33 years, from Ghent, Belgium

So Many Ways; Vanlife; 2022; Portugal; Teneriffa; travel; lifestyle; van; camper; lebensgeschichten; life stories; Saskia Uppenkamp; Portrait; Fotograf; Fotografin; Berlin; Friedrichshain; Studio; On Location; Reportage

We live in a very busy society with lot of influences, it is nice to slow down from time to time.”

Eline – Playa de Las Teresitas, Tenerife
33 years, from Ghent, Belgium

To be alone. This is the reason for Eline’s two-month trip to Tenerife. She actually describes herself as a very social person, appreciates and enjoys the company of her friends and family. The past months were very exhausting for her, a lot of stressful work, one relationship ended, a new one began. Taking time out in between to focus on herself is a big priority in Eline’s life. She wants to create space for herself on the journey, and consciously deal with her issues in order to grow as a person.

Her current van is very basic. She likes simplicity. A bed, a gas cooker and some camping equipment. Travelling alone with the van, not having to consult or explain with anyone. If she sees something great, she stops, if she wants to sleep at eight, she sleeps, if she feels like smoking all day, she does. The freedom to break out of her daily routines and live in rhythm with nature make this way of travelling special for Eline. At the beginning of the first Covid wave, she took her bus and escaped from the city to the Belgian Ardennes. There she lived in nature, even though it was strictly forbidden to be outside at the time. At certain moments, she felt like a refugee. Eline describes herself as a nomadic person. She loves to be on the move.

Lately, she has worked in the event sector as a freelancer, organizing bars for sponsors at big festivals. She comes from a family of entrepreneurs. The thought of starting something on her own was taking more and more space in her mind, her family encouraged her in her intention. Eline thought back and forth, maybe a drum’n’base event or a party for elderly people? In the end, however, the idea was very obvious: a festival for camper vans.

She herself has owned vans for seven years and is familiar with the lifestyle. Last year, she organized the first Open Camper Days in Belgium. Workshops, concerts, talks, and exhibitors presenting their van conversions, all around the theme of van life. Finally, it feels like she has found her thing. In 2022, the festival will go into its second round. With that prospect ahead, it’s easy for her to enjoy the trip in every way, without worrying about what comes next.