At the beginning of every year, after taking stock of the amazing journeys from the last 12 months, I like to look ahead to that hazy horizon and set out some intentions and journeys for the new year. It may already be a whole 3 weeks into 2018 but we held out writing this for a very good reason.
As I sit down to right this year’s post looking to the journey ahead, we are about to embark on our very first trip of the year… in our very own campervan. Our home on wheels. Our adventuremobile. Our rather large and rather plush motorhome…
But let’s rewind a little first.
We began 2017 with very few plans and a feeling of contentment for life and adventure in Vietnam. Then in April when we visited home, we begun to feel an itch. A desire to be closer to our family and our wonderful friends. It’s something that is always in the back of our minds when we travel and live abroad, but this time felt a little different.
It was around this time that we started to become more aware of the vanlife community popping up all over Instagram and Youtube. Watching videos about beautiful rolling homes and wild camping across Europe, a little seed of inspiration started to grow.
And now, 9 months later, I sit here in my swivel chair looking out over my desk, my teeny tiny kitchen and my cosy bed that looks out to the world beyond through two big windows. I can see our entire home from here and it fills me with such joy.
We’ll update you more on the camper itself soon (and if you sign up to our newsletter you’ll get a first look this week!) but for now let’s talk about the journeys we have planned so far.
Our first trip starts today, as we travel from Oli’s uncles in Cambridge to Norfolk for a couple of days. This is our little test trip to figure out what we have, what we need and how all this vanlife stuff works. How much power do we use? How much water? Is our leisure battery up to scratch? Can we heat the van enough for winter camping? How far can we travel on one tank?
We’ll then head down to see my family and continue our motorhome education with my dad who has had caravans and campers for as long as I can remember.
The 1st is my mum’s birthday so we’ll be down by the South Coast. While there we may take trips to Brighton and Hayling Island where we have friends.
By the end of the month we hope to travel down to Dover and across the channel to France. We’ll travel through Belgium and into Germany where we will meet our friends from the States who we haven’t seen for over 4 years.
March & April
We’re heading to Germany for March to celebrate my uncle’s 60th birthday with all my Bavarian family. My dad, my aunt and my grandma will all be there too for a weekend. We hope to take a day out on the slopes together across the border in Austria.
For the rest of the month and into April we have zero plans. Depending on the conditions, we may spend some more time in the mountains skiing or we’ll head down to somewhere a little warmer! Hopefully friends will come out to visit us in April!
May & June
We will head back to the UK sometime in May, reunite with loved ones and make our way slowly up to Edinburgh for the end of the month. We have a wedding outside of the city (in a caste!) on the 30th and would love to take the opportunity to see more of Scotland.
In fact, we are relishing the idea of exploring our own backyard more thoroughly this year and will likely spend a few more summer months making our way to Wales, Cornwall and maybe even across to Ireland.
July – November
We have very real few plans after the wedding in Scotland and no other set dates to consider until December. We may continue our UK adventure and then head down to Southern Spain and Portugal as the weather gets cooler. Or we may decide to head east to the Balkans, an area we’ve both been itching to explore for years.
The thought that we have 50 countries on our doorstep and an open diary is incredibly exciting and we want to leave it as open as possible.
We’ll probably head back to England in December for Oli’s mum’s 60th early in the month and maybe stay until Christmas. Or maybe we’ll find a beach somewhere and avoid another winter entirely… we’ll see how the year pans out!
So, if any friends and family (or unknown adventure lovers!) are reading this and want to slot themselves into the journey somewhere, then let us know! This year is for adventures closer to home with everyone we love!
Oh, and if you are wondering about the wedding… Summer 2019!