We’re still cracking on with the van renovation, and it’s coming along nicely. The kitchen unit is in place, just needs hooking up and covering, and the walls are almost totally carpeted. We’ve been planning what we want to do when we the van is finished. After looking at new rental properties, houses for sale, parcels of land, woodland, old commerical buildings, and everything in between, we’ve made a plan. It’s our 6 month plan. Essentially, we’ll be chasing the summer (I always loved Bruce Brown’s The Endless Summer). We’ll spend six months in England during the summer, enjoying the weather (hopefully), seeing family and friends, working and having fun. We’l live primarily in the van, at the beach, parks and campgrounds. During the winter, we’ll either travel to southern Europe – in the van, of course – or we’ll head somewhere exotic. Mexico, Costa Rica, Australia, they’re all on my list.
How could we possible afford to live this lifestyle? We’re not exactly rich (at least not yet – I brought a Euromillions ticket a couple of weeks ago and I haven’t checked the numbers), but this lifestyle isn’t expensive. In fact, it’s really affordable.
We’ll be living in a van! It’s fully paid for, no car payments, just insurance and the regular stuff. Cutting out a £500 monthly rent (plus council tax, utilities, etc) saves a huge chunk. We can stay at campgrounds whenever we want, to fuel up, charge up, refresh, etc. Between £15-20 a night in peak season. Not bad. Otherwise, we’ll boondock, use solar power, shower at the beach. Our year spent in the USA crusing around taught us some valuable lessons about urban camping, being off the grid, and having fun doing it.
If we hit up Europe, we’ll be running around the same costs as our English summer: camping fees, fuel, foods – but no rent or house payments. If we decide to jet off somewhere, we’ll aim for places where we can rent a place dirt cheap. There are shacks in Mexico for less that £150 a month (if you know where to look), and you can land in Australia and rent a Wicked Van for about £30 a day, which acts as your accommodation and vehicle. When you add everything up, you’re not spending a lot for an amazing lifestyle.
So when are we starting this gig? Right now. It’s mid summer, we’re in our little apartment in North Devon. We’ve looking for winter accommodation in England for this year. This will give us an opportunity to finish the van to perfection, get some work done and some cash in the bank, and get some plans together. We’ll spend next summer just in the van, and head out further afield the following winter.