After I graduated in 2018 I left for Australia without a plan, where after 6 months I met my Swedish boyfriend. After traveling through Australia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam, we flew back to the Netherlands in March 2020. I think you can guess why.
We lived in the Netherlands for a while and then we left for Sweden. Here we made the choice to buy a delivery van and convert it into our home on wheels, our Van. We both love to travel and with our Van we found a way to make it possible again.
It really was a leap of faith! Neither of us had any experience rebuilding a Van. Yet we did it! We’re now interior decorators, electricians, carpenters, plumbers and above all real 'Vanlifers'. We exchanged our apartment for 6m2, but in return we have a huge backgarden (aka, the whole of Europe!) Currently we’re travelling in Spain. Living in a van ensures you’re busy with the basic needs again. “Where will we park tonight?”, “Where can we refill our water?”, “Where shall we shower today?” When we make a plan it always changes, so we live from day to day.
I’m also busy setting up my own business. Since the beginning of this year, 'Virtual Sophie' has been registered with the Chamber of Commerce. 'Virtual Sophie' offers help and support in the field of Social Media, Project Management and Personal Assistance. Working on my own company gives me a lot of energy and my love for the hospitality industry is fully expressed again!
My time at HMSM has taught me that I can rely on myself, to take a leap of faith and to always be open to new challenges. Thanks to it being a broad study, it offers the opportunity to really develop yourself as a person. I can deal with situations adaptively and being creative when looking for solutions gives me energy!
We still have many dreams, but we also think that travelling is more important than the destination. When travelling, meeting people is the main focus, expanding your knowledge about the world. Therefore we focus more on enjoying our trip instead of focusing on our destination.
We would love to go back to Australia and Asia in the future, because we had to stop travelling quite suddenly. But when, we don’t know yet. Right now we enjoy life in our van, and I found my passion in ‘Virtual Sophie’.
My advice: Trust yourself! “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.” Make sure you do what makes you happy. It's not about what you do, but how you do it. It's not about where you are, but who you are with. Make the choices that make you happy, walk your own life path! Where there's a will, there's a way :-)
Sharon Opstal left to travel for a year after graduation, and to this day lives and works in M’pai Bay in Cambodia!
Sophie Bozon combines travelling in her van with setting up her own business, 'Virtual Sophie'