It was in December 2020 when I went to pick up our new family member, the 1979 VW LT we call now “Peter”. At that point I had no idea what we would use this guy for but when I saw it online I had a strong connection with it. Before that purchase I had noticed myself getting interested in my kids’ matchbox cars, especially the vans. So I started to look for vans online.
After going through many (probably hundreds of) different offers of older vans and campers I found this specific one and decided to go with it.
Then somehow everything fell into place magically. We were visiting my mother in law (who lives 500km away from us) for a holiday and this van was exactly on the road to her. So it was rather easy to pass by and check it out. Because this initial connection was so strong and I had no idea if we would really use this car I just checked it for major issues and took a test drive. It seemed to be okay. Now you must know that December is a very dark month in Finland. It is not so easy to see every little detail at this time of the year but that was not the point of that day anyway.
After the check we left to my mother in law and spent a few days there. During those days I was just thinking about the car and how I could find an argumentation to get my wife convinced. After all I just said something like this to her:
I know it does not make sense at this moment but I have a strong feeling I want or need this car. So I’ll buy it.
It was exactly at that time that we also had that amount of money aside and it made it possible for Peter to join the family.
Only a few days later I hopped at 4 am morning onto a 5 hours train ride to go and pick up the LT and drive the 400km back the same day. In December in my first winter in Finland, with a 40 year old camper van. Exciting, and scary.
Some hours, three stops at gas stations to fill diesel and a stop at a car store to get new windscreen wipers and other items later, I and the VW LT arrived happily home. And that’s where the real story starts and you will see in the next posts.
(For those who do not want to check the individual posts.)
This VW LT has accompanied us in the meantime on smaller trips, worked as my everyday drive, was our temporary construction site car, kitchen and dinner room, helped carry building materials and served as an outdoor kitchen for making coffee and tea and enjoying some “van coffee break” with the kids and guests outside. It is also the temporary or moving office of mine.
In the meantime I have learned how to weld body parts, fix all kind of things that break and became (almost) a specialist for the VW/Volvo engine that is called “D24” thanks to a serious engine damage.
I really never intended that by myself but I have gained the trust that almost whatever happens on the road with this car, I can probably handle and fix it.
This car has touched our life and so many aspects of it in such a beautiful way that I almost start to get tears into my eyes when writing this text 🙂
Whenever you have a strong feeling about something, go with it and be open for any re-routing that is happening during the (maybe bumpy) ride. Accept challenges and drop the resistance of what you think should and should not be or happen. Then you will discover a new path of growth and happiness. Just now and then stop and make sure that the direction that you are going is still what you want and makes your heart jump.
I strongly believe if everything would just happen how our mind imagines it, we would stay mostly within our comfort zone and have a very planned and organized life, probably a boring one. I am sure there is some kind of bigger “force” guiding us to a greater future than we could imagine by ourselves. No matter if you call it “The Universe”, god or anything else.
So enjoy the ride, surrender to the trip and let go of the outcome. You will enjoy it.
You can find find more information here on my IG post.
Philip is the creative mind behind theothernormal.life