Lonely Planet Writer

Meet the couple who quit their jobs to travel the world in a Volkswagen van

Meet the couple who quit their day jobs for the trip of a lifetime in their 1988 Volkswagen T3 Syncro van they call Luz. The spectacular pictures show Sandro Alvarez (37), a sociologist and musician from Zürich, Switzerland and Gabriella Hummel, a freelance journalist and writer (26) from Vaduz, Liechtenstein, who are collectively known as ‘Vanabundos’, enjoying life on the road as they travel through the Americas after shipping their van from Belgium to Seattle, USA where their adventure started.

Vanabundos enjoying life on the road in Mexico.Image by Gabriella Hummel and Sandro Alvarez / mediadrumworld.com
Vanabundos enjoying life on the road in Mexico.Image by Gabriella Hummel and Sandro Alvarez / mediadrumworld.com

Other envy-inducing shots show Gabriella, who is also a yoga teacher, practicing early morning yoga on the beach in Zipolite, Mexico with a feline friend and Sandro taking to the driver’s seat.

Gabriella performing yoga with a feline friend. Gabriella Hummel and Sandro Alvarez / mediadrumworld.com
Gabriella performing yoga with a feline friend. Gabriella Hummel and Sandro Alvarez / mediadrumworld.com

So far, the couple has clocked up more than 15,000 miles in ten months. “We always wanted to go traveling together, two years ago we went to Bali and rented a van there to drive around the island,” said Gabriella and Sandro. “We loved the independence that comes with this style of traveling so we decided to buy our own van and discover the American continent in it. We started in Seattle, USA and drove to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico in eight months, in between there were many stops and detours.”

On the road with Gabriella and Sandro. Image by: Gabriella Hummel and Sandro Alvarez / mediadrumworld.com
On the road with Gabriella and Sandro. Image by: Gabriella Hummel and Sandro Alvarez / mediadrumworld.com

Gabriella and Sandro went to the Burning Man Festival in Nevada and travelled to Baja, California where Gabriella did an advanced yoga teacher training course for a month. They rented an apartment in Mexico City for a couple of weeks and almost stayed in Zipolite on the Oaxacan Coast in Mexico forever.

Gabriella Hummel and Sandro Alvarez / mediadrumworld.com
Gabriella Hummel and Sandro Alvarez / mediadrumworld.com

The couple says that there are two types of days on the road, driving days and non-driving days. They also say that the van does not feel as small a space as it is.“It’s like having your house with you all the time, the van is the perfect match for us,” they explained. “Not only does it look very nice inside, it is also very practical. The water filtration system and the solar panels do a great job in making us very independent.”

Gabriella relaxing in the Volkswagen. Gabriella Hummel and Sandro Alvarez / mediadrumworld.com
Gabriella relaxing in the Volkswagen. Gabriella Hummel and Sandro Alvarez / mediadrumworld.com

The two are enjoying traveling slowly and they are planning the rest of their trip after Mexico. “The plan is to drive all the way down to Argentina where Gabriella’s family is from, we’re travelling pretty slowly, so this could take us a while,” they explained. “Right now, we’re having issues to get a visa for Belize for Gabriella, so we might have to skip that and drive to Guatemala directly.”

Gabriella and Sandro say that there is nothing stopping anyone else from doing the same if they want to and say that they do not miss their old lifestyle. “So many people tell us that they would love to do something like this and usually they come up with all kinds of reasons why it’s not possible,” they added.

(Media Drum World)