VW Bus Events & Why You Need to Attend Them

Have you ever participated in any VW Bus events?

We are Selene and Humberto from Pasos de Migrantes. For three years we have been living and traveling in a VW Bus and participating in the VW Bus events has always been a special occasion throughout the trip.

As we began this journey without a return date, we definitely did not imagine that choosing a VW Bus would have meant encountering an authentic and enduring parallel world of people, events, and surprises. Surrounding these wonderful timeless mechanical critters are enthusiasts, collectors, other travelers, travel fanatics, or just curious people who come to understand and ask about a nomadic, itinerant, and alternative lifestyle. Groups spread over so many countries and their different regions, want to know one of the most important means of transport. It is so iconic and legendary.

4° Encuentro de Villa Maria – Cordoba, Argentina

Are we exaggerating?

Perhaps, or perhaps instead we will witness hidden magic behind these mobile cans with magnetic eyes that always catch a smile, a hand, a chat and yes, indisputably a peek inside.

In the streets of any city, the VW Bus provides us with daily human contact. Imagine what it is like a VW Bus event is created, organized, and marked in the calendar! A multitude of VW Buses, each one with its colors, personality, history, and process to tell. Each with an owner or two with thousands of dreams to realize.

Our first meet-ups were in Bolivia. These comprised of informal appointments and meetings between friends who are barely acquainted. We shared mechanical advice and logistical support that, less than 2 months after our departure, encouraged us a lot. Those that followed later, between Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, were presented to us more as special VW Bus events. They have organizing teams, stands, activities, sponsors, expected parades through the people, and support from some municipalities.

Each VW Bus event has a different soul and is celebrated and organized differently.

There are those that last one day, those that take place over a full weekend, those that take place in parking lots or urban structures, or those that invite us to immerse ourselves in nature and the comfort of a campsite.

There is something for all tastes and we are more than sure that sometimes they have reached your ear … the air-cooled movement, the national day of “Kombis” (as defined in South America), the international Volkswagen exhibition, the South American Meeting of Escobar, the Patagonian Encounter. All of these are regional ramifications of the VW events that for years have been emerging and encouraging all of us, the most fans.

DNF – Dia Nacional do Fusca – Curitiba, Brasil

What more to say

In a life on the road in the company of your faithful VW Bus, we believe that these occasions are an undeniable opportunity.
An experience to try, feel, and see with your own eyes at least once… if you’ve never participated yet, here are some reasons to put them on your map!

Share your rolling passion and in many cases your choice of life.

These meetings bring together people who live like you, travel, and dream alike with these icons of freedom. It is like speaking a new language but one that we understand perfectly.

1. Create new bonds of friendship.

Although the meetings are brief, the participation is so heartfelt that you will end up leaving with new friends. Travelers who will always be throwing a hand at you and when you cross some corner of the world it will be amazing to meet and hug again.

2. Learn to share.

Whether it is a brief chat, a delicious meal, a look at the engine, or a part of a mechanical spare part, learning to share information, objects, experiences and knowledge are what will fill you the most with memories and gratitude for everything you lived through.

3. Receive help, advice, mechanical data, and maintenance of the jewel you handle.

Normally, a VW Bus mechanic will always be present at meetings, ready and prepared to be consulted on the hottest topic and, indeed, physically kidnapped and thrown into the engine of each bus.

4. Camping in good company.

There is nothing better than being able to enjoy a few days with friends in places of nature. Especially without having to look for basic services, and safe and suitable places to camp, don’t you think?

5. Know the culture of a country.

Yes, because in a meeting people come together from many parts of the same country and from other neighboring countries. So let’s take advantage of these moments to appreciate the diversity that makes us so special.

These events will serve your cause very well if your trip is also financed through the sale of your crafts.

Nothing better than enjoying work, right?

This article was kindly shared by one of our Buslifers Ambassadors. To follow their journey, you can find them on Instagram at @pasosdemigrantes. You can also read their Buslifers profile right here. Stay up to date with all the latest VW Bus Events by using our events calendar

digital nomad career

10 Courses to Get Your Digital Nomad Career Started

Do you want to combine your Buslife passion with a career as a digital nomad? You’ve come to the right place! Our vibrant community is responding positively to recent articles in which we discuss life in a VW Bus while doing remote work:

Well, hold on. I would love to start a digital nomad career, but I don’t have enough experience or background education.

This is a very common first reaction when people start thinking about remote work. While it may be true that you currently do not possess the right degree or experience, the rules of online work versus traditional jobs are entirely different. A whole world can open up once you make your first few steps in the world of freelancing. In this article, we discuss the most important approach to making that transition: Self-education.

Digital Nomad: Stepping Into New Territory

Think of it: The digital age brings about so much change in a short period. What’s hot now, may be out of the picture in a year. Look at how fast phones become outdated. Or think of Instagram, which has taken over the social media space. People who studied online marketing ten years ago did not learn about Instagram. However, there are tons of people earning an income by becoming an Instagram marketer. A common trait among successful digital nomads is their constant hunger for learning, adjusting, and growing through self-education.

If you want to be an independent digital nomad – meaning, travel while working – you need to self-educate!

What do we mean by self-education? Merely to open yourself up to doing some (online) courses to gain mastery over a specific skill set. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of 10 online courses that can give you that creative push to expand your horizon.

1 Copywriting

Course name: The Complete Copywriting Course: Write to Sell Like a Pro

Copywriting is one of the most sought-after skills in the market place. Do you have a passion for writing, or do you want to explore this world? Copywriting is the act of writing content for the purpose of advertising or marketing-related text. The goal is to engage the audience and to sell a product or service. Check out the course to develop your copywriting skills and start helping businesses grow!

2 SEO

Course name: SEO 2020: Complete SEO Training + SEO for WordPress Websites

Are you passionate about writing? While writing itself is a common skill for a lot of people, far fewer know about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is a writing style that allows an article to rank high on Google.

