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How exactly did we end up living in a motor home?

The very scary and strangely exciting process of jumping into your life dreams with both feet!  (from the Blog, Sep 2011)

 
It’s a long title I know but the only one I could think of that begins to explain how we feel right now!  We are in the process of completely changing our lives to live permanently in a motorhome in the UK, something that probably sounds awful to most people but that suits me and Ryan down to the ground. We are both enthusiastic bush-crafters and love camping, hiking, woodworking and pretty much anything that allows us to enjoy being in contact with dear old Mother Nature for an extended period of time. I suppose that regularly going without modern conveniences helped us to consider a motorhome as a solution!
 
Early on in life came the realisation that we would never afford to save up a deposit for a house whilst renting, and as we have always been horrified at the thought of spending at least 25 years after that owing money to someone else for a pile of bricks (which can still be taken away if we don't keep up the repayments...) we started looking at alternative housing options. Our friends introduced us to the world of Narrowboats and that became the dream for a long while, though life’s twists and turns wouldn’t let us get there either. We then came to realise that a motorhome is by far the cheapest option and gives us the freedom we want, and that you don’t necessarily need to be sleeping rough somewhere with the multitude of cheap campsites and quiet hidden car parks throughout the country.
 

Why?!

 
We had been renting a particular house for only a year when the owner decided that we were not able to renew our tenancy for the next year and so we were faced with either using up the little amount we'd managed to save up so far on credit checks for another rental house or jumping into the dream - NOW! And what's wrong with now anyway? So we began searching for that one vehicle we will want to call home, on a budget of only £3000!
 
I'm sure many people are still wondering why we would want to do this! Why would anyone choose to live in a van when they have good jobs and could afford to continue to rent a perfectly normal house or flat? 

We did both have good jobs, but we still found ourselves regularly depressed by not having either the spare cash or time to go to the places we would like to visit or to do what we want to do. Without a job or at least working part-time we'd have all the spare time to do what we want, get a dog, whittle wood...but then we wouldn't be able to afford to rent a house either. So something needed to change, and by addressing the housing cost issue we will have far more money to put into what we want and then someday in the future we'll be in a position where we can go touring on the road full time and make what little living money we need along the way. Many people retire this way, but I've found already that life has a way of sneaking an unfortunate surprise or two on you and I would prefer to experience and enjoy my life whilst I'm here or able to do so.
 
Why do you live the way you do? What do you do or have that isn’t really important that you can cut out and so focus your money & energy on the things that are more important to you? Everyone has something! It doesn’t have to be as extreme as selling all of your stuff and living in a motor home like us! It could just be living in a slightly smaller house, building one yourself, or simply having fewer expensive to run electrical gadgets... 
 
Everyone is different so there is no definitive way to live for everyone to follow, or perhaps you’re not ready to do what needs to be done yet! It took us quite a while of living by ourselves and in smaller and smaller houses/rooms, until finally our financial situation pushed us make the change.
 

Sarah is an artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more


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