Family has spent two years travelling in converted military truck

Couple and their seven-year-old son have spent two years travelling the world in their converted 40-year-old military truck – and the pictures are jaw-dropping

  • Leander Nardin, his girlfriend Maria and their son, Lennox, live out of their Mercedes Benz LA911B truck
  • 41-year-old vehicle boasts two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a toilet and a shower over 12 square metres
  • Since 2017, the family has travelled through 24 countries starting in Austria and are currently in Australia
  • The trio document their journey by posting to their Facebook and Instagram pages and updating their blog  

Meet the family of three who sold all of their belongings to live life in a converted military truck – and have been travelling the world for two years.

Austrians Leander Nardin and his girlfriend Maria had been living in Salzburg with their son Lennox, now seven, but had always been keen traveling.

And two years ago, the couple decided they would sell up their home and buy an old military truck, a Mercedes Benz LA911B, that they would convert into a mobile home.

Austrians Leander Nardin, his girlfriend Maria and their son Lennox, seven, pose beside their converted military truck, which is now their home. The family of three are currently travelling the world in the truck. They are pictured in the central Asian country of Tajikistan 

Two years ago, the couple decided they would sell up their home in Salzburg, Austria, and buy an old military truck, a Mercedes Benz LA911B, that they would convert into their new place to live. They are pictured in Tajikistan  

The family have always loved travelling and immersing themselves in the cultures of foreign countries. The trio are pictured gazing up at the stunning mountains in Tajikistan 

Seven-year-old Lennox uses an axe to chop wood while travelling through the Lut desert in Iran. Lennox is home schooled but doesn’t follow a standard school programme 

It took them two years to refurbish the 41-year-old truck, which now boasts two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a toilet and a shower in a space of just 12 square metres.

And since the family started their journey in 2017, they have travelled through 24 countries, starting in Austria. They are currently making their way around Australia.

Leander, who is a professional photographer, told MailOnline Travel: ‘For us, this world trip is not just a journey – it is a way of life.


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‘My girlfriend and I were travelling all around the globe for more than 10 years together.

‘We were always close to nature, interested in foreign cultures and immersing in the everyday life of foreign countries. A feeling that probably only travelers can understand.

‘Yet, this feeling always went by too quickly and before we knew it, the everyday life was happening again.

Maria makes her way back to the truck during a dust storm in the Lut desert in Iran. The family document their travels by posting pictures on their Instagram and Facebook pages as well as on their blog, called Akela

The family sit around a camp fire under the stars after parking up their truck in the Altai region of Russia, which is in southern Siberia 

Since leaving Austria, the family has travelled south and so far visited 24 countries. They are currently in Australia. Pictured is the truck parked up in the mountains of Tajikistan 

‘Seven years ago, our son was born. And somehow everything began with him.

‘We wanted to spend as much time with our son as possible and bring him closer to the whole world.

‘But time is a precious and a rare commodity so we decided it was time to focus on the essentials and time together to discover the beauty of this plane and time to really live.

‘We converted and rebuilt the whole truck by ourselves, which took us two years full time.

‘Neither of us are technicians and we had a lot of trial and error situations and made a lot of mistakes, which heavily increased the costs of the truck.

‘In the end it cost two thirds more than expected and blasted our whole budget.’

Once the truck was habitable, Leander, Maria and Lennox began their journey and started by driving south from Austria.

One of the favourite places that they have visited on their trip is Kyrgyzstan, pictured. Leander said: ‘It’s not hard to choose our favourite countries’ 

Father and son Leander and son Lennox enjoy a motorcycle ride through the stunning Iranian desert. Leander explained: ‘Lennox is seven now. He really loves traveling in a truck, but there are also difficult moments for him missing his friends or other children’ 

Lennox sits on top of a rock with one of his toys surveying the stunning scene across Charyn Canyon, located on the Sharyn River in Kazakhstan

Along the way, they have passed through European countries such as Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Russia, Greece and Turkey.

The family then ventured into Asia, travelling into Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazahkstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, South Korea, Japan and Indonesia before visiting Australia.

Leander added: ‘It’s not hard to choose our favourite countries – it is those in central Asia including Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia.

The truck now boasts two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a toilet and a shower over a space of just 12 square metres. It is pictured here next to Mount Parnassos in central Greece 

Sometimes the family sleep outside in tents. Pictured is a sandy beach surrounded by rocks on the Greek island of Crete 

‘In general this kind of lifestyle or traveling is pretty challenging and exhausting.

‘There are lots of language barriers, technical problems and bureaucratic obstacles like visas.

‘Borders are in general pretty easy but one of the biggest problems – also financially and the organisation – comes mostly with shipping the truck.

‘Lennox is seven now. He really loves traveling in a truck, but there are also difficult moments for him missing his friends or other children.

‘But we do home schooling in the truck, although without any standard school programme.’

The family document their travels by posting pictures on their Instagram and Facebook pages as well as on their blog, called Akela.

Travelling the world means the family get to marvel at stunning views like this one in Iran on a daily basis. Pictured is the desert on Queshm Island

The family’s truck looks tiny when parked next to the Pamir Mountains close to the Himalayas in Tajikistan – one of their favourite countries 

While travelling through Greece, the family came across the Grand Meteora Monastery, where Leander captured this mystical image while the peek was surrounded by cloud  

The world Akela means ‘graceful’ and ‘noble’ in Hawaiian and is also the name of the lead wolf in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.

The trio intend to continue their travels indefinitely in their truck and are deciding where to visit next.

Leander explained: ‘We want to bring the diversity of the world closer to our son, extend his and our horizons.

‘We want to have the ability to have every day something new to discover and experience and the freedom to keep life in our own hands.

‘You need to find out what you really need to be happy. But as the saying goes, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone”.’

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