Meet the Dublin couple who decided to take on ‘van life’ after finishing college

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Travelling after college is pretty common, but this Dublin couple have spent the past eight months exploring Europe in a unique way.

Jamie Duff and Martha Constantine finished their degrees in DCU last May and were indecisive about what they wanted to do next.

The couple knew they wanted to travel and were considering backpacking around South East Asia but Covid-19 restrictions prevented them from doing so.

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Then they discovered the “van life” concept and purchased Kermit The Van.

Speaking to Dublin Live, Jamie and Martha explained how they got on the road and why they would recommend this lifestyle to anyone.

“We were in the car on the way to Portlaoise and Martha was scrolling on her phone when she saw a TikTok of someone doing van life, travelling around in their van around Europe,” Jamie said.

Jamie and Martha on their travels

“Two or three weeks later we were looking at vans and ended up buying Kermit.

“We were looking through dealerships and second hand websites and we found our van on Done Deal.

“So the guy that was selling this van, that was his main job, he’d sell and buy vans. He ended up buying this van from a company and the company colours were this crazy looking Kermit green that we fell in love with straight away.

“We went to have a look and got it for a good price.”

Kermit The Van required a lot of work to be made liveable.

Martha said: “We did a lot of work to make the van more liveable. When we got it, it was empty and kind of in bits. There were holes on the floor which we had to patch up and dirt everywhere.

“So we had to clean all of that up and then work on actually converting the van, so adding insulation, an extractor van and the windows.

“Then moving on to the kitchen and bed etc. So we did a lot of work to tailor the van to us and make it more liveable.

“We also had to add electrics so we could power the lights and charge our phones. We had to add gas to use the cooker and running water for the sink.

“So all of that had to be done to make the van a home for us.”

The inside of Kermit The Van

The couple spent three months converting Kermit before setting off on their travels in early September.

They have been on the road ever since, only coming home for Christmas and their college graduation.

Jamie said they are “loving every second of it”.

“The highlight for me is meeting different people on the road. You meet people who have converted a van and are doing the exact same thing as you.

“You can tell each other your stories and different experiences.

“But also finding all of these cool towns and cities and places you never would have thought to go to before, but it’s just so easy with the van, you can explore literally everywhere.”

Jamie and Martha started an Instagram page to record their journey and inspire others to consider a similar approach to travelling.

“We started the Instagram when we began converting the van, mainly so our family and friends could see our progress,” Jamie said.

“From there then, the Van Life community is quite big, especially in Ireland. So we got loads of other van pages following us and we were able to get advice from them.

“It’s just a great way to show people this amazing lifestyle and to show different ways of travelling.

“It doesn’t have to be your stereotypical fly to a city for a week and stay at a hotel and fly home.

“There’s much more to travelling than that.

“We feel like it’s a great way of showing people that they can do this.

“It is a big investment at the start with the van conversion but when you’re actually out here and travelling, your costs are very low because you’re not paying for accommodation.

“All you’re paying for is groceries, fuel and activities you do, they’re your main expenses.”

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.