We are Livia and Mattia, a couple from Zurich, Switzerland. In June 2019 we decided to quit our jobs, hand in the keys of our apartment and leave with all our belongings packed in two duffle bags and one goal: The Panamericana.
Starting in Vancouver, our VW Bus Westfalia 1982 named Melvan, since then takes us all over North and Central America. The name was chosen by the previous owner, so we kept it. Why rename a 37-year-old baby, right? For an air-cooled we bought on Craigslist, the VW Bus still runs surprisingly well, especially considering that we have already driven from Alaska to Mexico, I just feel sorry for the people who drive behind us when the road is a little steeper.


We just had enough of working all the time. We are young and want to discover the world! There are so many beautiful places in this world that we still have to discover and it just doesn’t work from a desk. We want to see as many beautiful sunsets, beaches and places as we can, meet interesting people, eat delicious food and explore things. We are blessed that we have the opportunity to take such a trip, so why not do it?


What does the BusLife mean to you?

BusLife means for us to experience something new every day, to discover places off the beaten track and simply to do whatever we like.

What are the biggest advantages and challenges of living the BusLife?

Definitely that we can do what, when and wherever we want and still we sleep at highway rest areas, poop in the forest or get stuck in the sand sometimes.

Tell us your favourite destination you have travelled to so far?

This is so hard! Every place has its own charm. Watching the salmon migration in Alaska, turquoise lakes in no man’s land in Canada, driving through the Mojave Desert with open windows. All fantastic experiences! But we fell in love in Mexico. Wild camping is nowhere easier than in Baja California, most of the time we had the beaches practically to ourselves and could watch whales from the shore for hours. The mainland, of which we unfortunately only saw the northwest, is beautifully green and has great surf spots for beginners, fantastic food and the people are all incredibly nice. Viva la Mexico!

What’s your favourite thing about your VW Bus?

That it’s so small. We fit into every parking space, every campsite and through every narrow street. It is also amazingly suitable for offroad use. We are always amazed with how easily the old car drives through sand dunes, knee-deep puddles and washed out roads. Nevertheless, we have place for everything what we need, the “kitchen” is equipped extremely well, and we always have fresh air thanks to our pop-top.

What advise would you give to anyone starting a travel adventure in a VW Bus?

Do your own thing! We were often disappointed when we saw the big tourist sights. Our expectations were always so high because of the pictures on social media and when we got there, the place was filled with people and only half as nice as in the pictures we saw before. The most magnificent places were often the second largest waterfall in the area, which is not in any travel guide and you can only find when you speak to the locals. 

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