Simon Adrell is a senior backend developer who turned his life around from living in an apartment in Gothenburg into living a full-time vanlife.
Simon, who has always had an adventurous mind and loved the idea of traveling and discovering new places, bought a camper van with his partner Andy in 2019. The plan wasn’t much more than getting the opportunity to travel and have a place to stay while being away. When the fall came closer with dark, gloomy nights and pouring Gothenburg rain, Simon and Andy decided to quit their jobs and travel south to get away from the dark and cold months in Sweden.
Said and done, they rented out their apartment and set course to Spain and Portugal, where they spent nearly 6 months hiking, enjoying the weather and the beautiful views, meeting other people living the van life and just enjoying each other’s company. “I realized I didn’t necessarily need a lot more than that, life became quite easy living in the van and going wherever whenever we wanted to”.
THE NEED OF HITTING THE ROAD
When he came back to Sweden in the spring of 2022, Simon knew he wanted to do a trip with the van again, and he started to look for a job where he could combine van life on the road with work life. As a senior backend developer, he had many opportunities on the list, and many companies he met with thought the idea of working part-time remotely was cool, but none of them could take the risk and offer him employment.
Simon heard from his friend Heidi, who’s a full stack developer working at Annevo, that there might be a chance for him there, so he came by the office for a coffee and a chat. Simon wanted the freedom of traveling and living on the road, but also the stability of an income during the travels. “My first and foremost requirement for my new job was to get the chance to work part-time from my van for six months during winter, and I’m so thankful that Annevo could meet me in that aspect and took on the challenge to make it work for me”.
Simon chose to start working at Annevo, and got an assignment at 365ID, a company specialized in ID security. Their HQ is located in Halmstad an hour south of Gothenburg, so the deal was to work remotely from the start. Simon was getting into the project on full-time over a few months, and when leaving for warmer places in October, he started to work part-time.
BACK ON THE ROADS
When asked about a typical work day on the road, Simon says “My typical day doesn’t really exist... It depends on where I'm located”. Right now Simon’s been on Sardinia for a couple of weeks, and having the van right by the seaside makes it possible for lunches on the beach, SUP sessions after work, and flying their drone on the coffee break. Sometimes he has to take a longer lunch break to charge the van battery or make a water refill from a local tap.
“Living the van life makes you appreciate the small things in life so much more. You can’t buy a lot of things and you use your resources more carefully, before I could run the tap water to get it colder, but I can’t do it in the van because of the limited water tank. That makes me appreciate it more and I’m satisfied with what I’ve got and I feel that I get more out of life when living like this”. What he misses the most about living in Gothenburg is, apart from the smoothness of water refill and use of electricity, hanging with colleagues, talking about programming, and of course friends and family.
JUST DO IT
When asking Simon for his best advice to someone who would like to do something similar, his instant reply is to just do it, now. “It’s not getting to get any easier the longer you wait, it’s super scary to leave everything behind, but it will be alright. Do it even though you don’t dare. It is possible. And you don’t have to go extreme by selling your apartment and quitting your job, you could start by renting a camper van during summer or stay in another city for a month working remotely. It is possible!”.
Follow Simon and Andy's trip @onanothertrail