3 Google Ads

Course name: Ultimate Google Ads Training 2020: Profit with Pay Per Click

Google Ads is an exciting field to explore. The mix of self-education and practical experience will help you reach a decent level of knowledge of Google Ads within a few weeks. Google Ads specialists are paid quite well, so the time invested may well be worth it.

4 Facebook Ads

Course name: Facebook Ads & Facebook Marketing MASTERY 2020

Social media ad rules are constantly changing. Follow the most recent course to get introduced to Facebook Ads. Similar to Google Ads, direct experience mixed with self-education is the key to becoming a Facebook Ads specialist.

5 Landing pages

Course name: Landing Page Design & Conversion Rate Optimization

A popular digital nomad job is the writing, designing, and optimizing of landing pages. Basic writing and design skills are useful, but most of the skills related to landing page work can be learned and developed through your efforts.

6 Web design

Course name: How to Design a Website on Squarespace – No Coding Required

The world of web design has changed significantly in recent years. Not too long ago, web designers required coding skills to develop websites. They got paid very well for it, too! Nowadays, platforms like Squarespace offer pre-made templates that are both stylish and customizable. They automatically show well on mobile as well! The best of all: No coding skills are needed!

7 Newsletters

Course name: The Complete MailChimp Email Marketing Course

Newsletters are an important part of email marketing for most companies. Mailchimp is the most well-known newsletter software. Getting yourself introduced to the design and data features is a useful skill to possess, as many companies specifically look for email marketing skill sets.

8 Social Media Marketing

Course name: Social Media Marketing – Content Marketing Masterclass 2020

All around the world, social media marketers are needed! Social media is one of the most rapidly changing fields. Staying up-to-date with trends, upcoming platforms, and learning content marketing techniques is a sure way to set yourself up for a digital nomad career.

9 Instagram Marketing

Course name: Instagram Marketing 2020: Complete Guide To Instagram Growth

Sometimes it is better to focus on a particular niche subject. Many companies look for Instagram marketers, not all-round social media marketers. Instagram is one of the fastest-growing platforms, and it’s easy to see why small and mid-sized businesses make use of it. As opposed to Facebook, Instagram doesn’t lean as heavily on advertisements. Companies can achieve great results on Instagram by posting high-quality content and using the right hashtags. A quick course will help you get started!

10 Marketing Psychology

Course name: Marketing Psychology: How To Become A Master Of Influence

2020 will go down as the year in which businesses either increased their online presence or started offering their products and services online. COVID-19 forced many companies to go that way and as a result, marketing psychology is a skill set that is in high demand currently!

Embrace Being a Lifelong Learner

Why should you focus on lifelong self-education as a digital nomad?

  1. Skills become outdated
  2. Your experience, expertise, and leadership is much needed
  3. Education strengthens your brain functioning
  4. You will feel more satisfied when learning something new and sharing your knowledge with others

Digital Nomad Career: Getting Started

As you absorb all the information in the article, it is important not to get too overwhelmed. Our advice is to start small by taking some time to reflect on your interests. Once you’ve identified your interests, then take a look around Udemy’s course offerings. Ready to apply for remote projects? Join Upwork now! If you need some support or if you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

Travel in Europe During the Coronavirus Pandemic

 

This article was kindly shared by one of our Buslifers Ambassadors. To follow their journey, you can find them on Instagram at @volver_a_lo_simple. You can also read their Buslifers profile right here.

 

Hello, we are Philipp, Yurena and we are traveling in our VWT3 Bus called Reinhold. This is our account of our travels during the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

Our Pre-coronavirus Plan

 

Despite the travel warning from our home country of Germany, we are currently traveling in Spain. Why, why and why? Well, that is a long story. It started about two years ago, when we were trapped in the hamster wheel of normal, boring days and longed for new adventures. Our goal for this trip was undisputed, we wanted to drive down to the Canary Islands. In particular, Tenerife, because we have roots there and part of our family is still living on the island.

 

It seemed like a fine time to rebuild our Reinhold and make it suitable for travel. We started the rebuild in March, 2019, at exactly the same time as when COVID-19 was first mentioned. At that point in time it did not discourage us too much and we continued to work hard every weekend on Reini. The situation was becoming more and more critical. The borders closed, in Spain people were not allowed to leave the house properly for weeks and in Germany there were also exit restrictions. Things began to look different than we had planned.

 

 

When the coronavirus hit

 

We could have panicked. We could have, let ourselves be discouraged and disappointed that our big, long-planned dream could quite possibly burst. Yet, we made the choice not to do that. Instead, we decided to think positively, to put our energy into the renovation, and to let it come to us. Our motto at the time was: “If it doesn’t work in September … then we’ll just wait a little longer”.

 

Not long after, the situation actually relaxed again, the borders opened and we were able to leave in September. However, we started with mixed feelings, since at this point in time a travel license was again obligatory for Spain. On the journey through France, the mask was already compulsory in many cities. This means that the mask had to be worn in public everywhere. Face masks were also required in the campsite toilets.

 

Crossing into Spain

 

Then we went to Spain. We had been worried about crossing the border for a long time and prepared ourselves for waiting times, temperature controls, and filling out forms. Nothing of the sort was the case, to be honest, we didn’t even notice when we crossed the border. A small sign then told us that we were in Spain. Once there, not much has changed for us, except that mouthguards are now everywhere in the country, in nature, and on the campsite. This regulation is strictly controlled by the police.

 

Otherwise, there are also a few advantages: We are often alone in beautiful places and sights, the toilets and sanitary facilities are super clean and the museums as if swept clean of people. There is hardly any tourism. We almost only meet Spanish and French campers and always find a suitable pitch for the night.

 

Nevertheless, caution is advisable and that’s why we like to be out in nature. Now we will first continue through Spain, possibly to Portugal and then to the Canary Islands. We are grateful to be able to make this journey despite all adversities and would be happy if you would like to accompany us on it.
 

