Sun. Mar 29th, 2020

Volkswagen Vanagon Travels Around The World

3 min read
Volkswagen Vanagon Travels Around The World

Volkswagen Vanagon Travels Around The World

Aishah Afandi spoke to Swiss architect Sandra Garder and software engineer Markus Elmer who travel the world in their Volkswagen Vanagon.

Volkswagen Vanagon Travels Around The World
Sunrise in Khazakstan

Sunrise over the Big Blue Marble

Quitting their jobs to travel the world was a dream come true for Swiss architect Sandra Garder and her lover Markus Elmer a software engineer.

With the initial budget of 40,000 Swedish Krona, they headed out to explore the big blue marble in their 1976 Volkswagen van which has taken them through 12 countries across the continent.

Volkswagen Vanagon Travels Around The World
Camping in Thailand

Camping on the beach in Thailand

Now in Malaysia, the couple was met at the Penang Youth Park in their Van Home. The duo travelled around the world using the maps as well as the Global Positioning System (GPS) to determine their routes.

Volkswagen Vanagon Travels Around The World
Crossing Mongolia

Open roads of Khazakstan

“Since I was a child, I have always wanted to tour the world and when I met Markus, I am glad that we share the same interest. That is when I purchased the van and started to pack my things,” said Sandra.

Volkswagen Vanagon Travels Around The World
Aegean Isles, Turkey

Driving through Turkey

The couple has travelled to Greece, Austria, Croatia, Georgia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and now Malaysia.

Volkswagen Vanagon Travels Around The World
Sunrise over the Mekong river

Sunset over the Mekong River

In Malaysia, they had travelled to seven states which were Perlis, Kedah, Terengganu, Pahang, Melaka, and Kuala Lumpur and currently they were in Penang for a week.

After Penang, the couple will drive to Thailand before shipping to Canada.

Volkswagen Vanagon Travels Around The World
Boh Tea Plantation in Cameron Highlands

In some parts of the world where the internet connections are not stable enough, the couple rely on good old fail proof maps as a backup!

Cameron Highlands Photo: Sandra GarderSandra fell in love with the tea plantation in Cameron Highlands.


Volkswagen Vanagon Travels Around The World
Broken window in the van. Photo: Sandra Gafner

The break-in Markus and Sandra encountered

Markus and Sandra shared their best and worst memories of the trip.

“Malaysia is a beautiful and unique country.  The best part of Malaysia was the food was delicious and the people were very kind in assisting us. The worst part was that our van was broken into and several of our stuff was missing. It might be nothing to some people but to us, it means a lot,” said Markus.

So far, the duo had spent about 30,000 Swedish Krona and the thought of running out of cash does not stop them from wanting to travel to other places.

According to Markus, even though he had quit his job, he is still a software engineer and potential clients can find him for projects.

“All I need is my laptop and internet connection,” said Markus.

Volkswagen Vanagon Travels Around The World
Photo: Sandra Gafner

Have Van Will Travel with Sandra Garder and Markus Elmer

Sandra confided that initially, their parents were a little apprehensive about their decision to quit their day jobs to tour the world.

“They told me that my idea was crazy. They were worried that I would be stranded in an unknown place without food and shelter.

But I told them that life is full of challenges and touring the world is what I have always wanted,” said Sandra.

The couple who will be leaving Penang for Thailand before shipping to Canada in a few days urged the young generation to always pursue their dreams.

“Never let anyone tell you that your dreams were absurd. Always follow your dreams as you will regret it when you were old for not doing what you love,” said the couple.

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