The ad-VAN-tages of life on the road! Adventure-hungry couple spend $15,000 transforming a Ford Transit into a slick home on wheels
- Demi Jenkins and Eli Telesnitsky, both 26 and from Australia, spent Aus$7,400 on a 2005 Ford Transit
- They then gutted it and fitted new interiors, with the eight-month transformation costing Aus$8,500
- So far, the couple has clocked up around 9,000 miles in the vehicle and they’re considering hopping abroad
An adventure-hungry couple have told how they converted a humble Ford Transit van into a slick home on wheels for Aus$15,000 (£9,000, US$11,000) and they are loving the more relaxed pace of life.
Dancer and henna artist Demi Jenkins and electrician Eli Telesnitsky, both 26 and from Brisbane, Australia, decided to pack their life into a van after realising they’d explored more countries abroad than their homeland.
Stunning photos show them out on the road, relaxing in their new tiny home, cooking on the beach and feasting on spectacular views en-route.
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Stunning pictures show dancer and henna artist Demi Jenkins and electrician Eli Telesnitsky, both 26 and from Brisbane, Australia, relaxing in their van, cooking on the beach and feasting on spectacular views
The couple spent Aus$7,400 on a 2005 Ford Transit LWB and another Aus$8,500 converting it into a liveable space
The pair decided to hit the road after realising they had seen more of other countries than their homeland
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Other incredible images show the Aus$7,400 2005 Ford Transit LWB before its transformation and after the couple had spent Aus$8,500 and eight months on its transformation.
Explaining what inspired the project, Demi said: ‘We decided that we needed to change before we continue exploring the rest of the world.
‘The pull for “van life” specifically was mainly for affordability and to try a new way of living. We had seen many others do it online with great success and thought we should give it a go. We also both loved the idea of having a project to put our creativity and skills to work.
Revealing what life on the road is like, Demi said: ‘Comparing this Nomadic lifestyle to our old lifestyle, our lives were very routinely organised and revolved around work.
‘Whereas now, our life revolves around where we are travelling next and what hobbies we want to fit into our day, we then fit work around that. This has also taught us how little we actually need to work in order to fulfil our needs and pleasures.’
The couple has so far clocked up around 9,000 miles in their van after a quick ‘test’ journey north to Mission Beach from Brisbane before travelling south to Sydney, Merimbula, Mt Kosciusko and Melbourne
The couple have no set plans for the future but are considering taking their van overseas, building a house boat or moving to Eastern Europe
So far, the couple has clocked up around 9,000 miles in their van after a quick ‘test’ journey north to Mission Beach from Brisbane before travelling south to Sydney, Merimbula, Mt Kosciusko and Melbourne.
They then took a ferry to Tasmania and upon their return they worked for a month along the Great Ocean Road before driving through Adelaide, Esperance and up to Perth where they currently reside.
‘We love that we have so much more time for the things we have “always wanted to do”,’ added Demi.
‘There are no busy days holding us back anymore, our lives revolve around learning, relaxing and doing what brings us joy.
‘This has led to a lot of self-discovery and new understanding of the balance of work and play. Another part of travelling in a van is all the like-minded friendly people you meet along the way.
The couple say they have met some amazing people on their trip so far, with some living a similar lifestyle
The bed is elevated with storage space built into the wooden frame. Demi has also used her tattooing skills to enhance some of the furniture
A view from the back of the van reveals some of the interior artwork, including a hand-painted map of Australia
The couple have all of the things they need packed into their van, including a bike, surf board, hula hoop and guitar
‘We have met some amazing people on our trip so far, some who have been living a similar lifestyle, some who “did the same thing when they were young” or others who have a wealth of knowledge on the area and simply want us to see all the best bits.
‘Either way we couldn’t be more grateful for all the friends we have made and will treasure these memories.’
The couple have no set plans for the future but are considering taking their van overseas, building a house boat or moving to Eastern Europe.
Their professions lend themselves to life on the road as Demi is a henna artist so she sets up a stall for local markets wherever they go while they also pick up casual work on Gumtree.
The insulation used was a poly carbonate foam that was then covered with another layer of thin insulation before the panelling was put in
Eli’s skills as an electrician came in handy when they were building their new home on wheels
This photo shows the building process with the door panels removed so they could be restored
The adventurous pair hope their journey will inspire others to get out and explore.
Offering some advice for those wishing to follow their example, Demi said: ‘It’s not as hard as you think.
‘Yes, we are young and lucky enough to not be weighed down by debt but the transition into this lifestyle was so much easier than we ever imagined. We also understand it’s not for everyone, but if you are even thinking of doing this you need to give it a go.
‘Sometimes a different perspective on life is all you need to push you in the right direction. You never know where it could lead you. It’s also so much cheaper than living in a city where rent is through the roof.
‘You learn how little money you can live on very comfortably and you prioritise your happiness, less working more living.’
Eli sits admiring a view of the ocean from the comfort of his converted van
A view of the van interior from the side door. The guitar hangs from the ceiling to save some space
Demi relaxes on the pull-out deck and in the background you can see their trusty hot water system for showers
Hungry for a new beginning: Eli uses the back deck to cook using a gas camp stove most mornings and evenings
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