Dreams… I am pretty sure everybody has dreams, dreams about things to do or about things to experience or simply about things to own. I strongly believe it should be everybody’s right to follow their dreams and take a shot at what above all would make them happy, whatever that might be. A dream might be unrealistic in other people’s eyes or maybe even in your own eye’s but people that really follow their dreams can only win.
Follow your dreams, it sounds so easy. But nothing worth having comes easy, and to follow your dreams most likely means you have to give up other things that mean a lot to you.
In my case I have to give up something that is the hardest thing to give up on if you ask me. Comfort. Comfort in my stable job and good income. comfort from my family, my friends, my hometown and most of all comfort in security. To take a leap in the unknown and find out if it works out scares me, but I can’t postpone the pursuit of my dream any longer. I can’t tell myself that living like I do now satisfies me enough to give up on my dream.
To tell you my dream I need a lot of words, I am happy to wright all these words but you might not have the time or the will to read them all so first a real short version of my dream.
The Dream in nap size.
The dream is to travel the world in a ’89 VW van. Starting of with a transatlantic boat trip from Antwerp Belgium to New York. In New york we will have 4 days to get the van travel ready. From there we will drive North into Canada, cross Canada to the west. From there on its all going south all the way down to the South of Argentina. This Trip would take us about 2 years, that gives us enough time to figure out what continent to travel next.
I am not able to tell you my dream in less words than that, this might have got you interested in the whole dream and plan.
The Dream in full night of sleep size.
The reason I started dreaming about traveling the world in a old VW van is all because my love for travelling and for older vehicles. To be able to tell you my dream you need to know some of my past that leads up to having my ultimate dream.
The first real trip I made was unprepared nobody saw it coming, that is the reason why this trip changed my life as it did. Wile studying, me and a friend decided to skip classes for a couple hours. While hanging around in school using the school computers for the internet we dicided to look for jobs on a Caribbean island (not something our teachers were trying to teach us). Soon enough we found 2 job openings at a interior building company on the island of Aruba. We were 21 years old and soon found ourselves having the time of our lives working and living on a Caribbean island.
Wile working and living on Aruba a Miami based model agency offered a contract to become a model. I signed with this agency, and they send me of to through Europe to get my “career” going. Starting out with a month in Athens followed by a month in Milan my love for travelling started growing. Turns out I was not the best model in Europe so my money ran out fast and I had to get back to my “normal” life in Holland. The agency I signed with wanted me to come to try and make it in Miami, not hesitating one bit I hopped on a plain to the US to get myself some more taste of travelling. Way to soon it turned out the market in Miami was not in my favor neighter, and I had to move back home. Back home me and my girlfriend had the opportunity to move to Barcelona for 6 months. Seeing, feeling and tasting new and unfamiliar places became a passion. This passion never died down. Trips to different parts of the world all around Europe and Australia only grew my hunger to travel more.
“Nothing compares with arriving in a new city when I know nothing about the city or its people, everything is a exciting and refreshing experience”
Old timer vehicles.
After driving my bicycle to get where I needed to be I decided to get myself my first wheels. These wheels turned out to be the start of my love for old timer’s because my first wheels were an old Vespa. Working on the Vespa to keep it running took just as much time as driving it, slowly getting to know the mechanics and driving it was awesome. Turned out Vespa’s are not all that reliable, and start rusting away as soon as they left the factory, I knew I needed to get me some different wheels. This was the start of driving and working one different vespa’s and old moppet’s. A bit later in life my passion for old timers outgrew just having the Vespa’s.
Being inspired by Vespa’s with a bigger engine and custom cafe-racers I set out to get my motorbike licence. After some lessons, studying and exams I managed to to get my licence. Doing a lot of research I knew I wanted a old Honda CB 750. In the end I bought a CB 750KZ with a 900CC engine. Buying the bike from a bike mechanic I asked him to chop the back and do some things to the bike that I am not capable of myself. Still adding and removing parts and bits the bike will never be 100% done but it is a roaring work of progress the is able to satisfy my need for driving a bit faster than Vespa’s or old van’s.
