Why did you choose to live in a van?
“This is also one of the many questions we got before we left. I felt a growing desire for adventure, to reconnect with my natural loving state and live a more slow-paced life in nature. Besides all that it was also just very practical. We just couldn’t find a place of our liking in The Netherlands after we sold our Amsterdam apartment. Going on this van-life adventure was also some sort of postponing the big adult question ‘where to settle down’.
We always wanted to live abroad for a while. Ever since date 2. Call it a sense of adventure. Initially, we thought of a big city in combination with work. We often talked about Portland. With the arrival of Alfie, our son, and a dreamy staycation in Balian (a mini village in Bali), it turned out we'd rather be surrounded by nature than the city.
After we sold our Amsterdam apartment we just couldn't find a place where we felt like settling down. That's when one of us dropped a Whatsapp message ‘let’s go to Portugal?' The other agreed (we cannot remember who texted what). One week later Ronald found our dream camper van, a 90s German military ambulance. Mercedes 609 for the insiders. Which we had converted to a camper van. In the end, the waves, freedom and the unknown beckoned. And Portugal pulled at us like an inexplicable magnet.”
Why does living green mean a lot to you?
“That desire to reconnect with my natural loving state (aren’t we all born like that?!) is intertwined with my belief that we should all take responsibility for our own behavior, emotions, thoughts, actions and future. For that reason it’s very logical to me to make conscious choices with consideration for fellow humans, animals and the planet.
This last year of traveling - living a slower-paced life with the world as our garden, surrounded by Portuguese beaches, hills and nature - I felt a strong re-connection with myself, motherhood, partnership, other human beings and my femininity.”
In what way do you live circularly?
“I’m a very conscious shopper, I buy pre-loved, natural materials preferably and try to buy less in general. That’s a huge benefit of living in a van btw, you don’t have a lot of storage space. Also, I started mending more. And ever since we moved into a temporary house a few weeks ago I separate my waste to compost and collect and/or turn seeds into new plants instead of throwing them to waste. Super proud of my very first avocado plant.”
How do style with such a minimalist wardrobe?
“Having such a small cabinet made me master of the capsule wardrobe. Basically it means you’re mastering the #repeatwear trend to the max. But I’m continuously conscious that my looks won’t become boring. By keeping my wardrobe clean and orderly I was able to make new unexpected combinations.”
How do your MUD Jeans help you live the way you do?
“Being able to lease brings variety in such a small wardrobe. Which is awesome! But the winning thought is the idea of buying the most conscious denim option without giving up on style. I love to rely on brands that continuously put effort into becoming more green; more sustainable.
Ever since my first MUD (in 2016) I haven’t bought a new pair of jeans of another brand. I currently own 3 MUD Jeans. A dark blue Simple Chic for a more smart or dress up kind of days; that chocolate brown loose fit tapered one for the more relaxed days and considering my growing countryside lifestyle I expect my new black dungarees to become my new favorite go-to outfit.”
To celebrate living freely and close to nature, we are happy to share their story with you and hope that it provides you with a sense of inspiration for this year.