Read more from our ambassadors, like this article about South America by Vidas Rodantes

Buslife Adventures: Top Places To Visit In South America

This story was kindly contributed by our Buslifers Ambassadors, @vidasrodantes. Read more about them on their ambassador profile. Below the English version, there is also a Spanish version. Scroll down and enjoy! 

Hi! We are Carolina and César, from Argentina. At the beginning of 2017, we decided to make a change in our lives – to get out of the comfort zone. We bought our VW Bus, converted it and in October of that same year we hit the road of America with the idea of ​​reaching Alaska. Since then, we have been living a nomadic life for more than two and a half years and we have already traveled much of Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Mexico. Touring Central America had to wait, because while in Ecuador we found out that we were going to have a baby! We decided to cross directly from Colombia to Mexico, which was where our daughter Lupe was born.

Today due to the global situation, we are back in Argentina, together with the family and enjoying being parents. This time helps us to think, plan, evaluate options of how, and in what way our journey will continue. We are definitely going to continue, although now with one more member.

Below you will find our top places we have visited in the past two and half years of travel. We have selected the following places taking into account how they impacted us, what feelings they generated in us, the experiences we lived, and the memories that we have. The places are listed in the order of how we experienced them on our journey.

1. Perito Moreno Glacier – Santa Cruz – Argentina

Located within a National Park 80km from the city of El Calafate, it is one of the few glaciers that is still growing. The park has very well located walkways that allow you to appreciate the glacier, which ranges between 40 and 70 meters high. Approximately every 4 years a unique phenomenon occurs, the glacier advances until it hits the ground and in this way separates the two arms of Lake Argentino. Such is the pressure exerted by the water that it ends up forming the famous “ice bridge”, which culminates in its spectacular breaking. Anyway, there are ice wall breaks throughout the year. The Park opens from 8am to 8pm, it is not possible to spend the night inside.

 

Perito Moreno Glacier – Image By: @vidasrodantes

2. El Chaltén – Santa Cruz – Argentina

This small and picturesque town, surrounded by forests, lakes and small glaciers, is the national capital of trekking. It has all the options you can imagine related to the mountain and its main attraction is Mount Fitz Roy, which can be reached by walking to its base. All accesses to the trails are free

TIP: At the base of the hill there is a free campsite, we recommend going up early to see the sunrise since the first rays of the sun illuminate Mount Fitz Roy.

 

3. Austral Highway – Chile

Located in the South of Chile, this route is approximately 1200km, running from the city of Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins. Most of the route is asphalt but there are also dirt roads. On the road you can find a variety of rivers, waterfalls, lakes, glaciers and wild animals. Some of the highlights are: General Carrera Lake, confluence of the Baker and Neff rivers, Puerto Tranquilo (marble caverns), Villa Cerro Castillo, and Hanging Ventisquero (glacier). You can park practically anywhere, for free, and you will find yourself surrounded by pure nature.

TIP: the best time to visit it is between December and April.

 

Austral Highway, Chile – Image By: @vidasrodantes

4. Serranía del Hornocal – Jujuy – Argentina

This great mountain range is located 25km from the city of Humahuaca at an altitude of 4700m above sea level. It has the peculiarity of having “layers” of different shades, which gave it the name “Hill of 14 colors”. You can get to the viewpoint by vehicle, by dirt road and with some sectors of precipice.

TIP: arrive around sunset when the sun illuminates the whole mountain range and you can appreciate the colors well.

 

Serranía del Hornocal, Argentina – Image By: @vidasrodantes

5. Salar de Uyuni – Bolivia

It is the largest salt desert in the world located about 20kms from the city of Uyuni. It is free to access and you can sleep anywhere within the salt flat itself. Caution is recommended, as there are no established roads and it is very easy to get disoriented. Between January and February, it is the rainy season so the salt flat becomes a unique mirror where notion of the horizon is lost. The negative aspect is that you cannot see the floor, which leads to tripping over wells and the salty water damages the body of the vehicle (in any case, in the city of Uyuni they offer you a washing and disinfection service).

TIP: do you like night photography? We recommend going on days where there is no moon and you will find the best sky and milky way to photograph.

 

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia – Image By: @vidasrodantes

6. Laguna Parón – Peru

This is one of the most beautiful lagoons, turquoise in color and surrounded by snow-capped peaks in the Peruvian Andes. It’s about two hours along a rather rugged dirt road from the quiet town of Caraz. You have to pay an entrance fee of $5 and you almost get to the edge of the road with the vehicle. It is possible to sleep for free in the vehicle or tent, otherwise there is the option of staying in a humble mountain refuge for approximately $3. The lagoon is 4200m above sea level. There is a viewpoint you can climb to and a path that surrounds the entire lagoon. Also, the locals can take you by boat around the lagoon for $20.

TIP: Spend a night there to get up at sunrise and contemplate the snow-capped peaks illuminated by the sun. Excursions are not abundant in this paradise so most of the time you can take advantage of the place in solitude.

 

Laguna Parón, Peru – Image By: @vidasrodantes

7. Duck Canyon – Peru

It is one of the routes that you can take to return from the Andes area to the Peruvian coast, or vice versa. It is one of the most beautiful scenic roads in Peru but also the most dangerous, since it runs along the canyon that reaches, at times, up to 60m deep. On the way, the route passes through more than 35 mountain tunnels, in which you must honk the horn before crossing since the route is very narrow and 2 vehicles cannot circulate at the same time. Beautiful landscapes and adrenaline at the same time, to enjoy and make funny videos (always with caution).

8. Ecuadorian East – Ecuador

We really loved, the route of the East or Ecuadorian jungle. You really get to experience the rainforest combined with traditions of native peoples. Like all of Ecuador, with routes in excellent condition, we did the road that runs from Cuenca, passing through Macas, Puyo and Tena to the viewpoint of the Reventador volcano, which is currently active. On the way you come across a dense and humid jungle full of vegetation, rivers, waterfalls, some wild animals and locals with very good vibes.

TIP: Within the Cayambe-Coca National Park you can park and spend the night, from there there is a path to the San Rafael waterfall, the largest in Ecuador. In addition, from this same point you can see the Reventador volcano.

