Get to know
Antoine and Marielle
Lonewolf and endlessly indecisive, Antoine is a jack of all trades. He’s mostly passionate about music but also video making and the outdoors. He likes gadgets, craft beers and doutbful Belgian humor.
Always looking to make the world a better place, Marielle is an optimist who never fails to remain positive. She’s passionate about writing, the outdoors, and mindful living. You’ll either catch her admiring everything about the sky or sharing food with the local ducks and cats in the park.
Hi there! We are so humbled that you want to get to know us more.
We are Marielle and Antoine: Adventure-seekers, vanlifers, nature-lovers and sometimes crafty upcyclers. We are from the Philippines and Belgium with a passion for your not so usual places. We prefer to be away from the crowds, doing things on a conscious budget and finding our own magical spots even in the most famous places. Now you may be wondering, how did we, from opposite sides of the world, meet and start our travel and van life journey? Well, we’re prepared to answer that!
Let's start from the beginning...
Antoine left his life in Europe to travel through Asia and somehow, ended up in the Philippines, in the capital of the country, where Marielle was working and living in.
So we ended up as neighbors, living in the same neighborhood. And that’s how it all started.
It wasn’t a fast love story by any means – it was slow and kind of unexpected, because well, we had different personalities but somehow similar passions. We were also in two different tracks of our lives at that particular time. Marielle was working in the stock market as an index analyst and Antoine was what you would call a “digital nomad.” So he wasn’t supposed to stay in the Philippines for too long. But somehow our meeting changed his mind and so he eventually lived in the neighbourhood for the next 12 months.
That’s when our travels began. Between Marielle’s work and Antoine’s freer lifestyle, we’d find a common time. Go camping near the Metro, take a flight to an island in the Philippines or go out of the country, and discover Southeast Asia. We travelled whenever we could.
At the same time, Marielle had dreams of taking her Master’s degree and so she was applying to universities abroad. Till the day came she got a scholarship to pursue her studies in Europe. She quit her job, we said our temporary goodbyes to Asia and moved our whole lives to France. It wasn’t easy at first. We both loved Asia and Antoine left his life in Europe to be in Asia. Hence, for him to come back was not always the first choice.
But after many years in France, we finally found our home here (yes, we do both speak French too!). We started our life in France by living in the French Alps – skiing, going on hikes, and camping amidst its incredible snow-capped mountains. However, during this time, we realized we missed the ocean, seeing the sun set over the horizon, and going to beaches.
So on a whim, we decided to take a 1-month road trip to Bretagne. That journey changed our life – we fell in love with the rugged and offbeat vibe of the region. So on the summer of 2021, we moved to Bretagne and based ourselves a couple of minutes from the beach. We still think of the French Alps as our original home and have friends there, so we visit often and like to say that both places are our base here in France!
Aside from our life in France, we travelled around Europe and Asia. But along the way, as we all experienced, COVID happened and we had to rethink how we could enjoy our passions while being conscious of the pandemic situation.
So in 2020, after the first COVID lockdown, we bought a VW T4 and with a little bit of upcycling, converted it into a campervan who we call Gaston. It was the beginning of our van life.
Now we both work online, have our digital nomad base in a historical village in France with Gaston down the street and a train ride away from the airport for all our offbeat travel adventures abroad. We’ve been through tons of crazy ups and downs together in the last years, from non-stop travelling to going back to school to being confined together to finding a home in France to travelling again. We’re glad we’re in this together.
OUR TRAVEL PHILOSOPHY
So you may be wondering, what’s our travel style? Our type of travel is offbeat and conscious. We’re conscious about the kind of places we go to, the activities we choose to do and how much budget we put into that. So we’re by no means, luxury travellers, even if our videos and pictures may portray otherwise. That’s exactly the point!
We want to emphasize that anybody can pursue their passions of discovering the world, owning a campervan, seeing the Northern Lights, swimming in an island paradise, hiking the Alps, or whatever travel dreams and bucket lists you may have. Because we do all this in our own do-it-yourself way through various tips we have learned, and we think that’s more fulfilling.
Now, you may be thinking – do we not go to touristy areas? Of course we still do! We’ve been to the Eiffel Tower, climbed the Victoria Peak of Hong Kong, marvelled at the magic of the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons, and have taken in the views from the Empire State Building in New York – but the point is we go to these places with a goal not to discover them like it’s a tourist itinerary but rather ask ourselves – how can we enjoy these places without spending a fortune and how can we make it our OWN experience, avoiding all the tourist traps?
We go to any destination because we want to see it for what it truly is. From discovering the culture, speaking with the locals and experiencing the unseen landscapes. That’s the kind of adventures we choose to have whether it’s in crowded cities or remote areas with our van – for us, it’s all about finding the true authenticity and simplicity of a place, without all its fancy associations.