About Van Journey.....
We are Martin and Kate, we have two girls Shannon and Phoebe – 10yrs and 8yrs when we set off.
Martin an Engineer and Kate a full time mum (a locum Veterinary Nurse before the arrival of our girls). Our family has a strong history with nomadic life… growing up Kate travelled extensively worldwide with families work, including living in Australia.
Going back generations, our family has hitchhiked on £1 a day, reaching and exploring Iran, plus lived nomadically in vans with children and pets, adventuring Europe and the UK..… this was WAY before any internet, sat nav or van life trends – let us tell you once travel gets in your blood you’re hooked!
In 2017 we decided to ditch the bricks ourselves. Sold and donated everything, Martin quit his full-time Engineering Manager job, we handed back the keys to our rented property, cut all ties with bricks and mortar and hit the road, living full time in our motorhome as a family, along with our dog Milo and Shannon’s cat Topsy.
We then saved like crazy, to head off to Europe for 2018, and have been to some insanely outstanding places, met some brilliant people and along the way we've personally rescued two puppies, who have travelled with us ever since. In 2018, Cooper boy had been dumped in a commercial bins in Greece, at 6 weeks of age with his siblings. In 2022, Leni Bear we found dumped on the side of a rural road in Turkiye, in a saucepan box and tangled in twine.
Why We Hit The Road...
So our story starts after we successfully navigated ourselves out of some financial troubles in our early days. Having squared ourselves up, we happened to be in the right place at the right time, when we were offered our dream country house – we were taken back as we never thought we would be able to afford this place, even to rent. The owners knew us so we were a perfect fit, thus the rental price was a total a steal. So, we sold our small terrace house and jumped right in.
This place was in some of Suffolk’s most beautiful countryside and gave us some of our most precious memories of the time. Fast forward 4.5 years and our work/life balance had become way out with Martin’s job, meanwhile our kids are growing up so fast. We decided we were done chasing rainbows and wanted our time, our lives back.
We‘ve always had a real passion for travel and the great outdoors, from holidays overseas to days out, or just getting out and about walking the dogs or riding our horses. We found ourselves with less and less time to do this… we knew we wanted to change our lifestyle in a BIG way!
Forever having itchy feet (no not literally), looking back at our own stories and hearing the stories from our relatives, we felt there was more to life than working to pay bills. We had very little spare time to call our own, to enjoy the people that really matter, time with each other.
Somehow we had gotten caught up building this life that we thought we were ‘supposed’ to, house, car, good job working long hours, blah blah….. yet the fire within us for cutting loose still burnt strong, so we ditched the daily grind for the life we choose.
It was a family decision, initially dreamed up by us (Kate and Martin), totally back by the kiddos, this answered their dandelion wishes of daddy not having to head off to work anymore (or much less anyway).
We already home educated, so this amazing lifestyle 100% fits with us. Both Shannon and Phoebe have absolutely flourished since moving into the van, thriving and learning more than ever living this way of life. To this day, it's the best move our family has ever made.
We keep on rolling, around the UK, Europe and beyond! So come along for the ride and follow our journey!
WHY A VAN?
We looked relentlessly into our options – narrow boat, wide beam boat, caravan, 5th wheel, motorhome, big overlander, 4×4 with roof tent, horse drawn home, tent + backpack (with or without push bikes!!), a vehicle to drive to places and stay within the community – you name it there’s a good chance we’ve viewed or considered it!!
We settled for a motorhome, we needed to get ourselves out of the house and away from the bills to regain control of our lives… this ticked the boxes to get us on the move as quick a possible…. there heaps of reason why the other options were not for us at this point – we won’t unpack that all here it will be a LONG write up!!… as advocates for alternative living, we'll happily discuss our experiences and share our knowledge with you, find out more here!
Right now we are living lorry life, in our 7.5t Iveco Eurocargo RS Race Cruiser. This home has been another level for us and a steep learning curve, plus the space compared to our self-built Sprinter van, or even our Ford motorhome is incredible! This land yacht is our biggest and oldest rolling home to date. Not having the C1 part to our driving licenses, we both took this additional training and test back in 2017, which has served us well in all three of our vans, all over the 3.5t mark.
In future who knows what’s next….. the ideas of a horse drawn home or a boat are both appealing to us, yet very different – only time will tell hey!… for now we’re LOVING life and embracing every moment.
Where have we been?
So far we have adventured throughout the UK, Europe, The Balkans and Turkiye, plus 4 Greek Islands (in our vans alone). Sure its not always easy going, but that is life and we have made the most amazing memories, our family is stronger than ever and we have no plans to return to house-life. WE HAVEN’T LOOKED BACK!