Plans vs. Reality
We are going on a road trip:
43 countries in a spruced-up-vintage-camper for 18 months with my hubby and our two dogs. There, I’ve said it…I’ve been saying it for four years, but now that we are actually leaving next month I suppose it is time to put it online for the world to read.
It all started in a cabin in the woods in Sweden where it dawned on me that we were almost location independent. It seemed so simple, if we didn’t own a house, we could rent a house in a different country every year. To my surprise, Jasper—my rational half—liked the idea, but when I immediately started looking at homes for rent in New Zealand, he reeled me in and said that he wanted to see more of Europe before travelling to the other side of the world.
As he spent a decent amount of his childhood in South Africa and I have nowhere near seen all I would like to, I was okay with that. Consequently, the first alteration to our plan was setting a boundary: every year we would rent a house in a different country in Europe for a year. As it was only a slight deviation from our initial plan, we easily convinced ourselves that this was an even more fantastic idea. That is until we saw the prices. We soon realised that it would be a costly lifestyle and the idea went straight out the figurative window.
At this point, I might want to mention that our…okay, MY figurative window has seen many an idea pass its frame. People who know me well, know that my business ideas, dreams, and desires have the uncanny ability to pop-up, adapt, or die on a monthly (sometimes even weekly) basis. But this time was different. Something stuck and oddly enough it was the last bit that stuck; the seeing more of Europe bit. My logic was that if I would ever be able to move to New Zealand with Jasper—at the time that was my dream—I would first have to eliminate his argument for staying in Europe. Jasper also still had remnants of the idea on his mind. Being a photographer and loving landscape photography, he liked the idea of having a change of scenery on a regular basis. So, both of us still wanted to travel and see the world/Europe, and we agreed that we did not want to wait until retirement.
After looking into it, we decided to travel Europe by camper. Small, mobile, we can stay where we want, when we want, and we can follow the sun as much as possible. When deciding all this, we were in the middle of renovating our house, and because Jasper does most of it himself, it has taken some time (read: years) for it to be completed. But, the good news is: it is finished, and we have now sold it!
In the meantime, we already bought the camper we want to go travelling in. We took our time looking into campers and had a list of requirements our vehicle would have to meet. Then we started looking online. Our budget would only stretch as far as second-hand, so we were looking at some of the older campers. A van conversion would be great but as we will be working throughout our journey, we decided that a camper would be more comfortable and seeing as we plan to travel for at least a year and a half, comfort is essential. Then we came across a little gem: a 1988 Fiat Ducato. We instantly fell in love, she looked so cute and did it really matter that she didn’t meet any of our requirements? Naturally, we bought her and proudly drove our new baby girl home.
The house is sold, the camper is being renovated, and the route planning is coming along. We moved in with dad for the winter (he was delighted) before leaving on our exploratory missions through Europe. We will be updating the website and regularly posting throughout our journey. Join us and if along the way, some questions pop up, feel free to ask. We’re off!