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Van Life Russia – A Travellers Guide To Living The Van Life

Van Life is fast becoming a global phenomenon, which means that the movement has finally turned a few heads in the worlds largest nation. No, we’re not talking about the USA, we’re talking about Van Life Russia, which is where we’re stopping off on our Van Life global series today.

Van Life Russia - Mountains

With it’s borders touching both European and Asian countries and dipping into both the Artic and Pacific oceans, Russia is less a country and more a small world on its own! Famous for it’s ballet, art and architecture, Russia is possibly not somewhere that you would associate with Van Life quite just yet, but all that is about to change. Meet Yana and Alexandr, our Van Life Russia friends from Moscow!

Van Life Russia – A Travellers Guide To Living The Van Life

Van Life Russia - Yana & Alexandr

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your van. 
Hi! We are Alexandr and Yana, and we live in Russia (Moscow). We currently work in the media industry . Alexandr likes everything that is connected with cars, and he also  likes riding a kite, skateboarding and snowboarding. Yana’s hobbies and interests are photography and making videos.
Van Life Russia - Russian Adventure Bus
What made you want to pursue the Vanlife and how are you finding it so far. 
The idea to start travelling by van first came to us about three years ago, and since that time we have started to make our dream comes true. We bought a classic Japanese van,  the Nissan Caravan (E23), 1984 and have been enjoying Van Life Russia ever since.
What’s van life In Russia like? Is there a big community and do you find parking up in places difficult?
Unfortunately, vanlife in Russia is not popular. Only a few people are familiar with the Van Life Russia culture. We try to tell people some stories about vanlife and other foreign projects in our instagram @vanlife_russia. It’s also a place where users can find information about our van and how we made it into a camper.
Van Life Russia - Alexandr
There are many campsites in Russia, but we don’t like them. We like wild nature. Let me explain – when  you open the door of your van in the morning and see the mountains it’s the greatest view in life. In this time we don’t think about  hotels and all inclusive holidays, we only enjoy the nature that is around us!
Van Life Russia - Van
Are the basic necessities that you need to live on the road expensive in Van Life Russia?

We use diesel fuel, which cost’s roughly the same price as petrol – about 45 rubl (0,8$). There are a lot of tiny cafes on the road which are rather cheap, but we prefer to buy food and water from shops in the city and cook ourselves! We did once decide to spend time in a cafe instead of sitting in a  traffic jam and I ate the best hachapuri i’ve ever tasted in my life!

Are there many places to shower and plug in for electricity?

It depends of the road – in the south of Russia there are a lots of shower stations. They cost about 50/100 rub (1,5$). We use them every now and again, and sometimes we just wash in rivers.

Van Life Russia - PlaneTell us about a a couple of of your favourite places that you’ve been to whilst on your travels in Russia and why they are special to you. 

One of our favourite places is the village of Blagoveshchenskaya in the Anapa district, which has one of the coolest kite spots in Russia. We also love Sochi as you can enjoy amazing views of the mountains. In General, Russia has fascinating nature and we want to be everywhere!!! We think that this is our future!
People sometimes hide the things that have happened to them on the road – have you had any troubles or van problems so far in your adventures? 
It is very difficult to find parts for the construction of van in Russia. We also found it difficult to find a van in good condition, and Russia hasn’t got much information about van, for example, about solar panels and auxiliary heaters etc. But vanlife gives us a chance to wake up every day in super places in our warm and cozy car, so it’s always worth it.
Van Life Russia - Plane 2
Finally, what has been your favourite Van Life Russia road trip?
It has to be Moscow to Souchi, but we really want to visit Kamchatka in the far east very soon!
Thank’s to Yana and Alexandr for their story about Van Life Russia and their efforts to spread the word about Vandwellers throughout their country!
Follow Yana and Alexandr @vanlife_russia to learn more about Van Life Russia first hand from two bonafide Russian vanlifers!

Join the Van Clan on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more Van Life stories from around the world. Why not check out our Van Life Australia article!

Written by Seb @vincentvanlife

All photo’s copyright Yana & Alexandr @vanlife_russia

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