style look, by bringing it a few touches of matt black. We have now painted the wheels, bike rack and awning rails, which all look really awesome.
In the summer we would like to add a system to heat the water so that we can take good showers. Maybe we’ll even use it in the winter!
“Our vanlife travel blog adVANture_FR“
We have travelled almost 20,000 km aboard our T5 since getting it in December 2018. We have not stopped travelling all year round, exploring France and our neighbouring countries of Italy, Spain and Switzerland. We started in the summer of 2018 with the tour of Switzerland, with our friends along for the rise too! It was a superb trip, between lakes and mountains, with very beautiful hikes and magnificent spots! It set the benchmark for the types of trips we wanted to be doing for sure.
In November 2018, we ventured down into Spain, starting with the famous Bardenas desert. We wanted a change of scenery, and we certainly got it! It feels like you are in a Western movie, very unique I think for the European continent. While driving through the park here, we came up with the idea of equipping our van with off-road tyres, for more freedom and safety. It was getting dark when we got lost on well-drenched 4×4 tracks, with no telephone network …
“Learning on the job”
We made our way all the way south to Tarifa, which is also the southernmost point of Europe. But we were only able to enjoy one night there, where Damien received a spider bite. It became infected and led to really bad edema, so some days had to be spent parked up … That’s also vanlife!
Upon leaving Tarifa we sped up to go and play cowboys in the Taberna desert. What a wonderful day in this movie village, Fort-Bravo, it really felt like we were there with these western sets and the classic shootings. Looping back around via Valencia and Barcelona, we crossed back into France with some fond new memories from the road.
It was our first long trip, 100% van camping and for almost a month. It was far from the comforts of home and we LOVED it. AdVANture, sign us up!
“In the planning stage”
For the rest of our AdVANtures, our list of countries to discover is full: Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland), Scotland, Ireland, Slovenia, and many others …
But above all, our big dream: one day to cross the Americas, from Alaska to Argentina!
Until then, join us and chat with us on our Instagram account @advanture_fr!