59 & 36 years, from Berlin, Germany

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

“The camper is like a big suitcase with everything you need in it.” 

Karsten & Carina – Playa Las Americas, Tenerife
59 & 36 years, from Berlin, Germany

At the beginning of 2021, Karsten and Carina went to Tenerife together for the first time to go on holiday and surf. They had rented a holiday flat. Karsten is ­basically not a friend of (poorly furnished) holiday ­accommodation, he misses the feeling of being at home. They both noticed how good the possibilities are on Tenerife to live in a mobile home.

In his twenties, Karsten often went windsurfing in France. It had always been his dream to have his own van with which he could travel Lonely Wolf-style. Now they have both put the idea into practice together. Back in Germany, they started looking for campers and found one in Bavaria. They went on a three-week tour through Holland, France, northern Spain to Tenerife, where they parked the camper permanently. It was a combination of city trip and surfing. Without a concrete plan of where they would end up each night.

The two have known each other for fourteen years. Carina was a participant in a course at the university, Karsten her professor. A few years ago they met again in Karsten’s bar, which he runs in Berlin Kreuzberg alongside his professorship and work as an artist. They have been a couple for three years.

The van is parked on the property of friends. Karsten and Carina fly to the island whenever they can to spend time in the camper and surf together. For Carina, Las Americas is a strange place, a mixture of Las Vegas and Ballermann. A biotope where English tourists, German pensioners and the surfers mix. When they come to surf with their camper to the Playa Las Americas car park, one of their favourite pastimes is to observe the strolling, dressed-up tourists on the promenade, although it is not always obvious who ends up watching whom. With their own camper, they can live on the best surf beach in Tenerife, right in the middle of it all. When they’ve had enough of all the people, they hole up in their van and keep to themselves until it quiets down in the evening in the car park.