RENCONTRE - Notre Petit Camion, l’histoire d’une famille nomade
There are 3 of them: Hélène and Yohan, and their little Charlie. Lovers of wide open spaces, adventure and surfing, the Bordeaux/Breton couple embarked on an adventure that would make more than one dream: going in a van, with family, to discover the life of modern nomads . Meeting with this Chipiron family.

Passionate about surfing and water, their project quickly won us over (and made us want it). Having left more than 6 months ago, they have made their way between Spain, Portugal and currently Morocco. Their photos transport us into their daily lives, through the sun, the waves and the people they meet.

We were curious to know how those first months went, in their T4, with their 2-year-old daughter. INTERVIEW

Who is our Little Truck? It's what?

We have been a nomadic family for 6 months now with surfing as a common thread.

Today everyone has (almost) found their balance in this new way of life. Yohan is the Swiss army knife, the tetris expert, the photographer and THE surfer of the family. Charlie is our little explorer, curious and already a seasoned “water girl” and I (Hélène), I organize our daily life (budget, itinerary, travelogue, activities, etc.), I learn surfing and photography. Where did this idea and desire to travel come from?

Basically this project is mine (Hélène), I have had it in mind for many years. I dreamed of doing a solo backpacking trip around the world and then with a friend. The years pass… and I meet Yohan. Charlie comes into our lives. This crazy dream is far away now. And finally in the summer of 2017, when we returned to Bordeaux, after a 3-week van vacation in Brittany, we both clicked. A week of reflection, many elements brought together to comfort us in the idea that it was now. And everything happened very quickly :) On April 26, 2018, we left Bordeaux.

What steps have you planned?

We did the entire Spanish and Portuguese Atlantic coast. Since the beginning of September, we have been in Morocco. Next stop, Portugal again before flying to Sri Lanka in January followed by Vietnam, the Philippines… We plan to stay 6 months in Asia before returning 2/3 months to France to see family and friends. And in September 2019 we leave again but this time on the other side of the globe, heading to South America. How long do you plan to travel?

Another +/- 2 years. We let ourselves be carried away by our desires, our favorites and above all we allow ourselves the possibility of perhaps never returning ;)

Is there a particular message you would like to share?

Working in Darwin's ecosystem, we have been made aware of many things. We are sensitive to respecting the environment. We are far from perfect (our truck pollutes, we hardly eat meat anymore but a lot of fish...) but we do what we can at our level. We really try to limit our waste, something not always easy when traveling. We have jars, reusable bulk bags… we avoid plastic as much as possible but we are a little stuck with drinking water bottles :/… We collect waste on the beaches, we keep our food waste in a bottle. 5L water which we then cut up to redistribute to the animals we meet on the road… ;)

We are only passing through, so it's true that if each of us could change our habits, and put in place at least one initiative per day and also teach our little ones these new gestures, which are worth remembering- the, are the future, well we would be happy ;) #mondedesbisounours How is the trip going with Charlie, 2 years old?

We asked ourselves a lot of questions about her, which ultimately had no reason to be asked. She is the one who adapted best to this sudden change of life. Now she is 2 and a half years old, she is our little Mooglie. She climbs everywhere, she is even more curious than before. In the water, time stops for her, she can stay there for 4 hours without feeling cold while having fun with her little board. We try to keep her in contact with children her age as much as possible (not always easy). She is (generally) the first contact in our meetings. For 1 month, she no longer has a pacifier and she is almost clean. And believe us, it's not an easy task in a van (Hahaha). She actively participates in our daily lives. She is of good composition and rather easy to live with, except during periods of full moon, it's a real tornado :) How are your days organized?

Our routine is structured around surf sessions and/or the weather.

In the morning Charlie finds us in our bed and we start the day with cuddles before breakfast. Afterwards it's tidying up, dishes, cat toilet and we continue with a market walk or surfing or educational activities for Charlie. At lunchtime we grab something on the go at the truck or at the beach. In the afternoon it's walking or surfing or skating. Charlie no longer takes a nap since she no longer has her pacifier, so it's obligatory quiet time for her at the beginning or end of the afternoon. An important moment that allows Yoh and me to settle down too. The shower at the back of the truck is at the end of the day (the water has time to heat up a little) but not too late to avoid catching a cold and not every day... The sunset announces (at the moment) the dinner which often takes place in the van, it is rather cold in the evening. A story for Charlie and bedtime. And when the days are mixed, we take the opportunity to go sightseeing in the surrounding areas. And when it rains heavily, it's movie(s) under the duvet. Surf question, what did you go with?

A Chipiron ORCA 9.0 longboard , a board that goes everywhere, easy to maneuver in all conditions and which holds the noses very well, especially here in Imsouane :))) Absolutely @Leia Vita Perhaps with you 1 or 2 anecdotes of this trip?

In just 6 months, we already have quite a few. Yann Chatelin alias Poze

We had just arrived in Morocco a few days before. We were struggling with the surf conditions, but also finding bivouacs… And then I said to myself, “why not check with surf schools? ". We meet on Sablettes beach in Mohammedia. Just arrived, a guy coming out of the water says to Yoh “But I have the impression that we know each other? » After a few quick exchanges, we realize that this person is Yann Chatelin, an artist who made a fresco in Darwin as part of the Climax festival (the one in front of the skatepark). Amazing! We spend the evening at his place with his little family then the night in the truck next door. The next day, the boys want to do something together, and off we go, in exchange for a shoot, Yoh has a work by Yann on his Orca longboard. The class. The world is small but this was a really nice reunion. Chipiron

Over the months, we realize that Chipiron Surfboards is international. As soon as we wear them, someone often calls out to us. And that's how we met, during the sardine festival, the former mayor of Peniche in Portugal, with whom Julie worked in the past. A beautiful meeting. What will happen in the coming months?

We don't know exactly yet, our plan is not to have one precisely... The idea is really to take the time, we are chasing so much that for once, we want to let ourselves live, discover, learn, exchange, share and much more... We spend the month of December in Portugal, with a family we met this summer to help them renovate cabins. In return, we are fed/housed. Plus, they have a 4 year old son, too good for Charlie. And they are by the ocean. Phew Yoh will be able to surf ;)

Afterwards we take off for Sri Lanka, where we would also like to do a workaway. We continue with Vietnam, to see the family (part of Yohan's family is from there). Then the Philippines. Afterwards, if we have time left, we would like to go to Australia. All this without our little truck, which we are considering selling to get a little bigger… What advice would you give to those who would like to imitate you?

For us the hardest part was finally making the decision and especially announcing it to those around us. Put on some eyelets, you'll hear anything and everything ;)

The preparation beforehand is extremely exciting and on the big day, it's true that everything comes together but there's no going back... Let's go!!! And there, from the first day, this feeling of freedom is indescribably enjoyable. Of course the first months are not the easiest, everyone has to find their place and their balance, especially in a small truck like ours with a month and a half of rain... But frankly, today, we can only encourage you to take the plunge. We meet so many travelers, alone, as a couple, with family, in a van, in a tent, in a backpack, in a 205… Everything is possible! Go for it! As we would say at Chipiron

“Don’t be a sheep…” you know the rest :)

Follow their adventures on Instagram @notrepetitcamion (while waiting for the final finishing touches to the blog :)