Volker, Claudia and dog Gemma, that is Team UMIWO from the region of Hanover/Germany.
Traveling and discovering new places in nature is one of our passions. Denmark has been a special place for a long time. After group holidays in the 80’s at the Jutlandic North Sea coast, we also made our first holiday trips together as a couple to holiday homes to enjoy the wide open spaces and endless long and lonely beaches. Not only on our honeymoon we spent many years of sunny weeks in winter in cosy cottages at the crackling oven. Disappointing all-inclusive vacations in Spain and Portugal strengthened the desire to be able to decide at any moment to stay or move on. Our little car (Opel Corsa) and various tents were the basis for our first joint camping attempts. But soon we lacked a certain degree of comfort and back pain as well as annoying assembly and disassembly made us secretly look at luxurious camping vehicles.
First camping blogs took us online on our travels and extensive studying of campers made us dream of our own camping bus. In 2005 our first tour with a rented motorhome took us to France. With an almost 8 meter long semi-integrated motorhome from Chausson we toured inexperienced beginners, armed with a guide and laptop, all the way to Provence. One of our first nights on French soil at the Chateau Fleckenstein in Alsace we will never forget. A file folder full of lovingly bound descriptions of the campsites from various Promobil magazines of an older couple saved our route planning. Their friendly helpfulness as well as the trust placed in us for the return of their treasure of information (when they drove out of the forest for better television reception, for a boxing match that SHE wanted to watch) was both a signpost and a foundation stone for a long and trusting motorhome love.
The next rental tour was in a more compact van with deductions in the floor plan. Once again we were drawn to the south of France up to the Spanish border. Now finally in the camping fever our means at that time were only enough to buy a used Knaus Südwind caravan. The late summer of 2006 in the Bretagne will always remain in our memory THE dream holiday: Sleeping in the middle of dunes and seeing and hearing the ocean 24 hours a day! Three years went by and in September 2009 the time had finally come: Our first motorhome, a 5 year old ►Hymer Exsis was from now on our rolling home. The following late winter we drove to Portugal in spring. This first trip in our own mobile was full of failures, bad luck and car breakdowns. And even though we ran out of gas in freezing temperatures in France, we got a bigger stone hit in the windshield in Portugal and on the return trip in France the electric step didn’t work anymore, it was still a wonderful round trip that we like to think back to.
We didn’t want to write down our experiences on our trips with our own motorhome in our travel diary, but rather share them with other people. So we started in 2010 with our blog UMIWO, which already counts more than 600 posts. In the years that followed, we took on the exertions of the long journey to Portugal and southern Spain two more times, with the following van, a ►Roadscout from Globecar. Even though these journeys were very nice, we shifted our focus from then on to much shorter tours in Germany and the bordering countries. This meant that we could undertake more tours with the holiday time available to us and used less energy for long journeys. Especially Germany we discovered more and more and not only travel to historical places, but also to places that do not appear in any tourist guide, but which win our hearts through beautiful nature or distinctive characteristics. The diversity of our home country is inspiring!
Uncomfortable about travelling in the winter months were always cold feet for us! Westfalia promised us the comfort of the domestic underfloor heating, even in the panel van, at the Caravan Salon 2013. The stylish, bright Columbus 600 D (►van presentation) impressed us so much that we signed the sales contract only a few weeks later at our motorhome dealer ►Togo Reisemobile in Stove and spent the next 5 months feverishly awaiting our new vehicle. After the sale of the Globecar in November we were sitting on dry land and time passed like chewing gum until we could finally go on our first trip in February 2014 with icy temperatures but warm feet!
Because of the enthusiasm for our own Westfalia camper van, we founded the Facebook group ►“Westfalia Campingbus Entdecker“ in 2015 and have already organised several events with fellow enthusiasts. We also visit and report regularly from the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf. In this way, we would like to share not only critical views of vehicles, technology and accessories, but also our experiences. Since 2017, we have been publishing videos of our travels and visits to the Caravan Salon Düsseldorf on our ►YouTube channel. Volker’s first eBook „The 11 best campsite apps“ saw the light of day in the same year and is available since May 2020 with the 2nd edition and more than 20 apps in the current test in our ►Shop and in many online bookstores.
We wish all readers a lot of fun browsing through our blog!
Volker, Claudia und Gemma