Daring Series: This hippie van man went on a 16-country road trip

Aaron Neilson-Belman drove around the world in his pimped out VW camper van


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Aaron Neilson-Belman got an artist to paint this colourful mural across his VW van

We all dream of dropping everything to pursue our passions. As part of our Daring Series, Post City chatted to the Torontonians who actually did. Find out why they think you should too #PostCityDaring

Like many other millennials, Aaron Neilson-Belman went backpacking in southeast Asia. When he came home, he was already eager for his next adventure. He had recently bought a VW van and had an artist paint a hippie-inspired mural across it, so he decided a road trip was in order.

At that point he had been freelancing as a website developer and photographer and decided to take his gig on the road. He drove out of Toronto in August 2013, reached Buenos Aires in December 2015.

“Driving in Peru was such a wild adventure with the dirt roads on the side of a cliff with a huge drop,” he says. “You meet great people everywhere you go, that was one of the best parts too, breaking down cultural barriers and stuff.”

Currently, the van is undergoing renos, getting ready for the next big trip. With a rebuilt engine and custom interiors, it’s a little more livable. Living in your van is the #vanlife trend after all. He’s also getting a new mural painted.

“One idea I’m toying with is to drive up to the Northwest Territories.”

Neilson-Belman recommends dropping everything to travel: “There is no better way to learn about yourself or the world we live in. You trade in your misconceptions generated by movies, the media and other third-party sources, for priceless first-hand experiences.” 

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Nikki Gill is the managing editor at Post City Magazines. When she's away from her desk, you can either find her sipping on delicious teas or trotting the globe. Follow her adventures on Twitter @nikkjit.

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