Welcome to Greece, home of Hercules, Moussaka and the very first Olympics. Whilst the Grecians of old might be concerned with winning the ‘rat race’, (we’re making a tenuous link between sport and alternative living here, just roll with it) we’re about to meet two digital nomads who have conquered their own personal Mount Olympus (ok, that’s the last one we promise). Welcome to a travellers guide to Van Life Greece.In today’s edition of our Van Life Global Series we’re meeting Dominika and Milan, two Van Life Czech Republic vandwellers who have travelled the length and breadth of Greece to be able to give you some tips and tricks on living the ultimate alternative lifestyle in this most historic of countries. Take it away guys!
Van Life Greece – A Travellers Guide To Living The Van Life.
Hello Dominika and Milan, thanks for chatting to us today. Tell our readers a little bit about yourselves.
Hello Van Clan! My name is Dominika and me and my boyfriend Milan started traveling through Van Life Greece about three years ago. The adventure was originally Milan’s idea and to be honest I never imagined myself living in a van before this. The shock was huge for the first few months; I had gone from having all of my home comforts in the city to a small space without a toilet, and I had also said goodbye to all of my friends. But after while I adjusted to this new way of life and started to love it. When we were back in Prague almost two years ago we adopted a cat, Alfons, who is now also a pretty advanced explorer and traveller. He loves living in a van just as much as us!
What’s the community in Van Life Greece like? Are there a lot of other travellers and do you find parking up difficult?
Van Life Greece is amazing. The Greeks doesn’t care about wildcamping, they are very kind and polite and we haven’t had any problems so far whilst staying in Greece and Crete. A lot of the travellers come here to escape the crowded streets of the Portuguese and Spanish coastlines, so there’s a lot of other vandwellers around. Van Life in Greece is totally worth the journey; beautiful nature mixed with history, clear and warm sea, nice people and amazing food – what’s not to love!
How do you find travelling compared to your previous life?
I don’t think that it’s something that I can compare because they are different in every way. My relationship with Milan is much stronger because we spend 24 hours together and we know everything about ourselves which is pretty great. We love each other even more than before when we lived in the city. Also living in nature changes you; we think more ecologically and use more local resources, and globally its a very simple and happy life without all the problems that you seem to find in the city. The only two things that haven’t changed are I’m still doing the same job as I did in Prague, and I still love wine!
Tell the Van Clan readers about a couple of your favourite places that you’ve been to on your travels and why they are important to you?
This is a very tricky question because I really can’t say which places are my favourite. I have so many it’s hard to list them all! One of them has to be a hidden beautiful beach in Portugal that we found whilst exploring, the Spanish side of Pyrenees, we also love Montenegro’s mountains and the antiatlas mountains in Morroco, and of course the whole of Greece. Almost every country we have been to has places that are special to us, and they are mostly outdoors because we try to avoid being in the big cities.
We love Instagram, but it doesn’t always show the tough nature of Vanlife. Have you had any problems whilst on the road in Van Life Greece?
Haha we agree! The Vanlife hashtag on Instagram has become filled with influencers and naked girls lying on van beds. I hate it. At the beginning of our adventures we thought about starting an instagram account called “vanlifesucks” to show people what real vanlife is like, but after a while we found that we didn’t have a lot to put on there so it’s Milans personal account now :D. But yeah, vanlife is stinky, dirty and special.
We are very lucky that we haven’t had many problems with the van so far. A few weeks ago our front wheel almost fell off while driving which wasn’t a nice experience, but Milan noticed it at the last moment, stopped the van and fixed it so that we could get to the nearest services in Montenegro. We’ve found that we’ve been helping others on our travels because we have a 4×4, so especially in Portugal or Morroco we were pulling other vans out of the sand where they had got stuck!
Tell us a top tip that you have learnt from living on the road that you’d like to share with the Van Clan Community.
Van Life Greece can be really easy and full of joy, there’s always nice people around and we’re always learning something new. Without the city fuss and all of the pseudo problems that come with it your brain is bound to function differently. Everything is clear; you know what do you want to do and you just do it. You’re trying new things all the time; it can be making fire, cooking new food, crafting, playing guitar or learning spanish. I don’t want to say that peply in the city are not doing nice stuff but you tend to make excuses many times for not doing anything with your life, and when are you living outside you just have this freedom to go and try anything. You have plenty of time. Time is yours. Everything is like you make it. Nature is amazing, it’s free and it’s an amazing experience to live in it. Respect it and respect the people in it. Traveling with a little home is by far the best way to explore whole world.
Finally Dominika, can you please sum up your adventures for us up in three phrases.
Simple life, lots of love, adventures!
Written by Seb @vincentvanlife
Photo copyright Dominika Jelinkova