When Marta Zaforteza was introduced to van life by her ex-boyfriend, it wasn’t long before she wanted a van for herself. She craved more contact with nature and a more relaxed lifestyle, and it wouldn’t be long until she’d get just that. Marta, who is originally from Spain, purchased a blue Citroën Relay, which she named Julieta. With the help of Right to Roam Campervans Ltd, it was quickly transformed into a quaint and cosy house on wheels.
Marta has lived in London for the last decade and had big plans for Julieta. She was going to rent it out as a business, then maybe use it herself on the odd weekend. However, COVID-19 had other plans. When Marta’s workplace made everyone work from home, she found her opportunity to put Julieta to good use. She gave up her rented accommodation and hit the road in Julieta full time. Now, for the past year, she has spent her days travelling around Spain, working remotely, and living her life as a digital nomad.
Spanish-born and London-based Marta Zaforteza purchased a blue Citroën Relay and enlisted the help of Right to Roam Campervans Ltd to turn it into a house on wheels called ‘Julieta’.
Cooking is never all that easy in a small van, but Marta has made it work. Her van has a convenient pull-out table that allows her to carry out meal preparation outside the van.
Even though the van is conservatively-sized, it doesn’t look like it once inside. The white-washed roof and neutral and natural colours throughout maximise the available space.
The kitchen is quickly identified as the heart of the home. It has a full-size tap with an extendable head, an 80L water tank under the sink, and an underslung 100L grey tank. The 12-volt Italian Vitrifrigo fridge is of a generous size for a small van and also contains a freezer.
The kitchen in Marta’s van takes up a lot of space, but that’s because she loves to cook. She also loves the rustic feel of it, which flows seamlessly throughout the rest of the van. The kitchen bench features reclaimed wood boards, and there are a fan and skylight window to allow fresh air to flow through.
The kitchen also has a unique safety feature, which Marta is pleased she incorporated into the design. After speaking to other solo female travellers, she discovered the importance of having an escape.
The small window in the kitchen provides direct access to the driver’s seat. While in Mallorca, she experienced a near break-in, which meant she made use of the escape window for the first time.
With much of her van centred around cooking, it makes sense for her to have a high-quality cooking space. Marta has a brass backsplash and a two-burner hob that utilises gas from her LPG tank. She generally gets around one month out of each gas tank.
Julieta has three lights on dimmers that Marta can control. However, she uses her fairy lights more than the main lights to prevent people from seeing inside the van.
Even though there isn’t much space for a full bathroom, Marta has included a toilet. It’s positioned in a small box so that she can pull it out when she needs to use it.
Given that Marta works on the road, she needs somewhere comfortable to do it. She made sure to include a movable table rather than a fixed one. Given that it moves, she can push it out of the way when she wants to access the sofa.
Many of Marta’s possessions around the van are attached to surfaces with double-sided velcro. Everything from fruit bowls to candles, clocks, and mirrors have some form of attachment to remain in place while she drives.
Julieta might look like she lacks storage, but Marta just ensured she made innovative use of her space. Underneath the sofa, you’ll spot six drawers. These contain all her clothing. She also manages to store her paddleboards, snorkelling equipment, a heater, electrics, and two batteries under the sofa.
At the end of the dining table is a Moroccan puffball. She purchased it empty to utilise it as storage space for her bedding. The rest of it is stored on a shelf above the cabin.
Once night falls, Marta lowers the table to turn the sofa into a comfortable and luxurious bed for the night. Convenient storage cupboards in a neutral colour scheme are positioned above.
Marta is so pleased she decided to install a skylight above the dining and bed area. Not only does it allow natural light to stream through, but she can open it for air and watch the stars while drifting off to sleep.
The doors are often an underutilised space on campervans. Marta makes full use of hers by hanging items on it.
The second door is where she stores her hot outdoor shower. Although, she admits to not using it as much as she thought. She tends to shave and wash her hair and body at the sink, or have showers at the beach or a friend’s house.
Follow Marta Zaforteza’s adventures on Instagram