 

In the Ecuadorian Jungle – Image By: @vidasrodantes

9. Cocora Valley- Salento – Colombia

Beautiful nature and jungle environment located in the Colombian coffee axis. This valley is know for its special palm trees, which can reach up to 60 meters in height. Unique in the world and in danger of extinction, since the animals that are in the valley feed on the seeds of the trees. Access is free, although you can find some walks inside the farms where they charge entrance as they are private. There are few areas on the street where you can park and stay overnight for free. Anyway there are inns and lodgings to stay. It is a very popular attraction so at certain times of the year you can meet many tourists. It is located very close to the town of Salento, very picturesque for its beautiful and colorful facades.

 

Cocora Valley, Colombia – Image By: @vidasrodantes

Bonus Spot: San Cristobal de las Casas – Mexico

This is one of the many “magical towns” that exist throughout Mexico. It has remarkable colonial style, narrow streets and picturesque little houses. With a cool, pleasant climate and where respect and practice of the traditional and the ancestral is still breathed. But also, for us it has something even more special, our daughter Lupe was born here, she came to enlighten us and fill us with energy and a lot of love. In this city we shared our first months of her life, together getting to know each other and learning to be a mother, father and daughter.

 

Carolina, César and Lupe – Image By: @vidasrodantes

Spanish version/ versión en español

Hola! Somos Carolina y César, de Argentina. A principios del año 2017 decidimos hacer un cambio en nuestras vidas, salir de la zona de confort. Es así como compramos nuestra kombi VW, la equipamos en Octubre de ese mismo año salimos a las rutas de América con la idea de llegar hasta Alaska. Llevamos más de 2 años y medio con esta vida nómade y ya hemos recorrido gran parte de Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Perú, Ecuador, Colombia y México. Nos quedó pendiente recorrer Centroamérica, y por qué? Porque en Ecuador nos enteramos que estábamos embarazados y decidimos cruzar desde Colombia hacia México directamente, que fue el lugar en donde nació nuestra hija Lupe. 

Hoy debido a la situación mundialmente conocida, estamos de regreso en Argentina, junto con la familia y disfrutando de la bebé. Este tiempo nos sirve para pensar, planificar, evaluar opciones de cómo y de qué manera nuestro viaje va a continuar, porque sí vamos a continuar, aunque ahora con una integrante más.  

Hemos seleccionado los siguientes lugares teniendo en cuenta cómo impactaron en nosotros, qué sentimientos nos generaronlas experiencias que vivimos, los recuerdos que nos quedaron y en el orden en cómo fue nuestro recorrido con la kombi. 

 

1. Glaciar Perito Moreno – Santa Cruz – Argentina 

Ubicado dentro de un Parque Nacional a 80km de la ciudad de El Calafate, es uno de los pocos glaciares que aún sigue creciendo. El parque cuenta con pasarelas muy bien ubicadas que permite apreciar el glaciar, el cual oscila entre 40 y 70 mts de altura. Aproximadamente cada 4 años se produce un fenómeno único, el glaciar avanza hasta llegar a chocar con la tierra y de esta manera separa los dos brazos del Lago Argentino. Es tal la presión que ejerce el agua que se termina formando el famoso “puente de hielo”, el cual culmina con su espectacular rompimiento. De todas maneras hay rompimientos de paredes de hielo durante todo el año. El Parque abre de 8am hasta 8pm, no está permitido pernoctar dentro del mismo. 

 

Glaciar Perito Moreno, Argentina – Imagen De: @vidasrodantes

 

2. El Chaltén – Santa Cruz – Argentina 

Es un pequeño y pintoresco pueblo, rodeado de bosques, lagos, pequeños glaciares y a su vez, es la capital nacional del trekking. Cuenta con todas las opciones que puedan imaginar relacionadas con la montaña y su principal atracción es el cerro Fitz Roy, al cual se puede llegar caminando hasta su base. Todos los accesos a los senderos son gratuitos. 

TIP: en la base del cerro hay un camping gratis, recomendamos subir temprano para ver el amanecer ya que los primeros rayos del sol iluminan el Fitz Roy. 

 

3. Carretera Austral – Chile 

Ubicada en el sur de Chile, tiene un total de aproximadamente 1200kms desde la ciudad de Puerto Montt hasta Villa O’HigginsLa mayor parte del recorrido es de asfalto pero también se transitan caminos de tierra. En la carretera se pueden encontrar variedad ríos, cascadas, lagos, glaciares y animales silvestres. Algunos de los puntos destacados son: lago General Carrera, confluencia de los ríos Baker y Neff, Puerto Tranquilo (cavernas de mármol), Villa Cerro Castillo, Ventisquero colgante (glaciar). Se puede parquear prácticamente en cualquier lado, gratis, y te vas a encontrar rodeado de naturaleza pura.

TIP: la mejor época para recorrerla es entre Diciembre y Abril 

 

Carretera Austral, Chile – Imagen De: @vidasrodantes

4. Serranía del Hornocal – Jujuy – Argentina 

Esta gran sierra está ubicada a 25km de la ciudad de Humahuaca a una altura de 4700msnm, cuenta con la particularidad de poseer “capas” de distintas tonalidades, lo que le dio el nombre de “Cerro de los 14 colores”. Se puede llegar hasta el mirador en vehículo, por camino de tierra y con algunos sectores de precipicio.

TIP: llegar para el atardecer cuando el sol ilumina toda la sierra y se pueden apreciar bien los colores. 

 

5. Salar de Uyuni – Bolivia 

Es el desierto de sal más grande del mundo ubicado a unos 20kms de la ciudad de Uyuni. Es de acceso gratuito y se puede dormir en cualquier lado dentro del mismo salar. Se recomienda andar con precaución ya que no hay carreteras establecidas y es muy fácil desorientarse. Entre enero y febrero es temporada de lluvias por lo que el salar se convierte en un espejo único en donde se pierde noción del horizonte; el aspecto negativo es que no se divisa el piso, lo que lleva a tropezar con pozos y el agua salada perjudica la carrocería del vehículo (de todas maneras, en la ciudad de Uyuni te ofrecen servicio de lavado y desinfección).

