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Van Life Tour: Our Custom 1999 Hyundai H100 Van Conversion

Introducing the quickest camper conversion and surf van, Boris!

Boris is a 1999 LWB Hyundai Grace H100 2.5 turbo with bags of personality and a rebuilt engine. He inherited his name from the previous owner, and because he obviously loved the van so much, we decided not to change it. I bought him back in March with the goal to travel around Europe with my fiancée and our dog, and that’s exactly what we did. We’ve just got home from an epic 2 month road-trip around Europe. So far, he’s traveled around England, Wales, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Italy and Switzerland in him.

Pretty much everything about this van is custom, from the bluey purple paintwork to the genuine cowhide seats. The inside is kitted out with a small kitchen and a sofa bed when we bought it (you can see what it used to look like here) but we’ve made a few minor tweaks inside to make it feel like home. It’s surprising how much time it takes to wire in some new lights, change a worktop and do a bit of painting though. We spent so long getting Boris ready to hit the road and we ended up rushing it a bit in the end.

Another customisation that we haven’t yet considered is a private number plate. Finding a good letter / number combination is difficult, but it’s interesting to search AbsoluteReg.co.uk to see which specific plates are available.

Van Life Tour: Our Custom 1999 Hyundai H100 Van Conversion | UK Lifestyle Blog

Windows and Curtains

The backdoor is a tailgate meaning we get stunning views from our blackout privacy windows when we park up. I always forget that if it’s lighter inside the van than it is outside, people can see in! We have black out and thermal double lined grey curtains throughout which were made especially for our van.

The walls are padded with faux white leather and thermal insulated with building grade insulation for extra warmth. Amazingly, Boris has working heating and air con – which is pretty rare for a van as old as this!

Van Life Tour: Our Custom 1999 Hyundai H100 Van Conversion | UK Lifestyle Blog

Plugging in

We’ve got a 100W solar panel mounted on the roof. We charge our laptops, phones, GoPro and use our lights (either our 4 ceiling spotlights or just our 5m of LED fairy lights), and we never run out of electricity! Even if the battery did get low, we can always charge our leisure batteries off the van battery and vice-versa.

We’ve got plugs in the front and the back, so we can charge our devices when we’re driving or lying in bed. There’s also the option to wire up shore power for when staying at a campsite for electricity.

Van Life Tour: Our Custom 1999 Hyundai H100 Van Conversion | UK Lifestyle Blog

The ‘Bedroom’

In the back we have a futon pull out double sofa bed with hard-wearing water resistant cover. We always keep the bed pulled out, this way we have more storage under the frame and we don’t have to worry about making the bed every night, we can just jump straight in!

We sleep with a warm duvet, along with some throws and a bedspread for cooler nights. When we were sleeping in the mountains and it was below freezing, we used our sleeping bags which zip together (cute!) and they’re are suitable for temperatures as low as -25 degrees celsius.

Van Life Tour: Our Custom 1999 Hyundai H100 Van Conversion | UK Lifestyle Blog

Storage and Space

Boris is smaller than most vans but that’s why I fell in love with him. Parking isn’t too much of an issue and nobody really bothers us because we go under the radar. It’s just short enough to get into carparks without any hassle (unless you’re in Paris!), and things like ferry crossings and tolls are cheaper, too.

We’re clever with our use of space and have storage hammocks, hanging hooks, Velcro nets, and a rack behind the seats with pockets. Underneath the bed we can fit 4 cabin sized suitcases (or 2 when being used as a sofa). There’s enough room for a toilet, 2 mountain bikes and it easily fits a couple of surfboards.

Van Life Tour: Our Custom 1999 Hyundai H100 Van Conversion | UK Lifestyle Blog

Our lil Kitchen

To the right-hand side of the bed we’ve got a 6ft grey wood effect kitchen worktop with a small stainless steel sink with an electric tap and a fixed gas hob. Underneath we’ve got a storage hammock for our food, our water tank and plumbing, and our gas. Above we’ve got a little built-in kitchen cupboard for our bowls, cutlery etc.

We did have a fridge but we replaced it for an electric cool box, which was miles better until it broke. We’ve got 2x powder fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide alarm and fire alarm – and I’m so glad we did because we’ve had to use it during our trip, which was one of the most terrifying moments of my life.

