Can you make your dreams come true?
I’m a dreamer. I always was proud of my ability to realise my smaller and bigger dreams.

Today I would like to show you how, despite all mistakes, downfalls, lack of knowledge and skills, make your dream come true. Being a guy with a massive drive of changing my life, I have identified one of my dreams. Today I will show you how such a thing can make a difference for me and my loved ones.

Decision and the outcome.

At the beginning of the lockdown, I felt an urge to do something which will help me with my depression and anxiety. I said to my partner Klaudia: Let’s look for a wee van, to be able to go on some adventures when the lockdown will be finally lifted. She wasn’t up for it at the start, but after a few days, we both decided that it will be a good idea. We started to view some vans, some small and bigger vehicles to transform it into a DIY campervan.

Finally, we came across a van. The previous owner used this 15 years old Ford Transit as a campervan. I liked the fact that it already had a cooker inside, hook up socket, overhead lights, power sockets and extra leisure battery. Whole electric installation was already installed. It was rusty in some places, the engine was working well, it seemed for us a good choice. I didn’t look under the vehicle, I didn’t check much, as honestly – I have no clue about these things.

We paid £1500 for the van, took it home, parked in our front garden and started to take inside apart. Next step was to plan our work, building a bed, cupboards and other storage units. We ordered some stuff from the internet. Water tank, proper bed mattresses. Before that, we ordered some plywood, some timber and screws. We started to build inside of our van as we wanted.

All materials were simple and inexpensive. We also required some second-hand furniture from Facebook or eBay to make our expenditure as inexpensive as possible. It came to around £500 with all inside build and things required to make it even more personal. It was awesome fun.

After work, we have been building our van in our front garden, we had tools and youtube as a guide. Seriously – we googled ideas and check youtube for inspirations.

Next steps.

We knew that our van needed some welding and overall bodywork. This was our knowledge and soon after finishing our inside build, we decided to look for some friendly garage. For anyone who would check what needs to be done and fix our rusty van. We had some budget for it, we also knew that few jobs need to be done before August’s MOT.

I asked a few friends around and they recommended one of the garages in Cowdenbeath. Only a few miles away from Edinburgh. To start when we went there with our van, the owner of the garage said that he saw vans in much worse conditions than ours. I was happy, it’s not too bad I thought…till he lifted our van on the giant rack. It was a hole on the hole. Some parts were so corroded that they were non-existent. Literally, some metal sheets were not there. Gone.

The frame was full of holes, steps to the van almost dissolve itself under a couple of coats of paint. I was really surprised that the engine and other mechanical parts did not fell down by this point through the bottom of our van.

Eye opener

It was a disaster, but it was our fault. We did not check it, we did not ask anyone for expertise and help. I’d laugh and said to Klaudia: Well we spent already 2 Grands, we can spend another two. This is just money, right? We left our van in the hands of professional asked to keep us updated every few days.

Week after week, new things were coming out, like a puzzle. One rusty metal sheet exposed another even more corroded part. We literally changed the whole bottom of this van and few mechanical things too. We ordered some parts, researched for some panels and at the end, we decided to pop in and do some of the work ourselves to lower the costs of labour. I and Klaudia did some polishing, silicon fillings, painting and securing welding places. Bill was getting bigger and bigger. Went over our budget and actually, in the end, we had less than 4 quid left in our saving account.

Bodywork, parts, welding and labour came to a total of only £4500… we planned to spend around 2K on welding and so on.

Harsh and happy moment.

We paid all, we packed our things and honestly I couldn’t stop smiling on my way home driving our van. Yes, we spent more than we anticipated, we paid for our lack of knowledge and foolishness but you know what? As I mentioned before – its just money, now we can use it for a few good years. Our mechanic said that bodywork will easily last for another 5 years as long as we do not crush or flood our campervan.

We are confident that we can travel across Europe with no worries. We took a copy of a final bill and decided that we will be subtracting money from it for every trip we did. Each night spent in a van is an average of £50 we would spend on a hotel in the UK. In Scandinavian countries, it could be even  £100 per night! Once for a time, we will pay for campsite and hookup but, yes we will count how much we saved. When the final amount will equal the bill, we will be happy to plan the next steps – selling and buying another “project” or just enjoying it!

And guess what: In the first two weekends, we made 650 miles with our campervan, along with kids and fully loaded.
It was EPIC.
Now we have means to travel, to have even wee overnight stays in the van and we not limited by anything. Our van got a name, due to the amount of rust and sticker on the side of Yoda we decided to christen it as Rusty Yoda. We really enjoy driving it, sleeping and the whole experience of freedom. Not mentioning kids loving it and us moving slowly forward with our minimalistic living.

Next dream

What is my next dream?
To save enough money in the next few years to buy a small piece of land and have a tiny house on wheels there. Move forward with a minimalistic approach to life, to be much more than run in the almighty rat race. Be present, be here now. I will be 39 in less than 6 weeks, and I am happy as Larry. This is a good place to be in life. Got my kids nearby. We share our love for nature and exploring nearby nature trails, show the outdoors to my children and share moments with them and my love, Klaudia.

Must we be sad about spending so much money or as I see it, exchanging it for happiness? Would you be sad about getting more happiness?

No. Reach out for happiness.
Reach out for your dreams, show your children that life is here and now, to make your dreams come true. Inspire others, love and live.

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