It all started around the time I was leaving to go on my 48-hour exploration to the heart of Istanbul. My girlfriend, Cath, was questioning why I always went traveling without her; I normally always go traveling with one of my best friend’s, Clement, I had done for a number of years and still do. Cath was enquiring why I never took her away on my ‘big adventures’. My honest answer was that I had no idea. From then, over the next few weeks we both brainstormed where we would like to travel together and for how long. A suggestion from me was that we began with camping gear and just went where the road took us. As Cath had her own car (small but therefore cheap on fuel) this seemed like a brilliant idea.
A few weeks had passed and we had only talked about what plans we were going to make in regards to our trip – we are both last minute planners (well I am), but it always seems to work out so we don’t worry much on that front. Although saying this during the weeks I should have been revising for my A-Level exams (sorry Mum) I was planning in my own way; by looking up many different vans, motorhomes and estate cars. It had always been a dream of mine to buy a vehicle and get it ready for living in. I put emphasis on the word ‘dream’ as somewhere in my mind I knew it would be very difficult to achieve without a full-time job, income or backing (due to insurance and lack of money to pay for materials).
Despite one part of my mind stating that it was near impossible to get my own vehicle in time for the road trip, I decided to do some research into if fundraising was possible in aid to help me on my way to get the vehicle. I first looked at a website called ‘Crowdfunding’, I then decided to stop seeing if it was possible on that site as I found out that it was only for people who were funding registered charities – I, am of course not one. A little later on I then got told about a website by my friend Annie about ‘Kickstarter’. This is a website for people who want to try and fund their weird and wonderful ideas to try and start their own businesses or just create something for the world to see. It works on a system where one can pledge money towards an idea or business, and in return they would get ‘gifts’ from the business or person running the page. The only downside to this site was that you would have a goal of the amount of money you want to reach, and if you don’t make it, you won’t receive the money that has been pledged.
Either way, money, in return for some of my photography? – seemed like a brilliant idea.
After many hours of writing, proof reading, more writing and again proof reading my proposal to the people of the big wide web I then launched my project to see if it would work. Soon after 40 days of my project being up it had gathered a measly £445 towards my wanted £3,500 – it had failed. Even with this disheartening fall I decided to lower my goal, spice up the look of the page and re-launch ‘The Camera Van’ (fitting name I know! Thanks Mum!). With this page now up and running and receiving more attention that the old page I carried on working and saving my money to put towards my funds.
A few months later, after my dreaded exams had finally passed and a get away holiday to Poland was over (being as prepared as I always am), I went up the country to purchase a Peugeot Expert van less than a week before Cath and I intended to go away on our road trip. Previously I had spent many hours researching and discovering the possibilities that were open to me; such things as the classic VW ‘Hippy Van’ were far out of my reach with prices astronomically high and estate cars which were just too small to convert, I finally decided on a small box van. Armed with 2 rolls of insulation, tape and my Dads garage full of tools I headed to work on stripping, cleaning and insulating my gleaming new van…. It was new in my eyes any way, to any one else they may have thought I bought it from a scrap yard…
The day had finally arrived; the date of departure for both Cath and I to head on our Big Adventure… The only thing that we were waiting for now was that of a parcel delivery containing 4 wheels for the nearly completed Camera Van. Cath, all packed up, was eagerly awaiting for these tires to come down the drive way, only to the disappointment of us getting a phone call telling us that there were road works outside of the pick-up point of the delivery meaning that the van containing our ticket to departure was stuck and couldn’t leave until the following day.
Even though it was saddening to hear that, I was secretly relived, as I hadn’t actually completely completed the insulation for the van nor the paneling, meaning that I was able to continue my insulation mission further into the night.
3 days later… The tires still hadn’t arrived. The insulation and paneling was now done and even I was fully packed. We were both just getting fed up of waiting so we decided to cancel the order with the aid of my Dad expressing his anger down the phone. We researched a local garage and got the spare tire and the one of the back tires changed – the reason for this was that the back tire had a screw in which wouldn’t be fun to deal with if we got a flat in the middle of no where.
Any way, at this point we had packed the van, got the wheels replaced and were on our way of our great adventure!