Working in the Van

Sometimes everything just fits together. In my work with video production & photography I always wanted to portrait unique places or people. I imagined to combine that with my love for traveling. In the summer 2018 & 2019 I was allowed to exactly do that. In collaboration with NAF Digital I travelled for three month in different areas of Norway to capture handpicked and unique experiences in photo and video.

 

NAF Lokalkjent is a digital travel service that provides overview and booking services for several experiences along the Norwegian tourist routes. For me it was a great chance to get to know all the different areas, people and their businesses. I visited a lot of unique sleepover places, restaurants, museums, but also outdoor activities like moose and musk ox safaris, rafting or biking. In my teaser film of summer 2018 you can get an impression of that.

VANLIFE, WORK AND IT’S CHALLENGES

During the whole time I lived in my selfconverted van. I always loved the flexibility and comfort to have my own space with me. It’s an amazing feeling of freedom and sometimes it’s even exactly as romantic as it looks on Instagram. But I figured out quickly working full-time while living in the van can be challenging as well and it needs special preparation. Here are five things I wish I would have thought about earlier:

1. SOLID ELECTRICITY SUPPLY
While working from the road you most likely need electricity to charge your devices. And you will need a lot of it. When you’re in the middle of a project that needs all of your focus, you don’t want to think about lack of power. In the best case your batterie is charging with solar power, so you’re not dependent by an external supplier and find yourself at a camp spot every other day to recharge your batteries (like me).

 

2. INTERNET CONNECTION
It’s beautiful to be outside in nature and to be able to work from there as well. But before you find yourself a beautiful spot in the middle of the wilderness, make sure you’re not too far off, so you don’t suddenly sit there realizing there isn’t any internet or phone connection. Having to leave a place again because of that sucks.

 

3. TIME MANAGEMENT
Living in the van takes time. Especially when you’re having a simpler build without normal facilities. Figuring out where to shower, where to get water, power, food and where to park next night. Everything you normally don’t even think about, suddenly needs time and care. Especially while working, it helps to have a good time management and get all things done at once, so you’re not busy driving around all the time, because you forgot something.

 

4. THINGS BREAK APART
Especially in selfbuild vans, things just break apart after a while. When you’re in the middle of a work project, you don’t always have the time or possibility to travel to a place where those things can be fixed. It helps to bring enough tools, so you can repair smaller things by yourself, even though you’re on the road.

 

5. VANLIFE IS EXHAUSTING
Being every day at a different spot, driving, finding sleeping spots, being outside all the time. All of that sounds nice, but to be honest – traveling it exhausting! Especially when you’re working at the same time. It’s super important to be careful with your energy and give yourself breaks.

All in all I feel so blessed and grateful for these experiences. Sometimes when people talk about vanlife, I feel they either totally romanticizing it or just focusing on the negatives parts – like all you’ll ever see and read about it is fake. I think some things in life you’ll just have to try yourself to see how they really are. Also when it comes to working while traveling. If you’ll never give it a try, it will never have a chance to work. In the best case you’ll learn something. Personally I learned so much during these month living and working in the van, even though many things kind of failed. I had the chance to meet amazing people, learn about the different places and go on adventures. And all that while doing what I love to do most – capture the atmosphere around me in photo and video.

Results of the project you can see here:



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