Van Life Tour: Our Custom 1999 Hyundai H100 Van Conversion | UK Lifestyle Blog

Built-in Speakers

If you’re going on a long road trip, it’s crucial to have a decent sound-system. Boris has 4 built in speakers in the ceiling with Bluetooth connectivity. There’s the option to hook up a subwoofer, too. We didn’t do this because of space but it’s awesome to know we can put one in, if we want to.

When we’re watching movies in the van we can connected the audio up to the ceiling mounted speakers in the back, which acts as surround sound (amazing for watching a horror movies!). A couple of times we’ve driven somewhere just to watch the sunset then cuddle up in the van with a takeaway and Netflix, it beats staying in!    

Van Life Tour: Our Custom 1999 Hyundai H100 Van Conversion | UK Lifestyle Blog

His Quirks!

When we were in Belgium S accidentally snapped the handle off the passenger door. It was stressful at the time but it’s funny when we look back on it. We had peace-of-mind knowing that nobody could just open the door to get into our van 😂 It’s only £12 to replace on eBay, so it’s not the end of the world.

In that same week, the wing-mirror snapped off, too. We held it together with a bunch of masking tape and superglue, and somehow it stayed put for the entirety of our 2 month road-trip.

Van Life Tour: Our Custom 1999 Hyundai H100 Van Conversion | UK Lifestyle Blog

Other people probably think he’s a piece of shit, but I’m bias. He’s given us so many amazing adventures that I just love him (despite him costing me a small fortune, thanks to being in the garage!). The best bit about Boris: Freedom to cook dinner and sleep anywhere you can drive.

2019-02-25T22:11:48+00:00 November 1, 2018|Popular, Van Life|

Vanlife Jobs: Ways to Make Money Whilst Traveling

Once upon a time, there were many people who believed that the only way to make a decent living and prepare for their future was to work in an office. Day after day, they’d sit and stare at their computer monitors (or paper-strewn desks, back in the old days), desperately wishing that they could escape but just not quite knowing how to. They knew that there were jobs out there for them, but the process seemed so arcane and difficult to grasp.

Now, we have the Internet, an invention which has simultaneously made things a million times easier and much more difficult. On the one hand, a huge amount of information is available at your fingertips; you can easily search anything you could possibly want to know and find the answer pretty much immediately. On the other hand, those looking for (as an example) a change of career might not know where to start, since the vastness of the information available is staggering.

Vanlife Jobs: Ways to Make Money Whilst Traveling | UK Lifestyle BlogGallery: This Swedish skiing supercouple had the best #vanlife summer ever link here.

We’re currently on a roadtrip around Europe in our van (much more on that coming soon!), and we’re so lucky that we can work from anywhere in the world doing SEO and Google Ads. If you don’t know digital marketing, and that’s not your jam, don’t worry. Your dream of working on the move isn’t over. This is a list of just a few of the jobs you could do if you love to travel:

Trading

Trading has been around as a job for many, many years, but it’s never been easier to do it than today. Effectively, trading involves keeping an eye on trends within certain markets and predicting them using various strategies and your own knowhow. It’s demanding, mathematics-heavy and risky work, but it pays dividends if you know what you’re doing.

There are various kinds of trading, including Forex trading (foreign exchange currency trading) and stocks and shares trading. Choosing an excellent trading platform with smartphone capabilities is key – All of them can be done on the move, as long as you have access to decent tech and a good Internet connection. If you’ve got decent capital to start with, you can make serious money trading.

Pilot or air steward

If you love to travel, then there are few jobs better suited to you than being on a plane all day, right? Obviously, in order to become a pilot you’re going to need some serious expertise; there are courses and qualifications aplenty which you’ll need to complete before you’re allowed behind the controls of a plane.

If the idea of controlling the plane itself leaves you queasy, then perhaps you’d be better suited to being an air steward. As a steward, you’ll tend to your passengers’ needs, explain safety procedures and perform general maintenance of the plane; you’ll get to travel to various countries each day depending on which company you work for and what shifts you’re put on.

Vanlife Jobs: Ways to Make Money Whilst Traveling | UK Lifestyle Blog

International aid volunteer

There are a huge amount of organisations constantly looking for people to help with food and medical aid in less-developed countries. Charities like the VSO, UK-based ICS and Challenges Worldwide offer many and varied positions, so there’s almost no chance that your skill set won’t be useful in some way as an international volunteer. If you’re looking for work that’s rewarding, challenging, and varied, then you’ll struggle to find something more satisfying than volunteering abroad.

