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Maja, a Citroen Luxury Van Conversion, Aims to Show the True Side of the Vanlife Craze
Depending on what you consider motivational content, Maja, the luxury van conversion, could be either that, or a good occasion for an eye roll. But Maja is only famous because, unlike other similar conversions, it aims to show the true side of the vanlife craze.

Maja, a Citroen Luxury Van Conversion, Aims to Show the True Side of the Vanlife Craze

Jan and Marie built Maja themselves, using a 2009 Citroen Jumper L3H2 as baseJan and Marie built Maja themselves, using a 2009 Citroen Jumper L3H2 as baseJan and Marie built Maja themselves, using a 2009 Citroen Jumper L3H2 as baseJan and Marie built Maja themselves, using a 2009 Citroen Jumper L3H2 as baseJan and Marie built Maja themselves, using a 2009 Citroen Jumper L3H2 as baseJan and Marie built Maja themselves, using a 2009 Citroen Jumper L3H2 as baseJan and Marie built Maja themselves, using a 2009 Citroen Jumper L3H2 as baseJan and Marie built Maja themselves, using a 2009 Citroen Jumper L3H2 as baseJan and Marie built Maja themselves, using a 2009 Citroen Jumper L3H2 as baseJan and Marie built Maja themselves, using a 2009 Citroen Jumper L3H2 as baseJan and Marie built Maja themselves, using a 2009 Citroen Jumper L3H2 as baseJan and Marie built Maja themselves, using a 2009 Citroen Jumper L3H2 as baseJan and Marie built Maja themselves, using a 2009 Citroen Jumper L3H2 as base
For the past several years, particularly starting with the restrictions brought on by the 2020 international health crisis, we’ve been bombarded with vanlife stories. Every 20-something out there, with or without a partner, with an online job, a fistful of dollars, and lacking a particular fondness for certain comforts of modern life, started aspiring to get in on the whole #vanlife craze – and seemingly did so.

It would be unfair to reduce the #vanlife phenomenon to do just that, but it’s equally wrong to buy into the idyllic image of it presented on social media, TikTok and in YouTube videos. Maja aims to show both sides of the coin and, maybe precisely because of it, it’s become a viral star.

Maja is a 2009 Citroen Jumper L3H2 conversion by Jan and Marie Koza, both from Germany. They go by TravelVenture on social platforms, where they share insights into their daily lives, their travels, their troubles on the road, and the challenges they face on the daily. Speaking with the German edition of Business Insider, they reveal life on the road, as beautiful and unique as it might be, is not without misgivings. And they feel perhaps more people should be aware of those before they try it out themselves.

First off, Maja came about naturally, since both Jan and Marie had been working online since 2017. They decided to take their work on the road and travel more, and a van conversion was the most affordable choice. However, they weren’t willing to go without certain creature comforts, and it’s those that allow them to describe Maja as a “luxury” van.

Unlike the majority of van conversions, Maja has a full working kitchen, a wet bathroom, solar panels, two desks, a dining table, and even a full-size mirror. That last bit is more of a whim, but you really can’t put together a nice outfit and not have a full-length mirror to duly appreciate it.

To cut down costs, the couple decided on doing the conversion themselves, despite the fact that they had no experience. This meant almost a hundred (estimated) hours for research and then 10 full days for the actual work. During the project, they relied on their parents for help, and only turned to a specialist when it came to the electrics.

Maja has 138 hp (140 ps)  under the hood, and offers a living space of 7 square meters (75.3 square feet) inside. It includes a kitchen on both sides, with a dual burner stove, a sink and some counter space, but plenty of storage. It also offers a desk extension on the counter, and a dining table that can also serve the same purpose. At night, the dining area converts into a comfy, queen-size bed. The bathroom with a separating compost toilet and a shower is right in front of the access door, right behind the driver’s seat.

Given the compact footprint, Maja is cramped, and that’s among the first things that Jan and Marie will point out. Vanlife means more than just gorgeous, envy-inducing and highly curated photos at famous tourist spots: vanlife also means not being able to move around without bumping your elbow against something (or someone), having to empty the urine container, having to fill up the water tanks, and learning to live with the idea of doing chores non-stop.

Vanlife also means living without your friends and family, lacking a daily routine, and having to plan in advance for absolutely everything. It’s about being frugal with water and electricity, and not giving in to temptation when buying stuff, whether clothes, foodstuff or home decorations. Downsizing is not all picture-perfect moments, and Maja’s story aims to highlight that.

Downsizing is not cheap, either, despite what else you might hear. Jan and Marie say that the cost for their van conversion was €38,817.73 ($40,358.41 at the current exchange rate), and that they strive to live on €1,000 ($1,039.84) a month each, a goal they’ve yet to reach. On the upside, they’ve been on the road since November 2021, traveling to Spain, the Canary Islands, Portugal, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, England, Denmark, Norway and Sweden and, most importantly, building their brand – and capitalizing on it.







Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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