Getting to know us: meet Max who is living the van life



This is the spriteCloud company author.

At spriteCloud we have colleagues working from the Netherlands, Spain and other places in the world but they usually do it from a classic office (be it our office or from home) except… Max Kunkels, one of our test automation engineers. He has chosen a more mobile option: his van, Kenai. Having a colleague embrace van life, that’s pretty amazing and that is why we couldn’t pass on interviewing him before he started this adventurous journey. Have a look at Max’s interview to learn about his work as a test engineer, his new routine and the places he’s planning on visiting.

Hi Max, thank you for participating in this interview. Can you start by telling us a bit about your van?

So the van’s name is Kenai. Kenai, some of you might recognise the name is from a Disney movie called Brother Bear. And Kenai is a character who transforms from a boy into a bear. And he sees life from a whole different perspective. And I think the bus represents that as well.

Absolutely and now back to the basics, can you introduce yourself and explain why you decided to buy a van and go work remotely?

Well, hi, my name is Max. I’m 23 years old. I currently live in Purmerend, but I will be living in a van soon. My hobbies are surfing, skateboarding and basketball. Basically anything outdoors, hiking. 

Well, the reason I bought a van and started, will go work remotely, is ever since I was like a little kid, ever since I was like 12, I got the obsession with travelling and seeing the world. And I think working or travelling with a van is the perfect opportunity to just slowly travel, still, see all the beautiful places, get to know the culture better. Instead of going to all the tourist places.

What I do for spriteCloud: I work partially as a test manager/ project lead for short-term projects and the majority of the week I work for a client where I do test automation and functional testing. I give advice to clients on how to set up their processes.

Do you think this would have been possible before the pandemic?

Due to the pandemic, where people started working remotely, it showed, also for spriteCloud, that it’s truly possible. And having the flexibility from spriteCloud as well, having the trust in the people. To be able for me to still travel a lot, because like, I mean I’m insanely fond of travelling but still not having to compromise between either choosing a career or choosing full-on travel for a year, for example.

So having that combination of like travelling, being in nature and still have opportunities to grow my career as well, it’s the perfect combination for me.

That’s the best of both worlds! What will your new routine look like?

So the new ideal routine would look like this: you wake up with a beautiful view, hopefully. Somewhere with mountains or next to the ocean, just work throughout the day, get breakfast, eat lunch, make dinner. And as soon as you get off work, you can go either surfing, you can go hiking. Instead of like watching Netflix sitting on the couch.

[...] having that combination of like travelling, being in nature and still have opportunities to grow my career as well, it's the perfect combination for me.

Sounds great! And where do you plan to go?

Yeah. So my travel plans are not really strict. I don’t have full-on plans on where I’m going to stop in this village and I’m going to stop in that city or that nature reserve. 

I got my first stop is a small surfing village in le Penon. It’s in southern France. I don’t know why I picked it. It just looked awesome. So I was like going to go there, as my first stop. After that, I’m going to go past the northern coast of Spain, go past the coast of Portugal. And if I’m sick and tired of surfing, I probably go through Spain, back to Italy because I have never been to Italy and I want to visit the Dolomites and eat real pizza, of course. And visit family in Switzerland.

Then I might go back to the Netherlands, or if I think it’s going to be cold and it works all fine, I might go as southern as possible, just to stay warm. So that’s the plan. 

What do you look forward to the most on this new adventure?

The thing I look forward to most is especially meeting new people, experiencing different cultures instead of going to like touristy places, and actually have like a local experience. And I think you probably meet different people, probably the same people who also work for a van. So I’m really excited to meet those kinds of people and just learn from them. That’s mainly it.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us Max. I think we speak for the team when I say we look forward to following your journey and wish you all the best.

If you are curious to learn more about what working at spriteCloud is like, follow our #lifeatspritecloud tag on LinkedIn. We are hiring regularly so if you think this is a place that you would feel at home in, head over to our jobs page and apply to one of our open positions.

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