After 30+ years work was just too much like hard work!
We’ve recently had some really big changes in our lives, stemming from a decision to try a new direction for ourselves. We thought, we’d be brave, a little courageous, before old age sets in and the wrinkly bodies start needing more repairs and spare parts than a 1970’s Ford Cortina!
So with brain cells still active…..steady on now! Whilst we are still perfectly capable of knowing what we’re doing, what we want to do and who we want to do it with, we have decided, to do the deed. This, to you and I, is putting the family home for sale, downsizing to a lock up and go and finally commiting to some sort of semi-permanent or permanent life of travel in a van!
The rumblings all started a few years ago, when hubby became very restless, possibly even a bit anxious, about the world in which we now live. We were both feeling crushed by the pressures of 30+ years of work and all the crap that those day to day dealings brought, to our otherwise content and happy lives.
We no longer had the stomach or the patience to deal with the business environment. At times it seemed like an endless chain of pointless, petty innuendo’s, irrelevant conversations embroiled in the over indulgent hype of society’s fast-paced world of being available 24/7 and expectations of perfection.
A business world where even the smallest request, order or query could go spectacularly wrong through the channels of technology. Supposedly there to make life easier but inevitably bringing hours of misery to resolve things if they went wrong.
At the same time, it seemed our ideals were no longer the same as those around us. The media was full of seedy corruption scandals and celebrity status, catapulted to the pillar of power. TV screens, Social media and society in general was suddenly full of over indulgent consumerism.
The pull of those big name labels and branding, looked like it was attempting to take over us and the nation. As the greed and dishonesty rumbled on across the media headlines, the toxic mix of excessive wealth, power and greed seemed to bring clouded judgement of all the good things about our fellow humans.
We’d seen the good side of human nature and knew how good life on the road can be.
We wanted to get back to basics, we knew that 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 that were there with no strings attached, 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 the van, where background and financial status had no focus. It’s when we’re out on the road that we meet the most wonderful people and hear their incredible stories of chaotic lives that they used to live.
Our 6-month road trip across Australia in 2017, finally cemented the 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. They 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 were permanently on the road, travelling with children, alone or as a couple, age had no boundaries, young, old, 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, adventure 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 spaces and were still happiest in each others company! We’d laughed and cried, enjoyed the weirdest moments and seen the most thrilling wildlife, 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.
It’s time to move on, downsize and de-clutter, put an end to pointless stuff!
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 camper trip! Then it was a a couple of months touring Italy, where 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 means a compromise along the way here. We’ve always had a van, so we aren’t needing to buy a motorhome or camper or convert a vehicle back here, it’s all ready for the next big trip and we can’t wait to get going.
So, instead of no house, it’s a downsize move for us, a tiny house, enabling us to still have a base for times of need and for the simple necessities of being a resident of somewhere in the world. It’s 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’re clearing 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, so much furniture and other useless stuff. We feel that we’re 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 marking 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. On that note, I’d best get going and start preparations for that next amazing episode in our lives!