Life in the slow lane is exactly how Becky & Ant like it. For them, it's not about the destination, but the adventure along the way.
What the two of them have discovered from all their traveling is that there is plenty to see close to home.
Square Feet: 133
Make, Model, Year: Fiat Ducato 1996 Hymer
Our campervan was made in Germany and was imported to the United Kingdom where we bought it.
Years Living Mobile: 2
Currently, we are living in our van part time with plans to move in full time. We are both living and working together trying to create a future filled with less stuff and more adventures!
Currently Living: England
We both have jobs here so we are currently dividing our time between working and traveling Europe.
Why did you make the change?
We decided to buy the van when we returned from a trip backpacking through Australia. It took a trip to the other side of the world for us to realize how privileged we are to have all of Europe at our doorstep! Neither Ant nor I had explored Europe, so we came back with a plan to discover beautiful places closer to home.
What was the process like to move into your mobile home?
In the past, we have done our fair share of roughing it. We have camped on countless deflating blow-up mattresses and washed under just about any faucet we could find.
As our weekend trips progressed into weeklong adventures, we eventually took the plunge and bought our first van in 2007. It was only a scruffy ex-work van that we converted ourselves into a camper. It was really basic, but we loved it!
Two years ago we decided to look for a larger van to have the luxury of standing up while cooking. What we didn’t realize was that owning a campervan was the start of a whole new way of life and an entirely different way of thinking. It really is like a mini home—it doesn't feel like we are camping at all! We can now stand up and cook; we have a boiler with heating and hot running water, a shower and a toilet (no more peeing outside, hurray!).
How do you balance work and living in a small space?
Ant and I both work for a custom kitchen company based in the United Kingdom. Both of our jobs require working outside of the van, so that helps a lot with managing space. Having a stable job is great, because we can save up money quicker for the next trip. But, unfortunately, time always goes by too quickly and you can never be away long enough.
What are your hobbies on and off the road?
We spend a lot of time in the mountains—snowboarding in the winter and hiking in the summer. Ant is passionate about riding his BMX, and I have a surfboard for just about any type of swell, so we are never too far from the ocean. We are lucky that our hobbies go hand in hand with van life and discovering new places.
What are your top three go-to items in your tiny home?
Kettle: You can never have too many cups of tea!
Satellite Navigation: For stress-free driving on Europe's narrow roads.
Lonely Planet Book: Gathering endless inspiration and travel tips.
What has been the most rewarding thing about living small?
The best thing about living small is that we spend more quality time together doing things that we love. Living simply makes you realize you don't need stuff to make you happy.
On the road your priorities change. Our only worries are where we can find a water source, food, fuel and a good camping spot. We spend more time appreciating nature and the world around us.
What is the most challenging thing?
The most challenging thing is fitting everything you need into a small space. Packing light is hard a first, but the longer you're away, the more you realize what you really need.
We also struggle with keeping our possessions safe on the road. We have had the unfortunate experience of been robbed in the past. We lost everything of value including our passports, which was an incredibly difficult problem to overcome in a foreign country. Now we don’t leave any valuables in the van, and when we do leave the van for long periods of time, we try to find secure parking. We have also invested in some sensor alarms, which should help deter any thieves.
What is your advice to people who want to live small or hit the road?
Do it! It doesn't matter what make, model or size of van you get. It's about getting out there! The van life community is so friendly and supportive. Whenever we need advice, someone is always there to help. Plus, you'll end up gaining new friends along the way!
What's next? Any news you want to share?
We are currently skiing the French Alps.