Pro Athlete Julia is Winning at the Vanlife
Julia Castro is an inspiring, free-spirited superwoman from Fuerteventura who loves to kite- and wakeboard. She recently took an Indie Van over to Marbella to compete in the Spanish Wakeboarding Championship, and guess what… she won! We had to hear more about her story, so we decided to give her a call.
Hey Julia, where are you at the moment?
Hey! I’m in Fuerteventura on a physical holiday; I just got home from the European Wakeboarding Cup in Egypt. I wasn’t very lucky there -- but, hey, I was there!
You did win the Spanish Wakeboarding Championship, so congratulations! How did you come up with taking a van out to the competition?
Thanks! The thing is, I’ve been thinking of doing road trips. At the same time, I visit kite spots all over the world, so why not do it in a van? I’ve always wanted to have a van myself, but I don’t have the money yet, so when I was speaking to a friend he told me to check out Indie Campers.
But why choose the vanlife precisely during such an important competition?
I don’t care if it’s for a competition, training, or whatever… I love vans. Actually, it was perfect for the tournament, because I could go wherever, whenever; and if people were annoying me, I could just drive off. I really enjoy sleeping and I think it’s really important, but some people in the competition don’t take it really serious. They’d come up to my van to hang out and I’d just be like “I’m gone!”, and off I went. I can wake up in the mountains and drive to the cable park. I love that freedom. Also, I spend the whole year travelling and meeting people, so to have a little bit of me-time in the van was awesome.
So the van is a kind of private place for you?
Yeah, in the end it’s like home. When you’re home you can bring friends, or you can be alone and enjoy your time at home… the van really made that easy.
Where did you end up parking your van?
Do you know Tarifa? It’s in the south of Spain and world-famous for kiting. I found a spot there up in the mountains where I could just wake up, open the doors, and watch the sunrise. When the competition started I ended up staying at the cable park, because I could wake up right next to the action. I would wake up and be right where I needed to be. That way, I could really maximize my sleep. And after being in the water I didn’t have to drive for an hour to get home. I’d just walk one minute and get to the van and chill or sleep. Perfect!
So you’ve slept well?
I’m from the Canary Islands, where it doesn’t go below 21°C, so I get cold very easily. On my first night I got a bit cold, but then found another blanket… I slept good!
Didn’t all the travelling adapt you to different climates?
Not really, because I follow the sun. Cold is not an option!
You’re travelling a lot. Spain, Denmark, Egypt, Morocco, the Philippines, United States, South Africa -- and that’s just 2017.
And the UK, France, and a few more countries, haha -- but yes. I like travelling, but I don’t like spending so many hours in the time machine aka airplane. Sitting on a plane for 12 hours, are you kidding me? But the rest is amazing! Well, sometimes I hate it, because I don’t get to see my family as often. Especially because I have little siblings and I don’t get to see them grow up.
And then there’s the problem of airports! I normally travel with a 1.40m bag, really big and tall, that I pack with 4 kites, 2 boards, wetsuits, bikinis, and clothes. I end up with a 40 kg bag -- and, well, [airplane] companies don’t really like big and heavy bags, so that’s a nightmare.
With a van you won’t have that problem.
It’s perfect! I just drop my stuff inside the van and go wherever. Nobody looks at my bags, nobody weighs my van, haha… freedom!
Ok, one final question: if the vanlife means freedom for you, where would your ultimate road trip take you?
Maybe Africa, or South America, or even Spain! I’ve travelled the whole world and I’m always away. I know the Phillipines better than I know Spain. I don’t even know my own country! I’d love to take a van in the summer and go around to see what Spain has to offer.
I think many people do that, forget about their own country. They travel the world but they don’t know what they have at home. [Doing a road trip] is a completely different experience, especially when you travel with as much gear as I do. It’s so much better to be honest!
We think so too. Thanks for sharing your story with us Julia!