Don’t expect this to be easy; many of the countries you’ll be working in are likely to be fairly far from home, and you might be needed for extended periods of time. This also isn’t strictly speaking a “job”, in that it won’t pay in the conventional sense. It will, however, be excellent for your CV.

Blogger

Do you like to write in your spare time? Have a specific subject about which you know more than anyone else? Want to get paid to write about it? You could even become a travel blogger. Well, it’s…not quite that simple. Building up an audience to justify getting paid to blog is a long, difficult and arduous process – nobody’s going to pretend it isn’t. You’ll have to put a lot of work into a blog as a side venture before it becomes big enough to quit your full-time job.

With that said, blogging is one of the most creatively fulfilling jobs you can possibly have. If you work hard enough (and luck out a little bit), then you’ll have a job where you have full creative control over your content, as well as how it’s distributed and who you partner with. If you’re lucky enough to have an in-demand blog, the world is your oyster, and – better yet – you can easily blog on the go with laptops and even tablets.

Vanlife Jobs: Ways to Make Money Whilst Traveling | UK Lifestyle Blog

Bartending

We’ve spoken to some people among whom bartending has a very unfairly low reputation. “Isn’t it just pouring drinks?” say they. Our reply to this is always the following: do you remember the best cocktail you ever had? Where did it come from? How about that bartender who got into a fiery debate with you about some issue or other, and the conversation went on sporadically as they served customers?

Bartending is an incredibly difficult job to do well; it requires great people skills, excellent manual co-ordination, and the patience of several saints. You’ll never be prouder than when you serve that perfect mojito or that ideal Long Island iced tea, though. Bartenders are in high demand all around the world, so getting gigs in different countries shouldn’t be too arduous for you.

2018-10-04T12:18:54+00:00 October 4, 2018|Van Life|

3 Tips to Feeling Sexy & Instagram-Ready When on an Adventure

Everyday life can be great in its own way, but it also gets seriously dull after a while. We all basically know the solution to this dilemma. Pack your bags, book a holiday in the sun, and head off. Or, at the very least, get out of the house for a while and do something fun, exciting, and unusual to let your spirit free.

The only problem with following your adventures around the world — especially if you’re the type who loves disappearing into the rainforest or the Australian outback, or up a mountain somewhere with a breathtaking view — is that it can be a real trick knowing how to stay sexy when you’re away from, have limited bag space, and can’t get ready at a dressing table.

I’ve learnt a lot on how to tackle greasy hair and looking like I’ve just rolled out of bed, whilst living in a small van traveling around Europe. Here are a few straightforward tips for staying sexy on an adventure.

3 Tips to Feeling Sexy & Instagram-Ready When on an Adventure | UK Lifestyle Blog

Let your jewellery do the talking

Jewellery is your best friend when you’re travelling light and doing exciting, active things with your time. The reason for this is really simple — jewellery is (usually) really light, really easy to transport, and unless you’re going way overboard, often won’t get in the way of whatever you might be doing on the day.

A stylish pair of silver tragus piercings will allow you to add a bit of glamour and style to any look or outfit, without getting on a tree branch like your biggest pair of hoop earrings like. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t pack your hoop earrings, too. Just pick the right occasion for putting them on.

Design and discover your action-ready adventure-girl look

If you’re travelling somewhere exotic, to do the kinds of physically demanding sporty activity that your existing wardrobe isn’t well-adapted for, it might be a great occasion for making some choice additions to that wardrobe.

Everyone can think of an “action girl” from film or TV. A lady Indiana Jones, or Lara Croft, if you will. And there’s definitely something cool about being able to go from “sultry vixen in an evening dress” to “adventure-chick” at the drop of a hat, depending on your mood.

Spend a while thinking of outfit choices that will be both practical and also appeal to your stylistic preferences. Think of it as a way of letting your inner action movie heroine out.

Put in your gym-time

Alright, so this is a longer-term strategy, but if you’ve been skipping your gym sessions, the desire to look your best in any situation — even halfway up a mountain — should be a good motivating factor for getting you back down to your Zumba classes.

There isn’t one perfect physical look or build that applies to everyone, but you can be pretty sure that, when it comes to looking your best in any situation, getting yourself into the best possible shape will only help to make that a reality, whatever your dimensions end up being.

Developing a bit of muscle in the right places, and keeping your weight within your ideal range, will help to ensure that you wear every outfit with style.

2018-10-01T13:14:48+00:00 October 1, 2018|Van Life|
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