May 29, 2024

The Journey of a Retired Food Truck Chef: Converting a Food Truck into a Van and Travelling Europe Full Time (Part 1)

As a retired food truck chef, I never thought I would be travelling Europe full time. It all started when I decided to close my food truck business and take a break from the culinary world. I had been running my food truck for years, serving fresh pastas and pizzas to locals in my hometown. However, I felt like I needed a change of pace and scenery.

At first, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I thought about opening up a restaurant, but the idea of being tied down to one location didn’t appeal to me. I wanted to explore the world and engage with different cultures. That’s when I came up with the idea of converting my food truck into a van and travelling Europe full time.

Why I Stopped Being a Food Truck Chef

Running a food truck business was both rewarding and challenging. I loved the freedom it gave me to experiment with different recipes and connect with customers on a personal level. However, it was also a lot of work. I had to wake up early to prep ingredients, drive my truck to different locations, and deal with the stress of managing a business.

After a few years of running my food truck, I started to feel burnt out. I found myself losing passion for cooking and feeling like I was stuck in a rut. I knew I needed to take a break and re-evaluate my priorities.

Converting My Food Truck into a Van

Once I decided to travel Europe full time, the next step was to convert my food truck into a van. This was no easy feat. I had to completely gut the interior of my food truck and rebuild it from scratch. I wanted to create a comfortable living space that would allow me to cook and sleep in the same vehicle.

The first thing I did was remove all the cooking equipment and appliances from my food truck. I then installed a bed, a small kitchenette, and a storage area. I also added solar panels to the roof of the van to provide electricity.

The conversion process took several months to complete. I had to learn new skills like carpentry and electrical work, but I enjoyed the challenge. It was rewarding to see my food truck transform into a comfortable living space that I could take on the road.

Travelling Europe Full Time

Once my van was ready, I set off on my journey to explore Europe. I had no set itinerary or plan, I simply wanted to go where the wind took me. I started in Italy, where I spent several weeks exploring the countryside and sampling different regional cuisines.

From there, I travelled to France, Spain, and Portugal. I visited small villages and big cities, trying new foods and meeting new people along the way. I found that travelling in a van gave me the freedom to go off the beaten path and see parts of Europe that I never would have discovered otherwise.


Converting my food truck into a van and travelling Europe full time was a big decision, but one that I don’t regret. It allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and explore new cultures and cuisines. In part two of this series, I’ll talk about some of the challenges I faced on the road and how I overcame them.

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