TIP: te gusta la fotografía nocturna? Recomendamos ir en los días donde no hay luna y se encontrarán con el mejor cielo y vía láctea para fotografiar. 

 

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia – Imagen De: @vidasrodantes

6. Laguna Parón – Perú  

Es una de las lagunas más bellas, de color turquesa y rodeado de picos nevados que hay en la zona de los Andes peruanos. Está aproximadamente a dos horas a lo largo de un camino de tierra bastante escabroso desde la tranquila ciudad de Caraz. Hay que pagar una entrada de 5 dólares y se llega con el vehículo hasta casi la orilla de la laguna. Se puede dormir gratis en el vehículo o carpa, caso contrario está la opción de hospedarse en un humilde refugio de montaña por aproximadamente 3 dólares. La laguna se encuentra a 4200msnm. Tiene un mirador al cual se puede subir por un camino que rodea toda la laguna. También están los lugareños que te lleva en bote recorriendo la laguna por 20 dólares.

TIP: Pasar una noche ahí para levantarte al amanecer y contemplar los picos nevados iluminados por el sol.  Las excursiones no abundan en este paraíso por lo que la mayoría de las veces puedes aprovechar el lugar en soledad.  

 

7. Cañón del Pato – Perú 

Es unos de larutas que puedes tomar para regresar desde la zona de los Andes hacia la costa peruana, o viceversa. Es uno de los caminos escénicos más bellos de Perú pero también más peligrosos, ya que se recorre bordeando el cañón que llega por momentos hasta 60m de profundidad. En el camino atraviesas más de 35 túneles de montaña, en los cuales debes tocar la bocina antes de cruzar ya que la ruta es muy estrecha y no alcanzan a circular 2 vehículos al mismo tiempo. Paisajes bellos y adrenalina al mismo tiempo, para disfrutar y hacer videos divertidos (siempre con precaución). 

 

8. Oriente Ecuatoriano – Ecuador 

La ruta del Oriente o selva ecuatoriana nos encantó. Realmente  se respira la selva tropical combinado con tradiciones de pueblos originarios. Como todo Ecuador, con rutas en excelentes condiciones,  hicimos el camino que recorre desde Cuenca, pasando por Macas, Puyo y Tena hasta el mirador del volcán Reventador, actualmente en actividad. En el camino te encuentras con una densa y húmeda selva repleta de vegetación, ríos, cascadas, algunos animales silvestres y lugareños con muy buena onda. 

TIP: Dentro del Parque Nacional Cayambe-Coca se puede estacionar y pasar la noche, desde allí hay un sendero hacia la cascada San Rafael, la más grande de Ecuador. Además, desde este mismo punto se observa el volcán Reventador.  

 

Volcán Reventador, Ecuador – Imagen De: @vidasrodantes

 

9. Valle de Cocora- Salento – Colombia

Hermosa extensión natural y selvática ubicada en el eje cafetero colombiano, con la particularidad que está repleta de árboles de Palma, las cuales pueden llegar hasta los 60mts de alturaÚnicas en el mundo y en peligro de extinción ya que los animales que se encuentran en las bases se alimentan de las semillas de las mismasEl acceso es gratis, aunque se pueden encontrar algunas caminatas dentro de las fincas en donde cobran entrada ya que son privadas. Hay pocas zonas en la calle donde se puede estacionar y pasar la noche gratis. De todas maneras hay posadas y hospedajes donde alojarse. 

Es una atracción muy popular por lo que en ciertas épocas del año te puedes encontrar con muchos turistas. Está ubicada muy cerca del pueblo de Salento, muy pintoresco por sus bellas y coloridas fachadas.  

Bonus Track: San Cristobal de las Casas – México  

Es uno de los tantos “pueblos mágicos” que existen en todo México. Con estilo colonial, calles estrechas y casitas pintorescas. De clima fresco, agradable y donde aún se respira el respeto y la práctica de lo tradicional y lo ancestral. Pero además, para nosotros tiene algo más especial aún, aquí nació nuestra hija Lupe, llegó para iluminarnos y llenarnos de energía y mucho amor. En esta ciudad compartimos sus primeros meses de vida, juntos conociéndonos y aprendiendo a ser madre, padre e hija. 

 

header image of VW Bus parked up during quarantine.

Buslife Off The Road – How Our Buslife Ambassadors Are Spending Quarantine

2020 has made some huge and unexpected changes to life and especially for Buslife. From canceled travel plans to setting up long-term stays in unexpected places, the global pandemic has had a huge impact on those of us yearning to get out into the world and explore.

Used to the free-spiritedness of being able to pick up and move from one day to the next, quarantine has taught all of us about stillness and the value of bringing life down to a slower pace. Our days are now filled with daydreams of future routes, renovations to improve our VW Buses, and building community as we connect with fellow Buslifers.

Recently, we caught up with our Buslifers Ambassadors to find out how they’re spending the quarantine. We chatted about plans post-pandemic and gathered advice for those wanting to live their own VW Buslife.

Read on to find out what they had to say…

@vanlife_volver_a_lo_simple_ have taken to opportunity to strip their VW Bus out and renovate it. Photo by: @vanlife_volver_a_lo_simple_

@odiseaporamerica

How has your Buslife changed during the pandemic?

At first it was difficult since we couldn’t find a safe place to park our little house on wheels. We were kicked out of parking spots by police on several occasions. They didn’t understand that the Kombi is our home. 

Luckily, we got to the right place eventually and a neighbor allowed us to stay on a piece of their property in Costa Rica. The spot has access to various facilities and above all, has given us a calm and safe space to pass the quarantine…and it was by the sea! 

How are you bringing Buslife into your lockdown life?

