Something changed.

This morning, things changed.

It is my birthday. My wife gave me two books. They both rekindled my desire for no destination. After a few years of having a destination, an apartment, a regular job, a normal life. It isn’t feeling right. We’ve been looking at RVs again. Pricing vans. Deciding where not to go next.

I’m done with normality.

So we’re doing it again. Simple, small, mobile, no destination living.

Sometimes we lose our way. We get distracted by what we’re expected to do. But the beauty of no destination is that there isn’t a wrong way. As long as you appreciate that there isn’t a place where you can get to. There’s no end. It’s all a journey.

It starts now. Again.


The Six Month Plan

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.

English Summer

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.

Exotic Winter

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.

Recycled Insulation


We’re not exactly hippies. We not trying to change the world or demonise anyone for their behaviour, but we like to keep things green where possible. I’ve never been a fan of fibreglass insulation. The last thing this world needs is more new plastic products. After some Googling, I came across Carbon Zero, a recycled ‘Eco-wool’ (not real wool, thankfully – I’m a vegan). This insulation is made from recycled glass bottles. It’s amazingly warm and soft, not scratchy like fibreglass. Just driving with the two rolls in the back of the van cut out a lot of road noise, it’ll be fantastic once it’s installed.

The insulation is available from Homebase for about £15 a roll.

Prototype Installed

We test-fitted the prototype kitchen unit in the T4 today. Wow, what a perfect fit. It was built based on some rough dimensions, guesswork and randomness, but it’s absolutely ideal in the space. We’re going against the grain, and using a non-traditional layout, placing the unit on the offside, next to the sliding door, and installing a bench the full length of the van, opposite the door. Really motivated to get the van insulated and lined, so we can get the unit built and installed, and go camping!

Ever used Google SketchUp? I highly recommend it for simple 3D modeling and design. Since I’m a bit weird, I decided to design the unit in SketchUp AFTER I already built the prototype. Meh.

Crusin’ together…

Getting fuel. £96 for a full tank. In 30 years, that'll seem really cheap.

FINALLY, we have our van, back home, safe and sound. It was a long day, taking the train to Oxford, picked up from the station, then driving back down to Devon. Worth it, as our rig looks fantastic and drives like a dream. It’s like a blank canvas, clean and white on the outside, and ready for our conversion inside. We’re already making plans to go camping this weekend. We have an airbed, a portable stove and a surfboard. What else d’ya need? Nothing, that’s what.

Essentials: Dryrap Surf Towel

dryrap surf towel, in use at Saunton Beach

Whether you’re a surfer, wakeboarder, bodyboarder, swimmer, or you just like to get wet, chances are you’ll be changing your wetsuit or boardshorts in the beach carpark. From the division of ‘why didn’t I think of that’ comes the Dryrap Surf Towel (£22.99 inc UK delivery) – a simple device for keeping your privates, private. A super absorbant towel with an elastic waistband, featuring a tough velcro fastening. Slap it around your body, whip your shorts off and pull your jeans on. Couldn’t be easier.

Dryrap is suitable for dudes and dudettes, a perfect length and generous circumference – good for the tall and the rotund. The velcro also makes it easy to hang the Dryrap to dry. A few velcro tabs stuck on the wall in the van, and the Dryrap could easily double as a privacy curtain too.

Versatile, useful and innovative. The Dryrap is a must-have for anyone in the water. Considering surf brand beach towels can cost up to £30, the Dryrap is great value too.

£22.99   |   Dryrap Surf Towel   |

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Kitchen Unit Prototype

The kitchen unit prototype is almost complete. I’ve built a full-scale replica from cardboard, to make sure all of the elements fit together perfectly – including the sink, tap, fridge, cookers, shower, and all of the wiring and electronics. I’m using two cheapo gas cookers (about a tenner each) rather than an ultra-expensive SMEV, or similar. This way, I have two cookers at the ready when I need them; If one fails, I have a backup; and I save a wad of cash. I’ve cooked on these things a lot, and they are really good. The fridge is an electric coolbox I’ve had for years, and the sink is a 28cm round stainless steel model, sourced on eBay for under £20. The shower is a small hand sprayer, perfect for rinsing wetsuits or blasting mud off of hiking boots. Tap should arrive next week, and once the water tanks are in place, I can try fitting it in the van.

New Colours

Our RV was a colourful green, yellow and white scheme. It had a clean and fresh vibe, which suited our environment and our mood at the time. For our VW, we’ve chosen a palette with more attitude. Reds, greys and white, with an industrial and military vibe. We’ve taken inspiration from the Victorinox Special Edition Airstream trailer, with a splash of surf style added for good measure.

Lost and Found

Well, we had an eventful weekend.

Early Friday morning, our new van was stolen from the body repair garage. After the usual reports to the police and insurance companies, the van was later discovered not far from the garage. There seems to be a bit of damage, but police forensics are holding on to our rig for now until it’s fingerprinted, we’ll know the full extent of the damage towards the end of the week.

Everything happens for a reason. Not sure what, but we’re just glad the van has been recovered, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for as little damage as possible. Hopefully we’ll be able to collect it soon.