Don’t we sometimes get that feeling that we want to drop everything, and just travel the world? Well, Jasmin Schweizer kinda did that. The half Egyptian twenty-nine-year-old pimped-up her van, with the help of her boyfriend, and they started to travel and experience every bit of Europe –visiting countries like Portugal, France, and Switzerland. She had moved to Bali two years ago, where she discovered yoga and fell in love with the island life. Now, she shares her yoga wisdom, and traveling experience, through her blogs “Beyond My Mat” and “The Hike Tribe”. We talk to Jasmin about what it’s like living in a van, and how her journey started.
“I grew up between two different cultures, and I think that’s what had a huge impact on my openness for the world that I have nowadays,” she says. Jasmin is no stranger to adventures, “This Van trip is actually not my first one. When my boyfriend and I were in Portugal, some years ago, we travelled the coast with a rented van for a few days. We travelled, and lived, in a campervan, during our trip in New Zealand last March,” she says. This time Jasmin wanted to feel more at home, so she built with her boyfriend a small mobile home to take on their various adventures. “Our aim on this trip is to find our new homebase in Portugal. Exploring it with a van gives us the freedom to change places whenever we want and sleep directly by the sea, hearing the waves at night. It is not comparable to any hotel or Airbnb I have ever stayed in,” she says.
Being a spiritual traveller, Jasmin feels a special connection with every place she visits –so it was quite hard for her to choose only one favorite destination. “The most beautiful experiences I had where in New York. I fell in love with the city’s intense vibes; Bali for its amazing lifestyle and community, and New Zealand for its mesmerizing nature,” she says. Planning for a trip is not easy. You have to go through the hassle of booking a plane ticket, hotel accommodation, learn a couple of native words and hope for your luggage to arrive at the right airport. Travelling by a van is less of a struggle, “I don’t prepare that much anymore. I do some research about the place I travel to, but now I prefer walking through the streets and exploring without any guidance. If we like a place we stay longer; if we don’t –we leave. To me it got much more fulfilling to not tick a list of sightseeing attractions, but to simply get lost in a place, eat the food, and meet the people,” she says. Another obstacle that prevents us from taking our dream trip is the money factor. Imagine being on the road for weeks; the expenses can be too much. “I had some savings before I left Germany. I started working online as a freelancer, providing me with a regular income to support my travels –and to give me the freedom to work on my blogs. If you should plan a bigger trip like me, or even plan to live abroad, you will need some savings, because it will give you a sense of security until you find another job,” she says.
Being on the road for so long could mean less showers and irregular beauty routines; all girls can relate to how hard this is. “Travelling in a van can be very challenging for a girl, especially a girl like me. I like to dress up and make myself pretty. But when you’re travelling in a van for weeks, you sometimes don’t even find a shower and the space to do this kind of stuff. But with time, I experienced all the beauty about travelling this way and I got extremely comfortable with the very natural side of myself. To be honest, it made me grow and love myself much more. I am happy with just being simple and fine, without the pressure of looking perfect,” she says.
Well we are sure that there are many girls who would like to embark on an adventure similar to Jasmin’s. Here is the advice she had for all these girls out there,“Let go of perfection; you will have the experience of a lifetime,” she says. Being half Egyptian, Jasmin is deeply connected to her roots and heritage. “Currently we are at the Atlantic coast of Spain, and are heading to Portugal. I am planning to travel to Egypt soon, especially visiting Aswan and Alexandria; they are a long dream of mine,” she says.