In our case, we’ve been able to continue to carry on with our life on the bus normally, only without moving! It makes us very anxious to not be on the road, but we know that worldwide it’s a serious matter and we must remain safe in one place for the time being. 

Where are you now and how has it been living the Buslife during these times?

We’re currently in Costa Rica and our idea is to continue traveling when it’s possible. Leaving our trip was never an option, so we’re grateful to have some peace of mind knowing that the pandemic found us in a good place where everything is quite controlled.

Do you have any plans for after the pandemic?

We want to go back to Panama for a few months and get to know Bocas del Toro and then resume our journey North to Alaska. 

Do you have any advice for other Buslifers out there?

Our advice for those who continue to wait for the ideal moment is: dare to travel. We hope this pandemic has been a wake-up call for people to realize that the ideal time is NOW. The future is unpredictable and there’s nothing worse than regretting something for having not done it. 

@van.wanderers

How has your Buslife changed during the pandemic?

We were lucky enough to be able to spend these past few months in our native town with our families. However, while the initial months were fairly easy to pass in lockdown (after all we’re already used to spending a lot of time together in a tight space), as summer arrived, it’s become more difficult to deal with the many travel restrictions. 

Where are you now and how has it been living the Buslife during these times?

We started traveling a little on and off as the lockdown lifted, usually choosing more remote locations where there weren’t many people. In the context of COVID-19, living and traveling with a van has some big advantages as you don’t need to use accommodation and can find secluded places to stay where social distancing isn’t a problem. 

Do you have any plans for after the pandemic?

We have so many plans! However, it’s difficult to believe that there will ever be such a clear cut time as “after the pandemic.” The situation will clearly continue for the remainder of this year (and who knows, maybe next year too) so it’s important to adapt and learn to take care of ourselves and others. What we hope to be able to do soon, is travel more and be able to cross the borders. 

Do you have any advice for other Buslifers out there?

Stay safe is the most important advice we could give! Make sure to take all the necessary precautions, stay low if you have to and use this time to work on your van and your plans. Just make the best of it!

@oxenteevamosdekombi

How has your Buslife changed during the pandemic?

In Argentina travel is totally stopped due to the strict quarantine. Right now there’s no possibility of being on the road and only authorized people like health, safety and first-aid professionals are allowed to be driving. For now, we’re seeing the world from our window and making a thousand plans for future trips. 

How are you bringing Buslife into your lockdown life?

We continue to interact a lot with the Buslife lifestyle on social networks and through documentaries on the internet. It’s a way of life that really interests us and we feel that Buslife is in our blood. 

Do you have any plans for after the pandemic?

As we mentioned before, we’ve stopped due to the quarantine, but have many plans and routes drawn for when it’s safe to travel again. Its been hard living 24-hours away from home, as we’re concerned for our family and friends, but we’re rooting for the world to make a quick recovery with a definitive vaccine. We have hope to get back to Buslife soon!

@latinakombi

How has your Buslife changed during the pandemic?

We were hoping to travel again with our new family member, but when the pandemic started, we decided to remodel the interior of the Kombi instead. Currently we’re not able to resume traveling just yet and have cancelled our plans as COVID-19 continues to evolve in Latin America.

This little girl was supposed to be going on a Buslife adventure, but will have to wait until the pandemic is over. Photo by: @latinakombi

How are you bringing Buslife into your lockdown life?

We’re living in an apartment, so there’s very little Buslife right now. However, we see a lot of photos and videos online and plan to see what we can do when all of this is over.

Do you have any plans for after the pandemic?

We want to travel again! We don’t know where yet, but we would really like to visit Eastern Europe and the United States. Before the pandemic, we didn’t have the chance to travel Utah, Arizona and other states with awesome national parks.

Do you have any advice for other Buslifers out there?

We’re going to have that freedom again that we enjoy so much. That feeling of being on the road and not knowing what can happen, who you will know, what place you will visit next, and where you will sleep. We’re all in the same place right now but everything will be solved soon! 

remote work

The Buslife And Remote Work: The Perfect Marriage

If you haven’t yet considered starting a freelance career, or if you’ve been thinking about, this article is a must-read! Remote work, also known as freelancing, is more accepted and available than ever. As a Buslifer, the main benefit of building a freelance career is that you can work while traveling! In fact, you can decide your own working hours. Sounds like a match made in heaven, right?

The Freelance Boom

The demand for remote workers has grown rapidly over the past few years. A major trend is the increased digital presence of businesses around the world. This has led to a demand for specific skills that are relatively new in the marketplace.

Examples of such specific expertise include:

  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Ads
  • Social Media Management
  • Copywriting
  • Web Design
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Graphic Design
  • Video Animation
  • Photography
  • App Development
  • Project Management

While freelancing was already booming, the COVID-19 pandemic has opened up a whole new chapter. Companies have been forced to let their staff work from home if possible. This unique experience may well be a lasting one. In short: This is the time to build your freelance presence!

Self-Education is Key

Think about your expertise, past experiences, educational background, and interests. Is there anything that stands out for you? Perhaps you are interested in writing. One of the high-demand freelance jobs is website copywriting.

Even if you don’t have the right experience, self-education can bring you very far. Self-education is essential because the digital world is constantly changing. If you want to be a successful remote worker, you need to evolve your skills. Therefore one of our main tips is to continuously educate yourself. Even if it’s just a few minutes per day. This could be reading an article online or following a Udemy course.

freelancing on upwork

Get Started On Upwork

Did you know that the Buslifers workforce consists of freelancers from all over the world? Most of our team members have been hired through a platform called Upwork. We highly recommend you check it out and create a profile. Upwork is by far the most popular freelancing platform in the world.

Some of the key benefits of Upwork

  • Create several specialized profiles to highlight different skills
  • Large database of jobs
  • Guaranteed payment through Upwork’s Escrow system
  • Get paid by the hour or opt for a fixed price
  • Dispute mediation for freelancers
  • Get more profile views and job offers by obtaining a top-rated status

If you’d like to, we can dive deeper into the Upwork platform in a separate blog post. Let us know in the comments!

