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A little bit of sunshine


Sometimes, our lives take surprising turns in directions we never saw coming.

(First published in Issue 2, October 2020) The 1st of November was exactly a day like that for us. Thomas invited Line out for coffee, and less than 24 hours later, without us knowing, we "randomly" bumped into each other during a shelter trip to the woods—and we've been together ever since that night. It was as if the universe listened to us, knew that we'd already agreed to spend some informal time together, and just skipped the whole human calendar-planning part, bringing us to the same place ASAP! Pure magic! It didn’t take long before we both knew that what we had found and the energy we shared was something very special.

A close-up selfie of a smiling couple, with the man wearing a warm beanie and the woman sporting a headscarf, both enjoying a cozy moment. They are positioned against a blurred backdrop of Manarola, Cinque Terre, with its distinctive colorful houses perched on rugged cliffs beside the sea. The image captures the warmth of the couple's relationship set against the romantic and picturesque Italian Riviera, at what appears to be dusk, adding a soft, glowing light to the scene.
Thomas & Line in Manarola, Cinque Terre - @sunshinetribe_ 10/2020

We have both lived our lives partly nomadic, traveling all over the world for the past 10 years, both professionally and privately, in both exotic and frozen places. Needless to say, we instantly connected over dreams of endless travels, life on the road, living in different and beautiful foreign countries, and we quickly learned that we shared a dream of living in a van, cruising the never-ending roads. In April, we both had to cancel ongoing travel in Central America due to Covid-19. When we got back home to Denmark, like everyone else in most of the world, all of our plans were canceled, both professionally and socially. Line, a self-taught jewelry designer, had designer markets lined up from June through September and planned to attend a good number of the bigger and smaller music festivals in Denmark over the summer. Thomas, a trained carpenter, was planning to go to Ilulissat, Greenland, for a two-month contract for the second time in a row, working as an adventure guide, trekking, guiding, and kayaking with travelers from all over the world. But all of that obviously fell through!

We needed an adventure! Something to soothe our bleeding nomadic hearts. Something to look forward to, and work towards, together, side by side!

We bought our golden sun wagon in April and instantly fell in love with her. Even before we met her, we knew we were going to bring her home, and she could be named nothing else but Sunshine.

We had our first road trip the very next day—an old wood-framed mattress on top of four old rusty wheels, some fairy lights in the ceiling, and off we went—and oh, it was glorious! Our dreams and ideas grew day by day, mainly focused on smaller and bigger everyday adventures, but most of all, a grand one in September—a full month on the roads of southern Europe. Paperwork, registration, and of course, the actual build needed to be done first. Feeling both humble and excited, we acknowledged our privilege of being able to travel during uncertain times and crossed our fingers that the global situation would allow us to proceed with our plans! Sunshine was a semi-rusty elderly lady, a VW T4 from 2001, with some cracks and flaws that just needed some undivided love and attention—which she got. With no plans at all and the world in an ever-changing state where events and jobs were getting canceled, we were able to focus almost full time on Sunshine. She became our main focus—and what a ride it has been! Insulation, rust- and metalwork, floor, walls, ceiling, electrical installations were finished during the summer while we were waiting for the right paperwork to land in our hands.

A cheerful woman with blonde hair, wearing a polka dot swimsuit, sits inside the back of a yellow van outfitted with a makeshift kitchen and storage drawers. She's laughing and holding a utensil, surrounded by bohemian-style decor, pillows, and curtains, signifying a cozy, mobile living space. The van's open back provides a view of a rocky landscape, enhancing the sense of an adventurous lifestyle on the road.
Line in their yellow VW T4 van "Sunshine" - @sunshinetribe_ 10/2020

Laws and registration can often be a bit tricky in Denmark, especially when it comes to sleeping in cars and actual van conversions. Nearly 5 months later, we pulled through! The final car inspection was approved and the actual build of our four-wheeled home started. Less than two weeks later, we were ready! Our dream home on wheels was done! The solar panel and the brand-new rooftop terrace were in place, and it had a bedroom, kitchen, lights, and all necessary equipment with a beautiful interior. The GPS was set for Italy. GO! It felt SO good! We were ON the road! We were actually living this dream! Our hearts were overflowing with joy and gratefulness. We found our way to turn things around, reschedule our lives, and extend the summer for another month—and it all turned out in a glorious way!

A joyful woman with blonde hair leans out of the driver's side window of a bright yellow van parked on a charming cobblestone street. Behind her, a vibrant climbing plant with purple flowers adorns the exterior of a classic European building with pastel-hued walls. The scene conveys a sense of travel and adventure in a quaint urban setting, with the woman's smile suggesting a carefree and exploratory spirit.
Line and Sunshine in an Italian town - @sunshinetribe_ 10/2020

We got to see Castles in Southern Germany, the stunning Alps in Switzerland and Northern Italy, and the charming and colorful Cinque Terre. We paid a quick visit to the tower in Pisa, and Sardinia was a little adventure in itself. We're already planning to go back to Italy and Sardinia; we dream about cruising Spain, Portugal, France, and all of Eastern Europe. We're also thinking about a trip that's going to take us to Great Britain, with a ferry towards The Faroe Islands and further on to Iceland and Norway! Our van life has been a dream for quite a while, more than 4 years—even before we met each other—and now it's happening. That's the beautiful part about it. We believe that life and dreams can actually come true if you set the right focus and intentions and give your dreams the loving attention and action they deserve. We have once again experienced that the amount of wonders we are able to manifest is beyond our wildest dreams! Thank you for reading along. We hope you keep your hearts warm and your dreams alive.

About the author
Thomas and Line, @sunshinetribe_, formerly known as @sunshine_thevan, are a globetrotting duo blending carpentry, jewelry design and adventure guiding into their decade-long adventure. They have now sold the van but are still traveling all over the world.