Have you thought of selling up and living in a van? We recently had some really big changes in our lives. Starting with a decision in 2016 to try a new direction, resulting in downsizing the family house and living most of the year in a van!
We thought we’d be brave, a little courageous before old age sets in. To make the most of life, before our wrinkly bodies start to need more repairs than a 1970’s Ford Cortina!
So whilst the brain cells are also still active…..steady on now! While we’re capable of knowing what we’re doing, what we want to do and who we want to do it with – we decided to do the deed!
So we put the 4 bedroom house for sale, bought a tiny, but quaint little place and never looked back!
The rumblings all started a few years before that, when hubby became very restless. Possibly even a bit anxious, about the world in which we live.
We were both feeling crushed by the pressures of over 30 years of work. All the woes that day to day dealings of running a business brought to our otherwise content life, was becoming too much.
We no longer had the energy to deal with the hectic business environment. At times, it seemed like an endless chain of expectations, embroiled in an over indulgent society and fast-paced world.
The modern business world where technology is there to supposedly make life easier for us, seemed to make our work life a whole lot worse!
At the same time, it seemed our ideals were no longer the same as those around us. The media was full of corruption scandals and celebrity status – catapulted to the pillar of power. TV screens, Social media and society in general was full of over indulgent consumerism.
The pull of those big name labels and branding looked like it was attempting to take over the nation.
As greed and dishonesty rumbled on across media headlines, a mix of excessive wealth, power and indulgence seemed to bring out the worst in people.
This was several years ago, times were changing and so were we
We wanted to get back to basics.
We knew people could be so generous, financially, morally and personally. There are so many that do good, often without a fanfare of admiration.
The human spirit was alive and well and we needed to re-connect with those good vibes. People being just happy as they are and grateful for all that’s good in life.
We’ve seen and spoken with so many amazing people over the years. All brought together with the bond of loving life in a campervan, where background and financial status had no focus.
When we’re out on the road we meet the most wonderful people. Hearing their own incredible stories of chaotic lives that they used to live or health issues that made them take a new direction.
Our 6-month road trip across Australia in 2017, finally cemented our need for change. We’d seen the most amazing aspects of our raw planet, a journey by road covering over 23,000KM.
To put that into perspective, when we boarded our return flight from Sydney to Dubai, the in-flight monitor displayed a flying distance of just 11,000KM!
We met and spoke with so many people who were all on a journey of a kind.
These people brought an incredible warmth, with no luxury attachments. Their stories were inspirational, none of us needed accessories of materialism to add to the conversation.
Many people were permanently on the road, travelling with children, alone or as a couple.
Age had no boundaries, young, old and anywhere in-between. They were remarkable people, who were just enjoying the moment and making the most of life while they could. Some were continuing on to other continents, new adventure’s and the thrill of the open road had no limits.
In December 2017, we returned to the UK, the trip had changed us.
We had seen the best of people, of nature and most importantly, we’d spent 6 months together in the smallest of space and were still happiest in each others company!
We’d laughed and cried, enjoyed the weirdest moments and seen the most thrilling wildlife. Afterwards, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to return to a so called normal life back in the UK.
Living in a tiny van – yes it was the smallest space possible!
No luxury RV status, just a simple Toyota Hi-Ace with not even a loo to boast about! It made us realise that, in-fact, a house seemed unimportant, almost irrelevant.
Living long-term in a van made us appreciate the simple necessities of life. Happiness, love, other people, a good nature, laughter, a sense of humour, wildlife and the wilderness that we can have around us.
The materialistic stuff now seems rather pointless. Of course, we need money for life on the road and there is no mistaking that it is costly in some ways.
So we have to financially support our choices but fortunately, through years of hard work and very careful spending habits we now have the financial ability to achieve this.
Since returning from Australia we’ve hardly been home. Spending an unexpected couple of months in New Zealand. Assisting in our Son’s house move and combining it, of course with an inevitable campervan trip!
Then we had a couple of months touring Italy. We would have stayed, had it not been for our decision to sell the house, bringing our trip to a reluctant close!
Hubby, would quite happily live in a van full stop or a cave for that matter!
I, however, am not so keen on living in a holed out rock – but I do get the ethos of a simpler, more rounded way of life, which meant a compromise along the way here.
We’ve always had a van of one form or another. In fact, we bought our first one age just 18 years old! So we didn’t need to buy a motorhome or campervan or convert a vehicle back here in the UK.
We were ready for the next big trip and we couldn’t wait to get going.
So, instead of no house it’s been a a downsize move for us!
Selling up and living in a campervan most of the year is what we wanted. A tiny house enabled us to still have a base for times of need, a place for the children to come back to as well. Also, for the simple necessities of having an address and being a resident of somewhere in the world.
It’s been therapeutic, clearing out all the wasteful clutter of life and it’s a refreshing process to become minimalist. It’s not only the house we’ve cleared, but also the mind, it’s such a liberating feeling.
What is also clear, is that when we’re not away, we just want to be away!
We can’t get used to life in a house and being in one place. It feels almost wasteful, that we’ve had so many rooms in the past, so much furniture and other useless stuff.
We feel we’re in some ways addicted to life on the road! Unable to rest until we get that next fix of vanlife and travel.
There are so many places we haven’t seen yet, we have a large map of the world on our living room wall. Pins mark the locations of countries that we’ve been to. The gold coloured metal dots are barely visible, we haven’t even scraped the surface.
It puts it completely into perspective! How big the world is, how small we are and how much land there is to cover, in such a small space of time!
It’s exciting times ahead, we’re wired for adventure, propelled into the next chapter of our van world with more gusto than ever. Hopefully, selling up and living in a van on a semi-permanent basis will be a real adventure.
On that note, I’d best get going and start preparations for that next amazing episode in our lives!
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