How I got to the #vanlife? PART 1
Nothing can happen in life just as much. Similarly, for at least the last 8-9 years, I have dreamed of experiencing #vanlife but so far there have always been some obstacles. Not enough money, no car or "how do I get my job done?" or "I only have 2 weeks off". I once watched a movie like The Secret, which seems to promise that if you constantly subconsciously think of your dream, it will eventually succeed. I didn't believe it. But now? Maybe I should believe it.
About 9 years ago I found on the Internet some videos of people living this lifestyle. I immediately felt that this was something I would like to try myself. But it seemed so inaccessible at the time. I couldn't do anything myself. A little more than setting aside a huge pile of money, building a machine, and then finding the money to finance yourself while traveling. No way. (In Estonia it still seems very strange -> like black sheep traveling like this with their 1.3 year old daughter ... crazy)
Time passed. I got a try in business. I tried different jobs and jobs. From hospital to ambulance to furniture sales. From a bartender to a taxi driver. Even for two years I tried to get into university. Could not. But dreams of something unavailable remained. Some of my acquaintances have probably been hearing me talk about this for years when we were sitting somewhere and drunk a little. It certainly unleashed my vocal cords and annoyed many. Sorry, but not sorry.
(some file from 2015 when I kept dreaming about it. It's 5 years ago)
Things changed and started to get on the right track after I got my first normal job. After doing business myself, I decided it was easier and smarter to do paid work. I managed to get a job at Samsung (yes, big Samsung). I started there as a trainer (I had never done any powerpoint presentations before). I remember being nervous during the interview so that the shirt was completely wet. There were big bosses from Lithuania sitting next to me. I was sweating like an animal. The interview was in English. But somehow I did it and from that moment on I think that things were going in the right direction.
One of my great motivators at work was my colleague Madis (not that other colleagues didnt motivate me :) dont get me wrong), who had already been there as a trainer before me. He was, and still is, extremely correct and polite. And I was just beginning to learn at that moment. A scumbag like I was. In addition, he either had just completed a master's degree (or did at the same time, I cant remember that well enough to be 100% sure). But how could I be worse? It was probably because of his positive attitude that I was motivated to go to college. In 2016 I started studying business management in Mainor. During this period, I also bought my first apartment with the help of a bank loan. This is what I consider to be one of the first milestones in why I was finally able to travel. Why -> more on this soon.
After about 2 years it became clear that my journey at Samsung was coming to an end and I was looking for a new challenge. For that, I went to Tele2, where I started as a team leader to lead a fabulous team in B2B department. Believe it or not, #vanlife was still in the background as my dream. So far, however, I have not yet made any progress on my own. At the same time, I got a very valuable experience from EVERYONE! The best thing, though, is the Leatherman multitool- a gift that my team left for me as a gift for leaving Tele2 eventually, which I carry on my daily trip here! Super thing. During this period, I also met my current partner in crime, Triin, with whom we now have a wonderful little daughter, Nora. After three weeks, we went to Bali for three weeks, which was kind of a cute but a little bit like a disaster. At the same time, we both realized that traveling is fun and that it is something that really suits us both.
Again, after about 1.5-2 years, I was getting tired in Tele2 and decided to take offer from the table and go work for Telia. I have to admit that I made this decision purely because of salary because I was hoping it would help me set something aside. Here I would like to take the opportunity to apologize to my then boss, Mart. When we said that there is definitely no point in taking this job for less than two years, I didn't lie at that time because my dream was still so far away without any idea that will it ever happen? When my partner in crime and I found out we were expecting a little addition to our family, I managed to sell my apartment and earn a considerable amount of money on it. We wanted to replace the apartment with small house (which would be an interesting and long topic in its own right). But now I had some money set aside and knew from the start that this money had to be invested somewhere or something wise to do with it. We decided to be the first in Estonia to make basic type campervan rental business (just self-built, not those big and proud and expensive machines). The vision was that we could introduce tourists to other areas besides Tallinn and Tartu and access to RMK areas would be guaranteed. My great assistant was my friend Margus, who I remember from my childhood when I was 4 years old. Super man! That's how Eazy Camper got its start. First #vanlife real experience!
For Eazy Campers I spent all free time from January to May 2019. In handsight, I'm disappointed I should have been more at home and spending time with Triin and Nora. Nora was born in October 2018. But at the same time im thinking that wouldnt i had done all things, we wouldn't be traveling here today and spending so much time together now. I think in both cases there would be pros and cons. But more about machines:
The machines were of the very basic type, but had all the essentials of life. There was a Webasto that heated the cabin warm. We insulated the walls and floors. Ventilation holes. Cold water. An extra battery that had a relay in between and the car was charging it while driving.
We realized quite quickly that this business was working, but would rather go traveling ourselves -> what if I tried to sell the company? In May we posted our first ads, but nobody showed real interest. And there were not many orders until the sudden explosion. We sold June full, July sold full and then we found ourselves interested potential buyers. Finally, we also reached an agreement and sold them during the transaction well ahead of next month. They are very good young people, and I believe that it will develop a lot in their hands! If you are familiar with #vanlife and are coming to Estonia try www.eazycamper.ee and definitely check out my forum @ http://forum.vanlife.ee -> You can ask all questions related to Estonia in there and I will try to help as much as possible with all kinds of information!
In the meantime, we were already sure we wanted to go on the trip and would definitely go. We sold off our used Volvo XC90 and bought the 2013 VW Crafter long wheelbase van for the money. Allegedly, only one man had used it and carried Värska water bottles between Värska and Tartu (greetings to him). The car was in good shape and we knew immediately that it would be our new home. A bit of trading and we got back in the new car the same day. Euphoria.