I was never the outdoor type. I was more of a classic 5 star all inclusive traveler. I only slept in a hostel for the first time in late 2016 and took a pack-packing vacation. I discovered totally new worlds for me there and totally celebrating that this is possible and that you can do this. There are community kitchens and you can meet new people and you don’t go to the buffet and eats way too much and afterwards have a stomach ache, as you do in all inculsive holidays. And one sees different cities and things and is in nature. Really awesome! Hello, my name is Rebecca, I have been travelling with this vehicle and a roof tent for one and a half years, I live full-time in my car and travel Europe with it. I practically have breakfast in my trunk. Here I have everything I need for cooking. This is my kitchen, including the shoe closet down here. I have two gas cookers, with which I can actually prepare everything with pots. I have these little camping pots. They are enough for me and I also have the pan. And here’s my refrigerator. It’s not cool unless it’s cold outside, but that’s good enough for me because I don’t usually buy meat and mostly just vegetables. And that doesn’t need much refrigeration. I just go shopping more often. And in high summer I can’t always buy milk and cheese. But apart from that, I can cook anything I want. From tea, to salad, pasta, potatoes and whatever else I want to eat. That’s really just something that happened. I was at my first roof tent nomad meeting in September 2017. I was in Germany for that, but I was living in Austria at the time. I was at this event and I just had home office and one day later I got a call that I was fired. I celebrated that, because I was going to quit the job anyway, but I wanted to finish the year so that it would look nicer on my CV. Because I had just started there in January. I was glad to get out of that job. I had two months left that I didn’t have to work, but I got paid. Then I thought about going back to Klagenfurt, where I lived at the time, to look for a new job. Because you need a job to survive. At least eventually. Then I thought: Why? Actually, you don’t have to go home. You have a laptop with you, mobile internet, you can actually look for your new job on the way. If you need to print something out, you just go to a coffee shop. But I even had a printer with me. I could have printed out everything. That’s how it happened. I didn’t go home anymore, only when I moved out of my apartment. I’ve been on the road ever since. Officially since November 2017 I’ve been living in my car and never missed to have an apartment. I often think about it because I am often asked if I want to move back into an apartment. That’s why I think about it more often, not because I miss it. But I always realize that I don’t want it and I don’t need it. And if I wanted it, I would just do it. My bathroom is outside, but I can show you what my bathroom is. My bathroom is always accessible here. This is my bathroom. Everything I need is in here. And this brush. Then I just need water and I have a bathroom. I usually take a shower at motorway service stations when I am on the road. Otherwise you can do some cat’s lick outside. And you don’t have to shower every day if you live outside. In apartments or in society it is different from being outside a lot. And otherwise you can take a shower at campsites or at friends houses. These are the shower facilities I mostly use. I have only known since April 2017 that there are roof tents, because I wanted to travel to Norway and googled and hotels are priceless in Norway. Even hostels were outside the budget I wanted to spend. And then I thought, well, you’ll go camping. I’ve never been camping, but I’ll try. And then I thought that little Rebecca in a tent in Norway might not be so smart either. And then I heard about to roof tents, in a video by Thilo Vogel. I thought cool, that’s what you need! Then I drove to Graz, where the next dealer was, looked at roof tents and bought one directly. I tested it for three weekends and went to Norway for three weeks. I have an office too. It is here. I work here. I not only travel, I work on the road as well. I usually sit here with my laptop. Totally unconventionally on my lap. Sometimes when I want to work more upright I put a box underneath. And here I can do everything I have to do. When I moved into the car I did not earn anything for half a year. I was still employed and was being paid for a few more months and could still travel a little. And then I joined the roof tent nomads and started to take over more and more of the organization of the festival and all the work that goes into it. You can’t see how much that is from the outside. I started running the blog and handling the social media and stuff. Since the beginning of 2018 I have been working full-time with roof tent nomads. And this is what I do for a living. I also have a dressing room and that is these two boxes. Everything I have to wear is in here. I can pick out what I want to wear. From pants to underwear, t-shirts or jackets. For jackets I have a third box. I have three of these Euroboxes. They’ve got all my clothes in them. I can help myself in all seasons. In Germany you can now register your car and only need an authorised person to receive your mail. If I do not have a residence in Germany and ask if you, Katja, can accept my mail, then you come to the office with me and sign that you are receiving my mail and then I can have the car registered to me and you’re the receptionist. Unfortunately this is not possible in Austria and since my car is registered in Austria, I registered the car in Austria through my girlfriend. She writes me every few months: You have a new love letter! When I’m tattled on again, or if I have to pay customs duties or tunnel taxes in Norway or something. But it is registered in Austria. I also have a bedroom. I have to take my shoes off before I go in there, like you do when you go to bed. And then I have to climb a little. Usually there are ladders for roof tents, but I don’t have a ladder with me because I