4 Other Remote Work Platforms To Check Out

We do not have direct experience with other freelance platforms. However, here’s a list of four popular websites you may want to look into:

Are You Ready To Dive In?

This is a time of great opportunity, especially for Buslifers around the world. It is possible to live a simple life and to travel while earning money. In fact, it has never been so easy. Has this article awoken your interest? What is your dream career? Let us know if you’re ready to give freelancing a try.

5 Fun Ways To Live The BusLife During Lockdown

This article contains affiliate links, by using them it helps finance the BusLifers community. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Quarantine. The unexpected, but rapidly implemented regulation that has radically shifted our pace of life. It is a necessary step, to make sure our medical institutions are not overwhelmed with sick patients from the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it has also stripped us of our freedom of movement, something BusLifers thrive on.

We cannot change this right now, but we can change what we make of our situation. Other traits of a BusLifer are their resilience to change, creativity and their powerful ability to have fun! The BusLifers team have been thinking up their own creative ways to keep entertained during quarantine and keep the essence of BusLife as well. Here are our top five ways to live the BusLife during lockdown!

Puzzle-Powered Presence

The feeling of presence is something that everyone seeks. That’s part of living the BusLife. It helps slow down the pace of life and open up opportunities to be in the moment.

Do you know what else can power that feeling of presence? PUZZLES! In a meditative state you can be drawn into the cryptic collage of puzzle pieces, taking your time to savour each satisfying click of the piece into place.

Our favorite ones are of course VW Bus themed. For those with plenty of patience this 3000 piece puzzle or this 2000 piece puzzle will keep you entertained and present for several hours. For the kids, try this 162 piece 3D puzzle instead.

If you still desire the feeling of presence, but want a bit more creative freedom, why not try this VW Bus themed coloring book!

Top Tip: Puzzles make great wall art when they are finished, why not frame it and hang it up!

Build The Bus

Okay, Okay, this might sound like a big undertaking, but how about on a miniature scale? Ever wanted to build you own VW Bus from scratch? It’s the dream!

We really love this LEGO VW Bus build, but who doesn’t live LEGO right?

If you want to build a more realistic VW Bus model, there is this beautiful version from Revell which requires building, gluing and painting. If that sounds like too much work, this quick build version from Airfix is a good option.

Not everyone has the knack or patience for building and much prefer the thrills of a good race. That’s why we love this radio controlled VW Bus from Maisto. Get two and go head-to-head in a VW Bus race!

Top Tip: Use furniture and everyday items to build yourself the ultimate race course!

The Ultimate Lockdown Adventure

Who needs to travel far away to some exotic place, when there is plenty of adventure to be had in the garden? Get the old tent out of a garage, pitch it wherever you can and let your imagination run free. Make a full day of it and explore your garden like you’ve never done before by zooming in on the smallest details. The bug safari is an all time favorite!

This really is a great way to keep the kids entertained and you will love it too! If you have a child who really feels most at home in the VW Bus, try this themed tent to keep them happy!

Top Tip: While a garden is nice, it’s an unnecessary luxury. Even the living room can make a great campsite and there are still plenty of bugs to be found in the barren wastelands under the sofa! 

The BusLifers Library Selection

Paper has a certain absorptive quality, especially in the form of a book. In this case, it absorbs your attention in exchange for knowledge, entertainment and inspiration. Best of all, there are so many VW Bus books out there!

If you are into the history of the VW Bus we recommend you read this book, or this book. For the most wild and outrageous VW Bus ideas we recommend this book instead.

When it comes to culture this book by Foster Huntington and this book by Kathleen Morton are not to be missed.

Top Tip: By purchasing the last two books, you are also supporting other BusLifers to carry on their adventures. 

Inspiration For The First Post-Quarantine Trip

No Quarantine entertainment list would be complete without a couple of awesome movies. Of course, we’ve selected three movies where out favorite character is the lead role. Yes, the VW Bus!

In this movie, follow four famous bands on a 3000 mile tour across America in 5 classic VW Buses. Expect some great additions to your next road trip playlist here.

Little Miss Sunshine, is a cozy classic about a families cross-country road trip in a bright yellow VW Bus. With multiple Oscar awards, you know this is not to be missed.

Last but not least, Damon Ristau encompasses the entire history of the VW Bus in this quirky and thoroughly enjoyable documentary!

Top Tip: If you need more movies after this one, we will shortly be creating a more extensive list of our top VW Bus related movies. Stay Tuned!

By: Nathen Fitchen
July 09, 2020

The Search for the Poet’s VW

As lovers of the VW Bus, I bet you will never tire of good stories about cozy vans and their adventurous owners. Stories about those unique owners, the writers, and artists amongst us, whose work is widely inspiring. Well, today I’m bringing you one of those stories! One about a group of inspiring individuals and not one but two beautiful VW T2 Campervans. It’s a story that you (believe it or not) could end up becoming one of the main characters.

So sit back and join me for a few minutes. I promise it will be a beautiful journey across time, space and literature.

In late June 1982, Julio Cortázar and Carol Dunlop reached the port of Marseille, their final destination on an epic trip that started in Paris. But instead of taking the usual 9 hours, it had taken them 33 days. They drove along the “Autoroute du Soleil” following three simple rules: never leave the motorway, stop in every rest area and stay overnight in one out of every two places. A year and a half later the memories of this playful journey became their famous book “The Autonauts of the Cosmoroute”, one of the funniest and meaningful traveling stories ever written. It’s also one that is a particular favorite among VW lovers around the world, thanks to the vehicle they drove, a 1971 VW T2 Camper Westfalia.

