About

We’re Sam and Beth, two 25 year olds from the UK who decided to see the incredible continent on our doorstep before stepping in to adult life. We’re travelling around Europe in our 1972 T2 Dormobile for a year (or at least until the money lasts!), driving slow and taking it all in. 

We like the refer to our adventures as Where’s Whippy. The VW bus belonged to Beth’s parents and had many adventures with them (including a honeymoon!) and with Beth and her brother as kids but when it developed a few issues it was put in a barn for a while until they could be fixed. That while turned into a decade and that was when we decided to pull the old girl out and give her some much needed TLC. We spent two years fixing her up and saving before we were ready to ‘set sail’ as it were. Beth’s parents had previously owned a bus in New Zealand called Mr Whippy (it looked like an ice cream truck) so it seemed right to call ours Mrs Whippy. And as we drive around the world one can ask: ‘Where’s Whippy?’ 

Our route follows a big clockwise loop of Europe. We are over seven months in now, we’ve visited 19 countries and clocked up 10,000 miles. We headed north for summer because our air-cooled engine wouldn’t enjoy the heat of an Italian summer and we’re now migrating south for winter because a van with 12 windows isn’t fit for Arctic winter! 

Mission

Travel obliterates what you perceive as normal. Driving a van around a continent so varied in culture and customs is a fantastic way to submerse yourself and learn all kinds of new things. Instead of getting into a job and working for years to build up to doing a trip like this we decided to do it now, when we’re young, energetic, keen and ready to push our boundaries. We want to broaden our horizons and absorb information of all varieties so that we can use our experiences to begin our own business one day when we finally settle down. If we see some beautiful things along the way, drink some good coffee and meet some great folks as well then all the better! 

FAQ’s

What does the BusLife mean to you?

BusLife means keeping things simple, it means using few resources (other than guzzling fuel) and getting excited by simple luxuries. It’s about exploring new places but equally taking time to read, learn and grow. Living in 80 square feet means being conscious and respectful to each other and being happy only talking to each other for long periods, and of course the gas station attendant every couple of days. 

BusLife means every day a new horizon, each morning a different view from your front door as you drink your coffee, each time not knowing what that view will be, or who you’ll meet, but being excited for whatever or whoever it might be.

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

Of course living in a tiny space for a long time can be tough. It can be insanely cold, the type of cold where water containers freeze solid and the condensation from your breath freezes on cold surfaces then melts in the morning sun, creating inside rain. Not being able to stretch out in your bed (if you’re 6’2”) or having the ability to jump in a hot shower after a day of muddy adventuring. There are many things that are not ideal, but that being said, these are the compromises we take to allow us to lead this life. And the positives far outweigh the negatives. Aside from having amazing bedroom window views, you bring your home with you everywhere you go and so always have everything you need. What better when you reach an awesome spot than to pull out a camp chair, make a cup of tea sit and enjoy the view. 

Driving such an iconic vehicle always draws a lot of attention. There are times when we wish we were a little more inconspicuous in big cities or when trying to discreetly free-camp. But most of the time driving a vintage vehicle brings smiles, waves, thumbs up, shakas and friendly strangers keen to see inside and ask questions. In places where language differences limit communication the dust covering the bus’ backend is useful for scribbling ‘VW 1972’ in!

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

It’s hard to pick one place as a favourite but we’d have to say Finland. Norway steals a lot of hype and Finland is usually associated with snow and northern lights. But in the summer with endless daylight, endless trees and lakes, canoes, reindeer, berries and saunas Finland is hard to beat. 

What’s your favourite thing about your VW Bus?

Our favourite thing about BusLife is that no matter where we are, and sometimes it can be a dirty car park in the middle of a city, when the curtains are pulled and the doors locked it is just us in our little home. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in the world outside because we have each other, a hot drink, the fairy lights on and in our little home at that present moment we are safe and happy.

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

To any budding VW BusLifers about to embark on a adventure – treat your old girl well and she’ll return the love. Be patient and learn to do slow, you’ll see more that way. You are driving a piece of history, a piece of art and an amazingly functional vehicle. They’re simple creature and so fairly easy to fix. So get out there and explore and you’ll be able to go further than those in newer van and you’ll look better while doing it!

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