I did a fun thing! I know I do lots of fun things, but this one is really cool! My friend and I rented a 1974 Yellow Kombi and had the most epic day with it! For one day of my entire life, I looked cool, haha but seriously! We drove around Byron Bay area, stopped when we saw cool photo spots and went nuts! We took so many photos, with so many outfits and had the best time. We #doitforthegram, or just being hardcore girls, we had fun! There are so many photos of this awesome kombi van day, check them out below and give us a comment on which photo you liked the best!
Yes, you got it right. My vanlife died. It was a dark morning when I finished work, it was my birthday actually. I got blessed with the worst birthday gift ever. My engine blew up and my vanlife died. In that split second, I was homeless, vehicle-less and therefore soul-less. It might sound like I’m exaggerating, but in reality, when your entire world is held within a couple walls of steel and it collapses, you become lost. I grabbed a couple outfits, my tooth brush and some needed items and I quickly found myself on the floor of my friends bedroom. Waking up with tears in my eyes on my birthday morning can only vaguely explain the sadness I was feeling. I had plans to go out with friends for my birthday, and those plans were quickly cancelled when I couldn’t even bring myself off the hard floor I’d been sleeping on.
For the next week the sadness got worse, because all the mechanics in Queenstown are so ungrateful to have business. Treating me disposable, not wanting to help, and leaving me very confused with where to go from here. I decided to have my van shipped to a mechanic an hour out of town, a mechanic that is actually a nice human being that will help. His verdict was, the engine has blown up and needs to be replaced. To be honest, the cost of living in Queenstown is insanely expensive, $1000 per month for a little bedroom in a house. I decided that fixing my van is always a cheaper option because I don’t have to pay rent. As the mechanic was on the lookout for a new engine, I patiently waited on the couches of my friends houses, with only a bag to my name.
Traveling in Asia only consists of having a bag as well, but in this case, my bag was half packed since I was in a rush as the tow truck came to pick up my dead vanlife. I barely had what I needed by any means. Needless to say, it was a very tough time for me. It has now been over 3 weeks without my van, and I’d say I’m dealing with it pretty well. Looking back, I was getting too comfortable with the van life, always expecting it to be there waiting for me at all times with everything I needed. But isn’t that what we all want, a reliable vehicle?
Since my van is 30 years old this year, I realise that some parts are hard to come by – even though there are so many Nissan Caravans roaming New Zealand. I don’t have time to wait for a vanlife to die so I can steal it’s engine, so back to the drawing board we go. The current status is the mechanic is ripping the engine apart to find the problem and repair it. The key to anything in life, I feel, is to go with the flow, accept and always always stay positive. I know I’ll be going on a whole New Zealand road trip again in May and my van will be awesome and fixed! Until then, I’ll be focusing on other things, especially meditating and learning more about photography. Stay busy, stay happy right?
What I've learned since my van died
- Never get too comfortable with your surroundings, they could collapse at any second. That being said, don’t live the same day everyday thinking you’ve got time. I used to just sit in my van days on end because I just felt comfortable and happy in it. I should have been getting out a lot more and doing adventures.
- Be open and adaptable to change. Need to swiftly change your environment for any reason? Keep an open mind and heart and know that this is happening for a reason, to teach you something perhaps?
- Stay positive. Always. This is probably the hardest thing for me, I subtley enjoy basking in the pond of my own misery sometimes. It seems easier to stay in the pond of sadness than to turn that frown upside down and look on the bright side. Life is really just a game, and I’m slowly learning how to rewire my brain to see the good in every situation.
Well, this has been the extent of my life lately. I’ve been on loads of adventures with friends, learned so much more about photography and have gotten out of my comfort zone in many ways. Staying positive and looking forward to my road trip in May. I can’t wait to revive my dead van life, so send some positive vibes with the van mechanic gods out there everyone!
More on Beanies&Bikinis
Welcome to the Vanlife. Sometimes it’s a beautiful day, and I can open up the doors and feel like I have a mansion. But sometimes it rains and then it feels like a van again and I need to learn to enjoy my space. I actually really enjoy the inside of my van, I feel so at home and cozy. So when it rains it gives me an excuse to stay in the van on that cozy rainy day and work on some photos or blog stuff. I usually end up doing a little clean up, and some laundry and take a rest day! I’ve made a little video to show my vanlife on a rainy day, enjoy it below!
Next on Beanies & Bikinis
Cheers to the 2nd set of photos from my roadtrip from Lake Tekapo to Mt Cook. I seriously have so many photos I had to split them up into 3 sections! So far we’ve gone from Queenstown, over the Crown Range to Lake Pukaki, now were over to Lake Tekapo to Mt Cook!
Loopy for Lupins!
You could say I’m loopy for lupins. I planned my entire trip around these beautiful flowers. I wanted to get the timing just right so that they’d be blooming like crazy for my photos, and I think I got it pretty good! It’s crazy how much vibrance New Zealand has, especially from Lake Tekapo to Mt Cook! Purple lupins, aqua lakes, green fields, white mountains, it’s actually incredible!
Hello, Lake Tekapo!
We arrived just in time to catch the sunset! The water was still, there was barely any wind and the road trip from Tekapo to Mt Cook was turning out to be a success! I found the best spot to park Torin and have a good camp. I’ve downloaded 2 apps that help me find free self-contained spots for me to park the van, Campermate and Wiki Camps. I use them both because each app sometimes has different secret spots. They are also super useful for finding dumping stations, toilets, showers etc.