 

BusLifers

Source: Wikipedia

Since I began researching the history of automobiles in culture, nearly two decades ago, “The Autonauts of the Cosmoroute” has always remained in the back of my mind. In 2017, after discovering an obscure anecdote about Rudyard Kipling and his beloved Rolls-Royce, I was left feeling inspired. As far as I knew nobody had ever told the “biography” of the VW T2 Camper that transported Cortázar and Dunlop from Paris to Marseille, at a leisurely pace of 30 minutes of driving per day. So I decided to write a small book about the “third autonaut”, the van that Cortázar famously nicknamed Fafner, after a German mythological dragon.

But first, I needed to know whether the VW was still around. So I decided to start where the story ends: to discover what happened to Fafner after that June day in Marseille. Luckily, it was not long before a friend sent me what I needed to know: in 2014 somebody had posted a few pictures of the dust-covered Fafner in a garage where it had sat, hidden from the world for more than two decades.

That “somebody” was the Canadian journalist Tobin Dalrymple, who kindly agreed to be interviewed by me. He explained how he found Fafner whilst working on a documentary about the life of Cortázar and Dunlop (that also turned out to be a personal journey) and the reason behind why their VW had been hidden away. Barely four months after the end of their trip, in November 1982, Dunlop sadly died from a blood disease. She was aged just 36. Cortázar was left heartbroken and couldn’t bear to look at the VW again because of the memories. Despite this, he couldn’t sell his dear old metal friend. He gave it to a couple who were close to him, the writers Osman Necmi Gurmen and Anne Courselles, so it would remain “in the family”. Cortázar focused on completing “The Autonauts of the Cosmoroute”, which was later published in November 1983. Three months later, tragedy sadly struck, when in February 1984, Cortázar also died. After this Fafner, the third autonaut entered decades of retirement.

Going back to Dalrymple, he wasn’t the first person to discover the whereabouts of Fafner: months before a Turkish filmmaker, Mustafa Unlu, had unveiled its location whilst filming a documentary about Gurmen. When Dalrymple heard about Fafner, he had to go and see the VW for himself! In late March 2014, he finally managed to sit in the driver’s seat and run his hands over the metal skin of the old dragon. It was like finding an untouched pharaoh’s tomb.

So thanks to the work and kind advice of Dalrymple and Unlu I knew how Fafner was lost, found and now treasured by a relative of Cortázar. It was also thanks to Cortázar’s work and letters that I gained an insight into the beautiful adventures he in his VW during the 1970s. Now it was up to me to discover when, why and how the writer first came to meet Fafner.

It was the prequel of the story that would soon introduce me to another beautiful 1968 VW T2 Camper-Westfalia, who is, in fact, the true star of this article.

In 1969 Cortázar had just divorced from his wife and was slowly building a new life with the love of his friends. One of those friends was the poet Paul Blackburn, An English translator for Cortázar and an expert in middle-age French poetry. Blackburn had been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to continue his research on troubadours. He, therefore, planned a long European journey that year, during which he arranged to visit Cortázar at his small summer house in Saignon, the south of France.

The summer’s day when Blackburn and his fiancée Joan Miller met Cortázar in Saignon is a poignant moment in the story. They arrive at Cortázar’s house in a beautiful green VW T2 Campervan that Blackburn had bought earlier that year in the Netherlands. From the moment Cortázar saw it, the idea of a “rolling home” sparked exciting ideas and plans in his mind. The pop-top made the van like look like a cute cartoon, and the practical house-like interior could carry food, books, records, and a typewriter. After that day in nearly every letter Cortázar sent to Blackburn, he reminded him “I’m going to buy a VW like yours, I’ve decided!”. It was later in early 1971 that he finally did.

So since Blackburn’s VW was the true inspiration behind Cortázar’s purchase of Fafner, I thought it was necessary to track its story and find out if this VW was also still around. Thanks to the professor Ammiel Alcalay from the City University of New York I managed to reach Joan Miller, who, well into her seventies was kind enough to share some emails with lovely memories of that summer and an interesting fact about the van: when Blackburn died (1971) she kept the VW for some years but in the mid 70’s she needed a safer and smaller car for her and her little boy, so she sold it to a dealership in Long Island.

That’s the last known location we have of Blackburn’s Camper. Never one to give up, I am refusing to accept that this is the end of the story.

Blackburn’s VW might have been crushed in a junkyard long ago, sunk in the Florida swamps or chopped up as decoration for a surfer’s bar. But, Volkswagens are 20th-century icons and these vehicles are revered by legions of fans like the BusLifers community! This means it may well still be around somewhere, enjoying more adventures with its new owners. So how do I find it? After 45 years and who-knows-what modifications, how could I know that it’s the same VW? For any car lover, the obvious answer is the VIN.

Blackburn played a key role in mid-20th century US poetry, helping connections between the Beats and the New Poetry movement during the 1960s. That’s why his archive was later donated to the San Diego University Library. I emailed them asking for help, and they came back to me with something unexpected: Dr. Nina Mamikunian, Director of the Library, sent me a page from a notebook in Blackburn’s handwriting with all the details about the VW purchase, including its price, date of collection, original Dutch plate numbers… and the precious VIN, along with the engine number!

So, here’s where you, the BusLifers community, can help me with the next stage of this story and give it another chapter. Maybe one of you own Paul’s VW without even knowing? Or, you might think that your friends 1968 T2 might be the van. It could be anywhere in the world and have had many modifications but the VIN (and hopefully engine number) should remain the same.

If Blackburn’s VW is now yours, I’d love the opportunity to interview you. To hear where you bought it, learn about your own adventures with it and the stories you have written whilst traveling onboard. With your help, I might even be able to trace the story back to that Long Island dealership in the mid 1970s. Although Fafner and Blackburn’s van never met each other, it will be wonderful to know that both of them are still around, connected by a beautiful story that journey’s from Paris to Marseille, from Saignon to Courtland, from Cortázar to Dunlop, Miller to Blackburn… and now to you.

 

The vans details are as follows:

Volkswagen Campmobile 1968 model (type 231021)

Green, 3 doors

VIN: 23-8.085700

Engine Number: B5020.991

 

If you know anything about it, I would love to hear from you. Please write to:

 

Luis Ortego

lmortego@gmail.com