A COUPLE decided to ditch their normal lives to travel around Europe – after spending just £6k converting a van.
Traindriver Daniele Mei, 40, and his partner Chiara Ralli, 39, from Rome, have left behind their mundane lives for a new lifestyle on the road.
The couple, who used to own a two-bedroom apartment, decided to convert a Fiat Ducato into their home to be able to travel Europe.
The conversation took about four months, with Daniele and Chiara spending around £6,000 doing it up.
They said: "We have been together for four years now, [so] we decided to build a camper-van to be able to live our passions.
"We did not always plan to live in a van, it absolutely just happened, one day we said sure it would be cool to have one and we built it ourselves.
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"During the day we worked on the van and in the evening we went to work."
"We do a lot of outdoor sports and the van can allow us to be exactly where the sport we want to do is done."
The couple ran into a few problems along the way, such as items breaking on some bumpy roads, or their shower pipes freezing.
However, they say the renovation was worth it.
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They continued: "I think the best part of our van is upstairs – we created an eight square metre walk-on roof rack on the roof of the van where we can see incredible sunsets.
"The shower we have is a home-style shower with 150 litres of instant hot water – almost better than at our old house.
"For electricity we have a 200ah lithium system which guarantees us to always have electricity for almost any eventuality.
"We have a fridge, a telephone computer, hot air and fresh water, just because we live in a van doesn't mean we have to go without."
While they said it was also cost-effective, spending much less than when they lived in a normal house, they said they have also been critized for their way of living.
They explained: "The negativity we receive comes from people who can not conceive of a life in a camper and prefer to have all the comforts of a home.
"In reality, we lack nothing in the van, we have a 50" projector, a hot shower, a kitchen, a bathroom, heating, really everything they have in a house just more compact."
The lifestyle has also had them receive a lot of support and even had a few requests from others to build them a van.
They have now been living their dream for eight months and have covered over 6,000 miles in that time across Italy, with plans to go to Portugal and Greece.
They said: "Life on the road isn't for everyone but we love it, travelling gives you so much freedom and so many new experiences.
"So far we have travelled pretty much across Italy from North to South but this summer a massive adventure is beginning.
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"We are going to move to Europe. We will go to Portugal or Greece but we are still deciding.
"Having our house on wheels means we can decide it even at the last minute."
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