A hippie Englishman has sparked wanderlust in the hearts of adventure-seekers around the world after his story went viral this week.
The story actually began just over two years ago, though, when Mike Hudson, now 25, quit his job as a systems engineer in England and decided he was going to live (and travel Europe) in a van.
First, he had to downsize. He gave away his bed, sofas, chairs and tables; donated his trousers, shirts and shoes; and sold his car.
Then he moved in with his parents and bought a 10-year-old hunk of junk off eBay. Over the next five months, he worked feverishly to transform it into a cozy home on wheels.
By the time he was done, some of the “amenities” his home on wheels came equipped with included: a hammock, two-person bed, shower, toilet, hot water, gas cooker, sink, work desk and plants. He uses solar panels installed on the roof of the van for electricity.
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Previous to this, the only things he had ever built were electronics and forts with his sister when they were kids, he told his local paper.
The two would collect old car parts from a garage with dreams of one day building a whole car.
“Thinking about it, maybe this project is just a continuation of my childhood activities,” Hudson said.
He’s been on the road since 2014, exploring all the beauty that Europe has to offer. The long list of countries that he’s visited include: Portugal, Germany, Spain, Hungary, and Romania, among many others.
To do this, he’s definitely had to embrace the simple life.
“I wash in rivers, I do exercises on the floor next to my van, I eat my dinner on the floor outside…Yesterday a guy sat and watched whilst taking pictures,” he once wrote on his Vandog Traveller blog.
WATCH: A day in his life
Of course, there have been bumps in the road.
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And some occasional dumpster diving.
Sales of his”From Van to Home” eBook help keep him on the road.
He stretches his dollar by not wasting anything and cooking his own food. He even bakes his own bread.
Hudson estimates he can eat three “very good meals a day for €3 (about half this for not so good food).” That’s about $4.25 CDN a day for food.
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Along his journey, he’s met a whole community of people who live in vans and has inspired others to follow his path.
He’s written that “this was originally about travelling in a van, but now is about living in something [he] built.”
“I am more on the side of naive than brave, maybe reckless in some people’s eyes,” he admitted to the Hull Daily Mail. “But I think most people get it. I’m really lucky.”
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