don’t want it and I don’t need it. I can climb in just like that and then nobody can come and visit me at night. At least, not that easily. And you can sleep very well here. I was thinking about making myself a place to sleep in the car. But I tried it once and then never did it again because it was not very comfortable. I can lie lengthwise if necessary, when there’s a heavy thunderstorm and it doesn’t pass. That would work. But I actually always sleep in the roof tent. Like I said, I tried sleeping in the car. It was -17 degrees outside and I tested whether it was better inside and it wasn’t better. The next day I went back into the roof tent. And I am actually always in the tent. -And how do you keep warm? I have enough blankets. I have a woollen blanket, a normal blanket and on top of it an open sleeping bag that insulates a little, keeps the moisture away that forms when you breathe and reatains the heat. I can handle that. It’s comfortable down to -10 degrees. From 0 degrees I take a hot water bottle. I heat the water on the gas stove. And when it is colder than -10 degrees, which is not very often the case here, I was on the Norcap in winter and I think it was three times below -10 degrees at night, so not many times, and then I can heat if I want to. I have a hose down here in my “basement”, which I can put into the roof tent from the space heater, which is in front of the passenger seat. That works without a problem. If it’s -10 degrees outside, it’s about 0 degrees inside. But then I have to make sure that the battery lasts. Then I have to charge during the day, by driving or charging the battery with electricity. So that I have enough capacity at night and won’t be stuck in the morning, because the battery is empty. Morning sport is included. Then you can immediately turn on the heating in the car when it is cold or clammy like now. And then the day can begin. -Do you have a space heater? -Yeah, I put a diesel heater in here. It comes out down here. That’s the hose. It gets warm quite fast here in the front. It usually gets too warm for me quickly. When I work here at the front, I have to move to the back seat at some point because it gets too warm in the front. You can’t make the heating colder than the lowest setting, which I think is 2KB, the heater is for something bigger and you can’t set it colder than the minimum. But the heater is worth a lot, without the heating I would not want to travel in autumn and winter. Not only does it make you warm, it also makes you dry. When it’s clammy like this, it’s really great. And if you have closed Nutella, you can put it under there and then you have liquid Nutella. I swear on these gas burners. They’re pretty shaky and I can’t figure out how they hold the pot, but they have a really great flame. You don’t need a lighter to light it and it’s such a punctual flame. So it’ll work in windy conditions and even at -20 degrees. Once a month I spill water in my trunk and then I have some water in here. But then it’s at least clean again. It should not be forgotten that not everything is always as idyllic as it is shown in Vanlife’s current Instagram world. You can see it here, the sun is not shining, it is the end of April and we’re sitting here in rain gear and it’s a bit cold. And there’s a lot of garbage laying around, and there’s a road up ahead… Not everything is always as great as you want it to be and how it is shown. But if you want to experience the world, then you should do so. In the roof tent you are vulnerable, if you can say so. You can’t really lock it up. But no gas can be sprayed in as well, which is sometimes the problem with vans. I’m kidding. The safety aspect would be the only reason why I would consider moving to something bigger. I don’t have a jeep, but I have four-wheel drive and with my car I can get to places where no people are and in remote places I worry less than in places with a lot of people. So I have no problem with the size of the car. I even have boxes where I could clear half of it out, but I can’t clear it out otherwise it would rattle. I don’t need more room. I’m happy with what I have. I can stand here in the rain and cook, too. What I have learned over the past years, through what I have experienced and the job changes I have had and what I am doing now, working from on the road and being on the road and experiencing a lot and seeing a lot, is that things always turn out differently than you think. You can always have a plan and I am also a person who likes to plan a lot and I actually always had a strict plan I wanted to get higher, further, faster, and make a career and build a house. I have all that behind me. But life always turns out differently. And you should just spot these switches that open up along the way and realize that you can decide which direction to take and then make the decision and stand by it. You can always go back if it is a stupid idea. But you can always go further when it is great. And I’ve learned over the years that a rough plan is nice, but you can pull the strings yourself from whichever junction you choose. I am now slowly making my way to Brombachsee, where the roof tent festival takes place this year. That’s on the 16-19 May, which is very soon. And there will be a lot of activity. Anyone can come, it will be a pretty big event this year. We expect 2000 to 3000 people. It’s gonna be sick. We have a lot of great helpers who help us and they also meet at the beginning of the week to set everything up. But basically anyone who wants to can come, from children, we have many children there, up to older people who also like to camp with the roof tent, or even without a roof tent. You are a roof tent nomad when you feel like it, you can also come with the motorhome or however you like. And we also have a large rental. We rent out over 50 roof tents and are currently looking for new roof tents, which can still be included in the rental. We build them in trees and on rafts and you can rent them and sleep inside. It is a cool project and the profit goes into donations. Great things are coming out of this for charities.