VW T2 – „Blue Ivy“ the original 1969 VW bus
Belgian couple wandering around the world in a VW T2 named Blue Ivy. Glenn changes drastically his professional path to dedicate himself to one of his passion ‚cooking‘. He is now working as Sous-Chef in Belgium.
Aline loves to seize opportunities related to my passion for Photography, Video Making and Graphism. Travelling with Blue Ivy allow us to enjoy all our passions at the same time.
Quick facts about the VW T2:
- car manufacturer: Volkswagen
- model: T2 Bus
- year of construction: 1969
- how many Seat: 2 seats in the front & a bench fitting 3 people.
- how many kilometers: more or less 57800miles
- cylinder carpacity: 1600CC
- consumption at 100km: 12l
- driving license classify: normal license
- top speed: 55mph
- motor fuel: gasoline
- price: 8500€
- costs of repair per year: 1500€
- insurance: 135€
- vehicle taxes: 75€
Can you tell me a bit about you and how did you end up living this lifestyle?
We met for the first time in Dublin. Back then Glenn was working as mechanical engineer, and I was studying communication and journalism.
We realized quickly that we had a common passion for travelling and vintage items. About a year later, we bought Blue Ivy our 1969 Campervan and started to travel.
Glenn is now 28 years old and changes drastically his professional path to dedicate himself to one of his passion ‚cooking‘. He is now working as Sous-Chef in Belgium.
For my part, I’m now 25 years old and love to seize opportunities related to my passion for Photography, Video Making and Graphism. Travelling with Blue Ivy allow us to enjoy all our passions at the same time.
Why exactly did you choose the VW T2 and not a smaller or bigger one?
We knew we wanted a Highroof because it felt more convenient for the two tall people we’re and also to have a bit more room while travelling.
As for the model VW T2, we like to think that the bus choose us. We saw a lot of types of buses online or in real life but somehow they never felt completely right until we found Blue Ivy.
Of course we had to see beyond the imperfections (rust, broken parts, rotten woods,…) and face the doubts but somehow we knew it was a good decision to buy it.
We love the shape of the roof, it’s our little whale now!
Where did you find your VW T2?
We fell in love with our bus at Roland’s bus farm more or less 3 years ago (http://www.rolandsbusfarm.com). If you guys want to buy a T2 bus in Belgium, it’s the place to go to but make your decision quick because all the buses sell like hot cakes :p !
Did you work anything on your vehicle yourself or did you get a carpenter?
We wanted to keep the original interior but the wood was really dark and slightly start to rot. The entire family of Glenn is passionate by oldtimers and they’re all handyman.
So it came really naturally that Glenn and his dad remade all the pieces themselves with a new lighter wood. I (Aline) assisted them whenever I could be useful.
Was your van in a bad shape before?
Overall, the bus was in pretty good shape. Only the back corners and the nose had some work to do in terms of rust.
Regarding the interior, the wood was old, damaged and too dark for our taste so we remade the entire interor exactly the same expect with a lighter wood color.
How long did you worked on your VW T2 before you started your trip?
During our free weekends, we worked for about a year on the bus before getting it on the road. After we still spent six months on building the interior.
However, we’re buying new items to upgrade our bus whenever possible. It’s only by travelling that we see what is really missing or what should be modified in our bus.
Tell me like 2-3 things that you really love about traveling with a camper.
Disconnect from work, stress & the 24/7 digital world for the most part. Meanwhile reconnecting with nature, simplicity and with each other. It is nice to have quietness in the woods from time to time.
Discover new countries, cities, landscapes & non-touristy places by wandering around. We find peace in places of ways unknown, in longer roads and dirty paths.
We love the simple way of life and vanlife community. For instance, it is really beautiful to see that a passion for oldtimers brings together so many people.
Which countries did you travel to with your VW T2? Which one was your Favorite by now?
So far we visited and travelled to Belgium (We’re Belgians), Holland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Croatia and Denmark. We also went quickly through Germany, Italy, Austria but didn’t really visit at the time.
We loved every single travel but I believe my favorite so far was Croatia and Glenn’s favorite was Slovenia. We visited both countries during the same road trip so let’s say our Croatian-Slovenian trip was the best so far.
As a Chef, you must sometimes wish to have more space to cook, right? How do you cook?
We just make simple food in the bus. We love buying fresh vegetables and fruits and cook with them. Nothing too fancy, just healthy, tasty food. There is a place and a time for everything.
Space is not an issue in the bus, we learned to make the best of it.
How do you find places to sleep?
Usually we rely on the offline mobile app Maps.me to find hidden gems: off-road paths, wild camping areas, picnic places, sea-side/mountains view campsites and so much more… even in the middle of nowhere without interne.
You only have to download the map needed before your trip! We also like to rely on local people or other vanlifers’ advises.
We also recently found the app “Park4night” that we used one or two times but they didn’t proposed a lot of choices of wild campsites where we went in Belgium.
However, we will keep using it because you can see places by types (toll parking, free parking, picnic area, camping, campsite in the wild,…).
It’s always handy, plus we didn’t use this app in other countries yet to be able to judge it right away.
Do you sometimes meet other vanlifers?
Yes we do quiet often actually. No matter where we travelled we always crossed path with other vanlifers or oldtimers lovers wether it’s to say hi while passing each other on the road, to have a tchat during meetings or to get to know each other while travelling.
It’s always a pleasure even though sometimes we’re in “Loner mood” in the woods.
Are there any things that really annoy you about traveling/living with/in a van?
Sometimes you have lows like when you are stuck in the mud for hours or when you don’t have the right part to fix a technical issues in the middle of nowhere.
It can get tough and in those moments your relationship can be put to the test. However, we always went out of it stronger and learned from ou mistakes.
These lows will never shattered the good memories we had following off-road paths. Plus afterward it’s always funny to recall these tough moments and how we both reacted to it.
Not everything is perfect, what would you change about your vehicle itself?
At the moment our bus doesn’t have a fridge. We just bought one and plan to install it in the bus in the next few weeks. We would like to add a battery, a water tank and an heater as well.
So, if not your VW T2 -which one would you choose if you could and why?
For sure an oldtimer car or bus because we love the fact that their bumps & scratches are signs of their past life. We like to imagine all the crazy adventures their previous owners had during all these years.
More specifically, Glenn is in love with his first car Mandy which is a blue volkswagen beetle from 1970.
What would you guys tell other vanlifers that just startet the idea of doing what you/we are doing?
It will not always be easy for sure and some people may want to stop you from doing the first step but nothing comes easy in life. If you feel like it’s an adventure you want to start, then go for it!
It is better to do it than to live with regrets. Not to mention all the beautiful places you will see, all the amazing people you will meet and the unforgettable memories you will make!
You never come back the same from an experience like this.
What will your next destinations be?
Our next big trip will probably be Switzerland or Norway. We actually were supposed to go in Switzerland this year, but we had to cancel our trip due to technical issues with our bus.