Max opens the rear door: The first warm rays of sunlight flood the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. He crawls back into bed to Lee, her dog Occy also lies down and picks up his first caresses. The small family stretches its legs into the sun and enjoys the warmth of the rays. Slowly Max and Lee let their eyes wander outside: Yesterday evening they settled on a lake somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Only now, in the first light of the day, can the two recognize their entire surroundings: The warm light of the sun makes the blue water and the green countryside shine all around. A new day begins – with new tasks, discoveries and people.
Max and Lee met in Australia. Max worked there as a paramedic, Lee had finally saved enough money between studies and work to travel Australia. It soon became clear that the two of them shared not only their passion for travelling. After Max moved to Canada for a year to spend time with Lee, the two decided to make this passion for travel their life. They planned to become van lifers, i.e. to live in a van. The only problem? The key element was still missing: The van.
Four months and at least ten Sprinters later they finally found their van. The couple drove for five hours to check out the van – and buy it on the same day. “We really wanted a Sprinter. First, Max knew the vehicle very well because of his time as a paramedic. And secondly, we love that the Sprinter is so high and you can move freely in it,” Lee explains. The first hurdle was mastered: The Sprinter and the new owners found each other. But others followed: A five-month conversion with countless hours of research in YouTube tutorials and books, many purchases of spare parts and equipment and a never-ending chaos in the electrical wiring. But then it could finally start, the life in the van.
Our Sprinter in three words: Reliable, adventurous and home.
Sprinter 2500 (with high roof)
2.7 Litre Turbo Diesel
Gross vehicle weight
In the meantime a year has passed and the two have experienced a lot: Moose, bears and bison in Canada, unbelievable nature with beautiful waterfalls and the untamed jungle, impressive buildings such as the Mayan ruins or even stolen bicycles on the second night of van life, everything was there. “We are not planning into the future. When we travel in the van we love the possibility of simply letting ourselves drift,” says Max. And that goes for others as well: “We have the feeling that more and more people are striving for this modern, nomadic lifestyle because they can break out of social pressure and expectations,” says Lee. “And you’re simply happier when you can work and live wherever you want. And best of all, the monthly travel budget for both of us in Mexico was exactly the same as the price of renting an apartment in Toronto.”
“We started in Barrie (Canada). First we drove to the westernmost point of Canada, Vancouver Island. From there we drove further south, along the west coast of the USA – with one or the other detour into the national parks in the interior of the country. Then we drove down to Mexico in the direction of Baja California, from where we crossed after 16 hours ferry to Mazatlán. Mexico totally inspired us: We took over four and a half months to discover the country and slowly work our way south. From there we drove across the country to Belize and then on to Guatemala.”
“What makes travelling so special for us is that you can learn and grow as an individual,” Lee explains. And that’s what the couple wants to share with others: After six months on the road, they launched their YouTube channel, where they share their travel experiences. The first building block for the channel was laid with the help of friends who advised and supported the couple in their first productions. Instagram also followed, here the two share photos of special moments. And what do they want to achieve? “Our vision is to share even more content and make it possible to contribute to society through our channel – for example, by making non-profit organizations heard,” Lee dreams as she scrolls through her Instagram account.
As Lee’s thumb slides over the surface of her cell phone, snapshots of many happy hours light up. And one thing is clearly visible: Max and Lee are exactly where they want to be. Even if it’s somewhere else every day, it’s just the right thing for them. Because for Max, Lee and Occy there’s nothing better than waking up in the morning, opening the Sprinter’s back door and starting a new day eagerly awaiting the unknown.
The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.