By this time I was still driving my first car, a ’99 Opel Corsa. Not my dream car but it took me where i needed to go for cheap. After a trip through Australia with a rented campervan my whole idea on driving a car and travel changed. There was no getting away from the idea of owning a campervan. After a whole lot research and even more saving I got myself a ’89 VW T3 van, and converted it to a campervan with all the parts of a Westfalia camper. This van is now my daily driver and the base of my dream. Check out my that path I took to buy my van, or the progress on transforming the van to a campervan.
Travel and oldtimers combined.
So there you have it the two main ingredients of starting dreaming; travels and old wheels. Travelling with old timers started with me and my brother packing our vespa’s up and drive around Europe. After 3 summers of driving through Europe on 75CC vespa’s we did the same on our moterbike’s in 2014.
Driving around with just a tent, the nessesary tools and cooking stuff is something I will always love! Travelling through Australia in a campervan got me use to a bit more comfort while travelling. Not having to set up a tent every night but sleeping in a van is a huge difference. Although there is more comfort in a van I still have a drive to travel in a minimalisic and responsible manner. Owning a campervan opens a whole new world of freedom and it pulled me even deeper into the need to travel. To be able to satisfy this need to travel Dreams On Wheels grew from a dream to the biggest project I ever started.
The big dream.
The dream ladies and gentlemen is to leave all securities behind and jump in the unknown. This unknown I am talking about is America, not just the USA but all of the America’s from Canada to Argentina. To travel this big unknown I will have to ship my van to the other side of the ocean and I planned to start driving from New york. I work for a company that does projects in New York, and my boss kindly let me drive our van into one of his containers that will ship to New York. From that point on the plan is to not have a plan, to live every day by making the absolute best out of it. This website will be the main way of sharing my dream with whoever is interested. On the road I will wright blogs and will edit en post video’s.
“I have no choice than to answer to the call that screams from my heart, telling me to try and live life in a exploring, minimalist and adventurous way.”
The only plan to stick to is to drive south, spent not more that 10,- a day (besides gas).
In the end the goal is to make it to Argentina in 2 years with a lifetime of experience.
From there on, who knows what will happen.
The never ending list of expenses:
- Shipping the van Antwerp Belgium-New York 2000,- Sponsored by Stabilo
- Ticket Amsterdam Holland-New York 1000,- 50% sponsored by STabilo
- 365 days times two for 10,- a day is 7300,-
- 20.000 KM New York to Panama 1,- per 10 KM 2000,-
- Crossing the Darien gap (Panama to Colombia) by ferry 1000,-
- 15.000 KM Colombia to Argentina 1,- per 10 KM 1500,-
- Visa’s and border crossings 1000,-
- Emergency money on a second account 2000,- (in the end this money is also needed for shipping the van back home)
Yes this ends up to be almost 20.000,- most of it I will try to get before leaving home. The goal before leaving is to gather 20.000,- on a bank account by all mean necessary. Saving this money from my normal monthly income would mean I would be able to go in about 7 years. The job that I am working for 8 years already requires a lot of overtime, since 3 years I have been saving most of these over hours. Before leaving I will have saved 2200 hours that will support us during this big trip. This fundament means we will have a income of about 1000,- a month.
- USA: if not staying in the USA for longer than 90 days on end only a ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is needed witch only takes 14,-
- Mexico: when staying up to 6 months no visa is needed.
- Guatemala: here it is allowed to stay 3 months without any visa
- Belize: only 1 month is given to see Belize without a visa.
- Honduras: 3 months or 90 days to see Honduras without a visa.
- El Salvador: 3 months again without a visa.
- Nicaragua: 3 months without a visa
- Costa Rica: 90 days or 3 months without a visa.
- Panama: very nice Panama thank you for 6 whole months of freedom without a visa.
- Colombia: 6 months as well without a visa.
- Ecuador: to enjoy Ecuador without a visa I will be given 3 months.
- Peru: 6 moths without a visa.
- Bolivia: 3 moths without a visa.
- Chile: 3 months without a via.
- Paraguay: 3 moths without a visa.
- Uruguay: 3 months without a visa
- Argentina: 3 Months without a visa.