Italian-born Marina Piro, in her mid-twenties, has lived in the United Kingdom for five years before moving out of her comfort zone. However, she cannot be bracketed as a solo backpacker since she travels with her best companion — her dog, Odie.

Marina transformed a van into her new home as not many places are dog-friendly and, of course, she didn’t want to leave Odie behind. The Labradoodle is a rescue dog and as Piro puts it on her blog, she never had the desire to have a canine friend, but with Odie, it was “love at first bark!”

To live her dream, she bought a five-door 2001 Renault Kangoo, which she turned into a miniature home all by herself for £500. And it’s almost equipped with almost everything that one could think of — from a kitchen to beds and even electricity. Piro says she took up this challenge as a learning opportunity to try things first hand. From her travel anecdotes to rising up to the challenge of transforming the van, Piro spells out how to achieve it on her blog Panthevam, and it’s nothing short of inspiring.

Her detailed blogposts not only teaches travellers on how to do build a gas stove cabinet in a vehicle or electrifying her van, it also elaborates on the budget. “As I didn’t have any knowledge on mechanics/woodwork/electrics etc., I found it very hard to orientate myself into that sea of information. I could not find one woman doing that by herself, there was always a man in the background. This is why I have started writing a blog with very easy to understand guides on how to convert your van, as I would have loved to have access to this kind of information when I first started.” the Metro UK quotes Piro. From books to music instruments, along with all other essential logistics, people are amazed how she could accommodate so much in a van. “You would be surprised in finding out how much stuff you can carry by organizing” and packing in a clever way. To support her claim she even displayed all her possessions and left people baffled,” Pirlo said.

In the past 11 months, the adorable duo visited lakes in France, hiked mountains and went canoeing in Italy, and enjoyed the seaside in Brighton.

This article was originally published on The Indian Express