We’re Lila and Mao, an Australian and Peruvian. Our love story started in Sydney, where we first met each other. After seven years away, we flew across the world to Lima, Peru, Mao’s home-city, to get to know his family and the food. Obviously, our adopted cat came with us.
In Peru, we decided to buy a van, a 1998 Delica, to explore Lima and beyond. Her name is Vanito. This is the greatest road trip of our lives.
We almost never know what day of the week it is. Sometimes we don’t shower for a few days. But exploring Peru together has brought us immeasurable joy. Together we are revisiting and appreciating Mao’s rich culture. His amazing family, the country’s history, food, traditions. And every day we feel at home, not because we’re in Peru, but because we have Vanito. She is our home now.
Sometimes we sleep in national parks with nobody but the birds as neighbors, and other times we sleep next to a police station. But no matter where we are we feel like our home comes with us.
We’ve had countless adventures, met the loveliest people, and been attacked by various dogs. But wouldn’t change it for the world because each experience has taught us something new. Ok, maybe we’d change the dog attacks, that sucked.
Our lives have slowed down and the hours no longer fly by. They stretch out in front of us, and we fill them with whatever feels right. Maybe it’s driving all day or only an hour. Maybe it’s stopping for lunch, or cooking up a storm. Maybe it’s just reading a book with the sun on our backs. Maybe we’re in a city, on a mountain, or in a valley. We feel incredibly blessed to be here, living this.
The pressure of our old life in Sydney feels so far away. And the here and now just feels good.
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VANLIFERS OF THE MONTH
The idea was for us to take a short break to rethink each of our professional and academic paths. We bought our camper in Panama in July and started our journey North towards the USA. Our trip was supposed to end a month ago, and yet, here we are, hooked to the Vanlife and planning to stay on the road for another six months, with Alaska as our final destination.
I always make time to explore in my free time. Now with a wife and two children, I want to make sure that they see what I see in the beautiful nature that we have.
Diploma, work, apartment, we had a “normal life” that would satisfy anyone, but the road called us. At 23 and 24, we managed to save enough money to buy a van and to convert it into our mobile chalet, our new home.