After returning from an amazing vacation, while coping up with the Monday blues at work, we all harbor a secret fantasy – there will be a day when I quit this 9-5 mundane routine, pack my bags, and travel someplace to never return. This fleeting fantasy might seem difficult to ever be seriously pursued but proving that wrong, a 40-year-old German engineer and photographer turned this dream into a reality.
For Thilo Vogel, it wasn’t just any ordinary long term travel plan. He actually quit his job, left his home and started to live in a car! With the technical qualification of a mechanical engineer and a full-time a career as a photographer, this decision was neither impulsive nor borne out of necessity.
Thilo’s work required him to travel a lot and he wasn’t home most of the time. As a result, his house was full of stuff that he barely used until one day, when he realized that living like this wasn’t meant for him. He started to declutter his house and got rid of all the extra things until he was left only with bare essentials that would fit the trunk of his car.
Owning a Ford Mondeo, he thought of redesigning and customizing his routine vehicle into a moving home! In the year 2016, he shut the door to normal life and started living in his car. After more than three years since Thilo took this life-altering decision, he not only sleeps, cooks and travels in his car but also works from therein. Besides sustaining himself with photography gigs, he also owns an event company, runs a blog and helps nomads like him.
Even if some of us might get inspired by Thilo’s story, there are a ton of practical questions that need answering. Here’s an attempt to find answers to some of these:
Where does Thilo eat?
The trunk of his car is divided into two parts. Half of it is used as a sleeping alternative for the harsh weather conditions and the other half is his closet space. His whole life is packed into small drawers of an organizer which contains everything from his clothes, tools, electronic equipment to kitchen utensils.
A counter is installed at the rear of the car for cooking which also doubles up as his office desk. Thilo has a gas stove, some pots and he can cook anything that one can in a normal kitchen at home.
How does he sleep?
The top of the car is attached to an inflatable roof tent. Thilo has made it plush with a mattress, few pillows, thick blankets, and even seasonal decorations! The set up looks nothing short of an attic room or a treehouse with windows that open up to get more of the outside in.
How does he manage to work?
There is a built-in battery installed inside the car for charging. Internet connectivity is not an issue thanks to his phone’s hotspot. The kitchen counter also doubles up as a working desk, once fixed in the car’s front with panoramic views from the windshield. Sometimes, Thilo uses libraries, cafes and other public spaces to work as well.
What about a shower?
There are toilets and showers in campgrounds and other public places whenever he wants to use one. When in the wilderness, Thilo likes to use natural surroundings such as a lake or a river to have a bath.
Living on a road constantly may not be made for all of us but some of us would still want to try it at least at some point in our life even if it's for limited time period of time because-
Talk about options life can give you if you are on the road! As a policy, Thilo doesn’t stay at a place for more than two days. Every day he gets to decide where to cook and where to eat. He chooses his work surroundings whether it has to be a quiet beach, or in a bustle of a city. And he decides whether he wants to wake up looking at a mountain or a river. Who would'nt want to do that?
If you need more convincing than it can make you gain both money and fame. His unique lifestyle has become a magnet for people. It has made him famous worldwide. He has given interviews to many magazines and travel websites. He has even been able to monetize this real-life education and sell his customized goods to many people like him to transform their own cars into temporary homes.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that his minimalist lifestyle has cleared the mess of his mind and restored his work-life balance. After all, there is a famous proverb that “the more you know the less you need” and Thilo desires to need even less, with each passing day. One day he wants to shrink his needs from a Ford Mondeo to a Volkswagen Beetle and drive it from South America to Alaska.