The last year has been a rollercoaster ride: Eka and I (Meli) went from living 9000 km apart to living in a 12m2 truck camper!

I graduated from my Master´s degree in Paris while Eka lived and worked in Panama. 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.

Since then, we’ve explored the pristine waters of Coiba Island in Panama, slept in an extinct volcano crater in Costa Rica, kayaked between crocodiles in the swamps of Ometepe in Nicaragua, swam with dolphins in Honduras, wild-camped in front of a world-class wave in El Salvador, felt the ground shake as we watched a volcano erupt while camping on top of another one in Guatemala, snorkeled with nurse sharks in Belize, and so far, we’ve eaten a million tacos in Mexico. We’re six months into the Vanlife, and we wouldn´t have it any other way!

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.

The Vanlife has taught us that a simple life is a better life. We have minimized our material possessions and have learned to appreciate the little things such as a cold outdoor shower from a bucket on a hot Central American day or the arrival of the fruit and veggie truck on a secluded beach. We’ve learned that it is possible to clean a lot of dishes and brush our teeth with a ridiculously tiny amount of water. We have learned to give people and places the benefit of the doubt, and not let ourselves succumb to fear by listening to those who haven’t even left their own country.

Most importantly, we have learned a lot about ourselves and each other. We´ve grown and learned to live together in a way that no “normal” life would have allowed us to. It is not always easy, but this kind of experience in a relationship is priceless. Like a friend told me before I left, “if it doesn’t kill the love, it will make it stronger”, and it did! 😀

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Instagram @ohlavan

Website Ohlavan

Photo courtesy of @ohlavan

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