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30-year-old couple quit jobs to drive from Malaysia to Portugal in $11,000 van

30-year-old couple quit jobs to drive from Malaysia to Portugal in $11,000 van

For some people, Jacinda and Martin are living the dream, traveling the world without the trappings of careers, jobs, kids, and other responsibilities. That they’re doing it in an environmentally-conscious manner and with a van they bought cheaply in Singapore make for an interesting story about becoming an adult Singaporean.

Martin and Jacinda, married Singaporean couple who just turned 30, and instead of finding ways to establish their careers and begin planning for a family, they decided to pack their lives up, quite their jobs and go on a road trip that has no set ending except for the destination, which was Portugal. they bought a cheap van in Malaysia for $11,000, took out the seats, and fitted it with the necessities like a bed and food storage.

Read about the travel writer who says a Singaporean passport is wasted on people who prefer to buy $1000 phones and Eurotrips

Jacinda was able to let go of the trappings of her responsible adult life in Singapore since she was working freelance, but Martin had a bit more difficulty, as he was in a corporate job.

The above Instagram shows that they go to bed early after a day of driving and traveling. When asked about how they sleep and if they turn on the airconditioning in the van and sleep while it’s on, they replied that they don’t use the airconditioning and use USB-powered fans while they sleep instead.

Not all sunshine and rainbows

Still, this unconventional setup has its unforeseen difficulties, aside from the obvious ones such as budgeting their money and getting around driving licenses. In one post, they talked about how they were woken up in the middle of the night to the police knocking on their van.

View this post on Instagram

the previous night, we parked & slept by this beach under the stars and by 11pm we were sleeping soundly in bed….. and…. . At midnight, we awoke to banging on our van door.. we opened our eyes & through the curtains, we saw bright headlights, followed by blue blinking lights. Must be the police. We opened our windows & 2 uniformed officers were right outside. they said they‘re from immigration control & asked what we were doing here. Martin explained we‘re Singaporeans traveling in our van. they spoke really nicely & even apologised for disturbing & left. so we went back to sleep… . Again at 1am, Martin woke me up and bright headlights were pointed directly at us. Zzz. This time there were no blinking blue lights. Martin said he was going to check it out & walked towards the car. I watched from inside but the lights were so glaring I couldn’t see anything! Now I was worried sick and regretted letting him go alone. if he got stabbed or killed I wouldn’t even know! Luckily after a few (agonising) mins he came back but in search of our passports. He said they were plain clothed police, showed him their badges but were being really rude and demanded to see us. I was now super frantic, wondering what if they were robbers instead?! Martin insisted i stay calm and follow him. As I got out of the van I smelled cigarette smoke. Made it worse, chances of them being thugs got higher. Their car was about 50m away and as we came close they really looked like 2 thugs sitting on the bonnet smoking away. Martin handed them the passports and they checked it under the headlights, cig still in one hand. Martin explained again we‘re a married couple on a road trip here. They asked a few routine qns & finally sent us away, this time kindly telling us to park our van near the chalets where it might be safer and even reached out for a handshake to apologise for intruding. . After we re-parked, though it took a while to recover from our thumping hearts, we had a peaceful rest after. we were just left wondering Malaysia’s security like better than we thought ah (at least in the desaru area?) also, mental note: needa work out a plan in case we meet real robbers next time man…

A post shared by 👫 Martin + Jacinda 🚐 (@mjroadtrippin) on

According to their Instagram account, they said that they wanted to experience the world while they were young instead of waiting for retirement age in Singapore as others were wont to do. While their family has voiced disapproval over their choices, they are enjoying their trip around the world so far even if there have been some hiccups.

View this post on Instagram

Van life is def not without its quarrels and squabbles. But when we arrived at this beautiful lake, we put all behind us(what was it we also forgot) kissed, made out, I mean made up and even did a little dance. #vanlifelovers 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ ☀️👫🚐 Also, this was where #Annaandtheking ‘s movie scene took place back in 1997, how awesome! ☀️👫🚐 Check out this place, Tasik Raban, Lenggong Valley, Malaysia! It’s on the famous local “route 76”! . . P.S. there was lots of plastic trash around the area. So if you’re heading there for a picnic, please bring your trash home(the bins were full!!!) or better still, you could use banana leaves! 🌏 like Martin always say “leave the place better than it was when you got there!” . . . . . . #mjroadtrippin #thegoodlife #vanlife #visitperak

A post shared by 👫 Martin + Jacinda 🚐 (@mjroadtrippin) on

What do you think of Martin and Jacinda’s #lifechoices and their decision to travel while they are young?

Let us know in the comments!

Header image from Martin and Jacinda’s Instagram account.

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