Volkswagen Vanagon Travels Around The World

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 VW Volkswagen Vanagon camper.

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 Vanagon camper which has taken them through 12 countries across the continent.

Volkswagen Vanagon Travels Around The World

Camping in Thailand

Camping from Volkswagen Vanagon on the beach in Thailand

Now in Malaysia, the couple was met at the Penang Youth Park in their Van Home. The duo traveled around the world using the maps and 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 VW Vanagon camper and packed my things,” said Sandra.

Volkswagen Vanagon Travels Around The World

Aegean Isles, Turkey

Driving through Turkey

The couple has traveled 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 traveled to seven states which were Perlis, Kedah, Terengganu, Pahang, Melaka, and Kuala Lumpur and 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 relies on good old fail-proof maps as a backup!

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 on their trusty VW volkswagen.

“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 vanagon 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 worry that we 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 leave 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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