Charlotte (@charlottevanberkum) followed the call of the ocean and grew up to live the van life. She lived in Holland until she was 6. Then, she moved to Sagres in Portugal, and got stuck there. She can travel anywhere, but just loves where she lives. To her it's perfect in every single way!
What do you do for a living?
I have various jobs. I am a mandala artist, a surfer and a model. My passion is surfing and my life has evolved around it. Because when I'm not surfing, I'm at the beach drawing while watching the waves and sunsets. Those drawings are the fruit of loving day by day, enjoying every single moment, the beauty of nature. And as a result, I draw those mandalas at all kinds of places, so they can send positive energies to the people around the world! I'm a model too, and, when possible, I use my role to send a message about living a healthy, sustainable life full of joy and love. I just tell you one thing, enjoy the life you were given every day and every moment, because you never know what will happen tomorrow.
Do you live a sustainable lifestyle?
I can definitely say I live a sustainable lifestyle, but of course, I still want to do better. I live in a van; I consume solar energy; I use water out of the well; I do not eat any meat, milk products or fish, only when my husband takes it straight out of the ocean; when I go to the market I use my own reusable bags; when possible, we hitchhike; when we use our car, we try to be as efficient as possible; when it’s possible to go by bike, we go by bike; I try to make as little trash as I can; I only use second-hand clothes, but when I occasionally buy something new, I buy eco and sustainable; I use reusable menstruation products… I could go on and on!
What do you think we humans can easily do to live a little more sustainable?
Clothes! Packaged things from the supermarket. Straws, plastic bottles... Food! Don't throw it away!
You seem very healthy, is that correct? What keeps you fit?
Yes that’s correct. I'm very conscious about what I eat. I take everything whole (pasta, rice, flour) and prepare it myself (bread, veggie burgers, sauces...), nothing pre-made or pre-cut. I mainly eat fresh veggies and fruit, vitamins! No sugars, only honey, loads of seeds and nuts. When I make sweets, it’s all as healthy as possible. But of course, when there is a birthday cake, I take a slice :) I am very active too, I work in the garden and I surf (one, two or three times a day) every day. I think the most important mission in life is staying healthy - you are the only thing you really have!
"I think the most important
mission in life is staying healthy
— you are the only thing
you really have! "
What is your favorite morning routine?
I usually wake up between 8 and 9. I open our van, let the sun penetrate my skin, I walk a bit in our garden, take a look at our veggies and smell my flowers. I prepare some oat porridge, or make some granola with fruits, or some bread with avocado, and a big mug of coffee for me and my lovely husband! That’s when he comes out of bed, when he smells coffee :) Then I do my social media. Make bread. Go to the veggie market. And we go surfing!
How important is it to you to live close to nature?
I love living close to nature. I need it, I can't stay in a city, it’s not my nature. I love waking up with the sound of the birds and bees, with the sun and the wind... it makes me grateful! I love surfing because it makes you enter a certain flow.
What would you like to achieve in life?
I would like to have a family. I want to go through that magic process nature gives us. I want to give my kids this beautiful life! I want to spread my art around the places I travel. I want to earn and grow in the world of surfing! I want to give a good example as a person. And, when I´m old, I want to go surfing with the whole family. I want to enjoy every single day as much as I can!