ARTICLE : 10 Things We Learned About Van Life

This video shows clips from the first year of our Van Life journey around Malaysia in 2017.


Before watching the video – We want to share some of what we learned in our first year, it’s a different experience for everyone – this is ours.

1) Roof Top Tents are a pain in the backside to open and close especially in this weather!! Once you open it you’re pretty much stuck there!!

2) Travelling with dogs in Malaysia is possible (we were told by so many it wasn’t).

3) Malaysia has so many places to camp – a big variety in fact! Jungles, hills, mountains, valleys, coastlines, riverside, waterfalls, cities, islands …. (when we began, people told us Van Life could not be done here & that Malaysia is too small with nothing to see or do)

4) Malaysia is safer than people think. (so many said to us Malaysia isn’t safe for this lifestyle)

5) JPJ and the Police are nice to us at road blocks. We are always stopped at road blocks because we are an old van but it’s to check that we are not doing business with our van (unless it’s company owned then you can do business with you van). For us, our back seat is bolted to the van frame & in an upright position when driving. We never carry passengers behind (seatbelt is a requirement for passengers behind). Nothing built in is above window level. Camping stuff is packed away safely for safety reasons. (Safety first guys)

6) We walked the whole of Penang Georgetown with Roxy and Bo – right smack through the town centre and it was an amazing experience. People wanted to pet them and give them water. No one chased us away or complained.

7) People are generally kind and helpful, especially in kampungs. We have been stuck several times and they voluntarily offer us help.

8) We are one border away from so many other countries that we can drive to. (not now during a pandemic of course) Cross over to Thailand, go to Laos, enter Cambodia, drive to Myanmar, China, Vietnam, Mongolia, Russia – Europe, (some countries require guides and special visas but some don’t) we have access to visiting these countries by car so imagine what you see along the way!

9) Thailand is a wonderful country to explore in a campervan – try it if you get the chance to (after a cure for covid-19)

10) You can start this on a small budget with whatever vehicle you choose. If there’s a will there’s a way.

There’s many more but let’s stop here. 🙂 Don’t let the negatives ever change your mind when it comes to chasing your dreams.

Thank you for reading.


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