As a freelance filmmaker, Sebastian Schieren has always loved capturing unique adventures while travelling. To make the process a whole lot easier, he built a comfortable camper van outfitted with everything he could need to make living and working on the road easier. 

The interior of Sebastian's van
Sebastian converted the van to act as a portable office and home while he's working on the road © @sebastian_schieren

“The funny thing is, I wouldn’t even consider myself the typical vanlife traveller with the dream of living in freedom. In truth, I am a little nerdy, and spend a lot of time on my laptop editing videos. My real passion for filming is to do adventure outdoor documentaries. I always hated being restricted with camera gear while travelling, on top of that I often had no power or internet to edit. That’s why I decided to build a camper van with my brother,” Sebastian told Lonely Planet.

sebastian working on his van with an angle grinder
The filmmaker said he picked up some new DIY skills in the process © @sebastian_schieren

Sebastian’s main goal was to create something that would allow him to film in the middle of nowhere, with the space to carry the equipment that he needs and the proper tools to edit his work. He planned on spending two weeks converting it at a cost of €6000, but the project ended up taking four months and €14,000. With the help of his brother, Sebastian worked to get rid of the rust and repair different areas of the van before outfitting it with a bed, storage and an editing station. He said that his DIY skills improved in the process.

The van with the stars overhead
The van with the stars overhead © @sebastian_schieren

An avid surf-enthusiast, since its completion the filmmaker has taken the van on trips to France, Spain and Portugal. “The further you travel down the Atlantic coast the easier it is to sleep with ocean views and no one around. Especially during the off-season, before the winter comes the Atlantic produces endless perfect waves. Concerning the landscape, my absolute favourite is Scandinavia. It is even legal to camp at most of the Scandinavian lakes. The forest and mountains are amazing for biking and hiking.”

Sabastian hanging clothes in the van
The van has a stove, a bed and space to edit while on the road © @sebastian_schieren

The project worked well, with the van allowing Sebastian to work while he is on the road. And while some travellers have a rose-tinted view of vanlife, he describes it in a more balanced way.

“To be honest, I learned to appreciate the hot shower back home! Being stuck in the middle of nowhere, I often asked myself why I didn't pick a different hobby. But then there are also calm days with a lot of time for video editing. And drinking my coffee in a new spot every morning is kind of epic!”

More information on Sebastian and his travels is available on his Instagram page

Read more: The best destinations for camper van travel

Explore related stories

May 17, 2024: This morning, we filmed at Quesos Artisanos Villarejo, which makes award-winning cheeses - especially Manchego cheese.  We met with Miguel Romero Saiz, who gave us a tour of the facility.  He showed us all the steps of making their cheese.  Afterwards, we did a tasting of their award-winning cheese.  

Afterward, we went to a nearby farm where they milk sheep for their cheese.  Local farmer Jose Andres Prieto Valencia showed us how he herds the sheep and milks them.
Spain Marketing 1379722

Cultural Site

Spanish agritourism: Rural experiences in La Rioja and beyond 

Jul 12, 2024 • 9 min read