Swedish pro skier Jacob Wester and his girlfriend, photographer Sofia Sjöberg, are what couples’ dreams are made of.
For the eight summers prior to 2016, on top of extensive winter expeditions, they’ve been traveling the world and seeing some of the very best sights out there. From the U.S. to Australia to Indonesia, they’ve done more in their 20s than most people do in their entire lives. And they often execute these travels in pimped out vans of sorts, making them all the better.
“Sleeping almost wherever you want, waking up at the same places as people who spend hundreds of dollars on hotels, being surrounded by nature at all times, showering in rivers and making bonfires at the beach… The freedom that living in a van brings you is amazing,” says Sjöberg. “New people, new places and new views everyday.”
The power couple’s traveling wisdom taught them many things over the years, and one of the most profound realizations was that they hadn’t even fully explored their own nation, Sweden. So, this summer, they changed that.
“Sofia and I agreed that it was finally time to actually discover what summer is like in our home country of Sweden. We couldn’t think of a better way to do it than in our own homebuilt van, with no real plans but to follow the smallest, most insignificant roads and find out what’s around the next corner.”
That van Wester speaks of is a sleek and solid ’00 Renault Master the couple totally built out for the best road trip ever. And even though they didn’t exactly know what they were doing at first, it all worked out in the end.
“We bought it, rebuilt it by trial and error, as we knew nothing about carpentry, plumbing or electric work, and tried it out during the winter. In the middle of June, we decided it was time for our first summer camp trip across Sweden.”
Yeah, van life is a really popular “trend,” per se, that millenials are trying out these days. But Wester and Sjöberg weren’t just giving it an aimless go; they totally crushed it all summer long, and fortunately documented every bit of it along the way. Above, enjoy a 22-photo gallery from the trip, as well as some final thoughts from the oh-so-wise Wester, below.
“It quickly becomes clear that once you fully immerse yourself in the free camping lifestyle, there is no going back,” he says. “There’s something to cherish in every moment, like proudly admiring your carpentry in the wooden ceiling panels while falling asleep, or the euphoric joy in watching perfect little summer waves breaking down the point you’re parked in front of, while waxing up a surfboard. With a growing realization that us humans one day might not afford airline travel for environmental reasons, we take comfort in knowing this kind of life will still be possible.”