At the beginning of 2022, we took our dogs and van and left Spain for a life on the road. This was the best thing that we could have done. The first days we noticed some differences, it was strange. Suddenly we had no rush, we didn’t need to do things quickly. We didn’t have to postpone the things we wanted any longer. Our lives were in our control and full of choice. We got to explore wonderful places every single day and the freedom, it’s indescribable.
Meet Tania and Pablo from Patas Traveling
Hi everyone, we are Patas Traveling, a family of 4 with two humans and 2 dogs from Spain. We are Tania, Pablo and our fur friends Knox and Roni. Pablo and I have been together since 2014 and have been travelling since practically that time. Previously, we always travelled in a tourist kind of way. We had our house in Alicante, Spain, with our family and friends around too. Since we both had permanent jobs for quite a long time, we thought we’d made it, just the way we were taught. But something didn’t feel quite right. We weren’t fulfilled, not even close.
How Did the Dream Begin?
We started to stay awake at night, wondering what the heck was this. How are we supposed to live the life we want if we have to stay in a job that we both hated, only to pay for the house, the bills, and the city lifestyle? Everything was a lot, until one day it just clicked. Since that night, nothing was the same again. Eventually, the pandemic crashed into our lives and the perfect life became less appealing. The free way of living was becoming dangerously intriguing and our response was… To buy a minivan and get away every chance that our jobs would allow us.
We did it! We bought a Mercedes Viano, second-hand, and built it from scratch. Removed all the seats and started to make it look like a tiny home. We built it three times because with every trip we found different improvements to be made. “We don’t need this”, “that is uncomfortable”, it took us around 1 whole year, between work, to completely finish our project. After all the little trips, we thought this was a life we wanted to try full-time. Why not, right?
What Was It Like Changing to Life on the Road?
The hardest parts were selling our house, furniture, belongings, and even both of our cars. Not every day was a walk in the park. The first weeks were still winter, so there were many rainy days with four of us stuck in this little van. The comfort of a conventional home was no longer there, hot showers were not in our daily routine anymore, and we didn’t have unlimited power. All of that was quite a lot to take in at the start, but we eventually got used to it and now we understand how simple life can be. The feeling is priceless, to open the tailgate in the morning and have breakfast in the most incredible places. That’s our favourite part.
Right now, it’s been over a year since we left our home, and thankfully we’ve been travelling without a fear about the way of funding our trip. We saved a lot during the years and with the sale of the house we could make it happen for more than 2 years. Besides, we’ve been keeping track of all of our expenses since day one. It turns out that this life is quite cheap for us! However, we are looking forward to working on seasoned jobs, mostly harvest jobs in nature. We’ve tried that a few times and loved it!
Words of Advice
To sum it up, we understand this lifestyle cannot be for everyone. If the idea is hanging around in your mind, then it is something you must try. Our advice is to start small. Begin with no luxuries, something simple, and get to know yourself better, to find out what you really need in life. Find what truly makes you happy, and once you’ve realized it, take a breath and go for it!
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If you enjoyed reading this post, then you may be interested in checking our blog pages. We have covered a range of topics about Van Life, Van Build, Van Travel, and our Van Buddies, where we share our experiences from living in a campervan for the past two years. You can follow us on Instagram or Facebook to stay up to date with our latest posts and to take a closer look into our daily lives.