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S1E1: The Start of a Vanlife Adventure

This very first episode of About Wings will tell you the story of how it all started! I made my driver's license, furnished Hermes, my van and went to a lot of really cool places! Be part of the adventure!

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This very first episode of About Wings will tell you the story of how it all started! I made my driver’s license, furnished Hermes, my van and went to a lot of really cool places! Be part of the adventure!

After half a year of living alone in my dream apartment in Vienna, I found myself feeling trapped in a golden cage.
Another three months later, I opened the door to my apartment to find my bedroom window cracked open and my laptop and camera gone. I can’t complain, the insurance company did a great job of replacing my equipment. But there was a lot of important data missing and… Well, living in a flat, in that some stranger has gone through your stuff, makes you slightly paranoid.

I’ve lived nomadic before. With only a rucksack I’ve been travelling through Europe for one and a half years. Living settled again had turned out to be a failed experiment already.

But after the break in, I realised yet again, that the security, everybody is talking about, when they mention their settled lives, is  nothing but a big illusion. A bubble, you don’t expect to burst. But if it does, it can turn your whole life upside down.

Hopping onto the Van Waggon

I found myself caught in a small, mental disaster. On one hand, I felt the need to have some sort of anchor. On the other, I knew I needed at least the opportunity to leave, if my Wings started itching too badly.

After a couple of weeks of an ugly feeling of being lost, I stumbled upon a youtube channel, that offered me a solution to my problem. On Hasta Alaska, Ben, his adorable dog and other travellers made their way from Chile up to Alaska. In a VW van.

I was intrigued in an instance and started looking around for other channels like this one. There aren’t many. Where is my Office now is a great other example. But at the end of the day, it felt like there weren’t a lot of van full timers. Or people who documented this lifestyle.

And then it hit me: A van would be some sort of home. Some sort of anchor. And at the same time, you could put this home anywhere you’d like to live!

The only problem? I neither did I have a van, nor a driver’s license!

Move it!

It wasn’t long until later I canceled my rental contract and went to my mum’s home in Upper Austria to finally get my driver’s license. With the 25 years that I carry with me, I was quite late. That’s for a reason. I always had huge respect for cars. I couldn’t imagine myself driving a vehicle like this. Also, it’s never been necessary.

But now… Now it was essential. My motivation was here in an instant.

It was my grandmother who was so amazing to finance the license and the lessons to get it for my birthday.

To get the license, I had to drive a thousand kilometres with my mum. That wasn’t always easy. At some points I just wanted to give up, since I was running short on time. Winter was coming and I knew, it would get cold in a van, if I couldn’t go towards South.

Three tedious months, one tennis arm, a couple of terrifying encounters with other road users, one failed practical driver’s test and a few mental break downs later, I finally got to hear the words “Congratulations, you are the owner of a driver’s license”, that made me make my head fall on the stirring wheel and thank goodness quite loudly.

Meet Hermes

One problem left to resolve: I needed a van.
Which lead me to the next problem: I didn’t have enough money to buy a van. And so I started thinking the whole thing over. How could I get the money for my new home?

Since I wanted to document my journey anyway, I finally realised, that there might me people out there, who’d support a movie like this. The name ‘About Wings’ was born and I startet working the perfect video for a Kickstarter campaign.

There’s a German saying: “Erstens kommt es anders, und zweitens als man denkt.”
It translates to something like: “Firstly things will happen differently, and secondly as you have thought originally.”

I had been working on my video for one month already, when I moved out of my flat and into my Mum’s. It was about to be done.

And then, my mum told me, that she had forgotten about one birthday present for me. I can’t imagine, she actually forgot about it. But… All my work was made worthless within a few seconds, when my mum presented me my new mini van!

Obviously, I can’t thank her enough for this outstanding present. I named the van Hermes.

In the three months, that I made my driver’s license, I also insulated and furnished my new home and I couldn’t be any happier with the outcome!

An adventure is about to beginn!

In the meantime I made some really cool experiences, like hiking to the top of the mountain Feuerkogel, shoot down a Summer Toboggan Run near Gmunden, trembling in the ice caves of the mountain Dachstein and making a one day road trip to Salzburg, the Austrian City of Music!

All of this, you can find in this first episode of About Wings! I hope you enjoy it!

If so, make sure to sign up for my newsletter – the Feathered Messenger – to join the Adventure and stay up to date at all times!


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About Wings S1E1Music, used in this episode:
‘Life in Later’ by Tachikawa Ryousuke
‘Poor Estate Agent’ by Tachikawa Ryousuke
‘Your Indie Film’ by iannoe
‘Reminiscing’ by Manu Shrivastava
‘Destined to Rise’ by Vladimir Kuznetsov Yaroslavl
‘Indie Music’ by Ben Fawkes
‘Daytripper’ by Tachikawa Ryousuke
‘Theme For 350SHOWCASE’ by Tachikawa Ryousuke
‘Accordiana’ by Manu Shrivastava

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