Trying out that night photography
The hardest part of night photography for me, is using the manual focus and getting the focus perfect on the stars. I absolutely respect people who can get night photography perfect… until then, I will continue the learning journey. For some inspiration, and someone I’m obsessed with, look below. This guy is unreal!
What is it that you guys like about astrophotography? It seems that all across the internet, people love astro far more than normal landscapes, sunsets etc. I have my own observations on this subject but I'm interested to see what you guys have to say, so please leave your comments & opinions below! 🙂 This is a hand stitched pano of 2 landscape shots of the Milky Way over Queenstown from The Remarkables look out point last winter with some cool turquoise air glow hanging around in the sky! Canon 6D Tamron 15-30 f/2.8 ISO10,000 f/3.5 15mm 25sec 2 landscape shot, vertical panorama #astro #astrophotography #nz #newzealit #newzealand #nzmustdo #queenstownnz #queenstown #milkyway #stars #longexposure #space #canon #canonnz #photooftheday #purenewzealand #longexposurephotography #longexpohunter #longexpoelite #nightphotography #nightimages #ourplanetdaily #natgeospace #fantastic_earth #awesome_earthpix #awesome_earth #epic #
What's a day without yoga?
A day without yoga usually ends up with me being stiff, so I do some yoga everyday, road trip or not! Of course I’ve got to have my cup of coffee with a beautiful view! Unfortunately I’ve been breaking my glass mugs like it’s my job. This cute mug is dead, it’s time to get another one!
🌍 Someday everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason 🌍 . . #vanlife #vans #vanlifediaries #vanlifers #vanlifeproject #newzealand #queenstown #buslife #livesimply #van #livinginavan #campervannz #campervan #travelingtheworld #travelblog #wanderlust #simplelife #boho #bohemian #liveauthentic
You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way 💡 . . #vanlife #vans #vanlifediaries #vanlifers #vanlifeproject #newzealand #queenstown #buslife #livesimply #van #livinginavan #campervannz #campervan #travelingtheworld #travelblog #wanderlust #simplelife #boho #bohemian #liveauthentic #projectvanlifeaustralia
We've finally made it to Mt Cook!
Wow! What an epic drive, one of my favorites! By the time I did Tekapo to Mt Cook, I was sleepy and wanted a nap. I also didn’t mention that I found out I had hay fever and there were no pharmacies around, so I was pretty much dying! The views were absolutely unreal, Mt Cook is one of my faves. It was a bit unfortunate, but the weather was horrible and the van was shaking all night. There weren’t too many more photos from Mt Cook area since I left in a hurry to find the sun!
What to read next on Beanies&Bikinis
Torin and I are off on a small road trip up to Lake Pukaki, where we will see the bluest most beautiful water in the world! I’ve been to Lake Pukaki before and I absolutely fell in love, which is why I’ll probably take 10 more trips to be mesmerized by its color again!
Passing by the Roaring Meg
Coming from Queenstown, we passed by the Roaring Meg which is a Hydro-Electric Power Station. Other than the Power Station, the view is gorgeous and a great place to make a vanlife coffee I must say!
Onto Lindis Pass we go
Let’s head on to Lindis Pass, where we see many purple Lupins smiling at the sun! These flowers are my absolute favorite, they are the cutest and perfect to have in that background of selfies! I’ve got loads of photos in my next post of me dancing around in the Lupins! I stopped way too many times on the side of the road to take photos of these babies!
A quick stop to Omarama
After driving for an hour, I noticed from the window a gorgeous field with mountains in the background. I had to stop and capture this beautiful moment! My favorite is when there is a giant flat field, with some much vast space and then massive mountains in the background. Running around in this field was so satisfying!
New zealand is the best. Cheers to where I actually am right now 💗💗 Having the best holiday roadtrip 🎄🎉 . . #vanlife #vans #vanlifediaries #vanlifers #vanlifeproject #newzealand #queenstown #buslife #livesimply #van #livinginavan #campervannz #campervan #travelingtheworld #travelblog #wanderlust #simplelife
We made it to Lake Pukaki!
How stunning is this lake, seriously! Once I first laid eyes on it, I was obsessed. I’ve been back here 3 times the past year because I love it that much! It makes the perfect backdrop for amazing photos, it’s relaxing and it has the perfect view of Mt Cook. Compared to Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki is definitely my favorite! If you’ve got a campervan, download the app CAMPERMATE to help you find all the secret free and cheap caravan parks in New Zealand.
Ships dont sink because of the water around them. Ships sink because of the water inside them. Dont let whats happening around you get inside and weigh you down 🌍 . . #vanlife #vans #vanlifediaries #vanlifers #vanlifeproject #newzealand #queenstown #buslife #livesimply #van #livinginavan #campervannz #campervan #travelingtheworld #travelblog #wanderlust #simplelife #boho #bohemian #liveauthentic
The road trip doesn't end here!
A couple nights around Lake Pukaki was epic, it’s definitely one of my favorite spots in the South Island of New Zealand. On my next post, I’ll be sharing the rest of my trip, stay tuned to see where I end up! Cheers to the Vanlife!