I couldn’t open and read the full article but saw the first bit.
I love our van and getting away in it when ever we can.
But I have never had the desire to go full time as I love our house and where we live too.
I could do it, if I had to though.
But If I did I’d want something a tad bigger than the converted X Army Land Rover Defender they have in the article.
Especially with two big dogs in tow too.
Looks great in the pic in the summer. Doors open in the lovely countryside. Imagine in the winter , back of an industrial estate Defender not insulated properly two big wet dogs ......
If anybody's interested, here's the text minus the images - (oh, and BritStops gets a good plug) :
The popularity of campervanning in Britain has rocketed. In tandem with this, an upsurge in remote working has given rise to a new breed of freewheeling van lifers: the WFC (“working from campervan”) brigade.
Forget corporate offices, forget working from home or even from a hotel. Instead, these unconventional digital nomads extol the benefits of working (and living) in a portable office, with ever-changing views. The dream is not just a better work-life balance, but the freedom to roam – and with far fewer outgoings.
According to a study by Nationwide Vehicle Con-tracts, the hashtag #vanlife has seen a marked 1,575 per cent growth in interest online since 2015. It has become increasingly feasible to work from anywhere in the world. But smug though this new, liberated and fast-proliferating tribe may seem, the cramped quarters of even the most Instagram-worthy van/office admittedly don’t offer a life-style that suits everyone, at least not full-time.
To find out how WFC convertees make it work, we sought out the Brits forging new careers on the open road, map in hand…
"There's a big world out there ready to explore"
Sally Mills, 59, and her husband, Gary, 58, run an online tuition business from a former military Land Rover Defender
130 that they converted into a campervan. While renting out their five-bedroom house in Northamptonshire on Airbnb, they’ve been travelling around the UK and France, with their goldendoodles Bonnie and Twister in tow.
"We’ve always been inspired by travel programmes. We retrained as teachers in our 40s and built a tuition business based at our home in Silverstone. It was a step towards freedom, albeit one dictated by school holidays. Lockdown meant we had to move to Zoom, which was a light-bulb moment. When we realised we could tutor from anywhere, we set out to find an overland vehicle that would double up as an office. Our ex-army ambulance Land Rover still had stretchers in the back when we found it. It’s now a tiny home and workspace, measuring approximately 13ft x 7ft.
"Converted by Paul Richardson of CamperHus Conversions in Cannock (camperhus.co.uk), it has a raised roof with marine hatches, a comfortable bed (essential for long-term travel), a shower, lavatory, fridge, sink, sofa, 270-degree awning and solar panels. The front cab converts to an office or a dog kennel at night. We had our first Airbnb guest at our house on April 13 this year, and haven’t looked back.
"We began our trip camping at the Veterans in Action charity headquarters, heading out off-road with them onto Salisbury Plain to see what our vehicle could do. Highlights since have included staying at Torview Wines, a vineyard in Devon, and at the New Forest Cider orchard, with a magical walk right into the forest. We found lots of places to stay through Brit Stops, a guide to pubs, vineyards, farm shops and similar that offer a free place to stay overnight in exchange for supporting their business (britstops.com). As well as visiting family and friends, we also received offers of places to stay from the Land Rover Ladies Facebook page (LR Ladies).
"After travelling across the UK, from Cornwall to Cley next the Sea, in north Norfolk, we crossed over to France armed with a copy of The Most Beautiful Villages of France. The French equivalent of Brit Stop is France Passion (france-passion.com), which lists stopovers at vineyards and cheesemakers. After summer in France, we’ll head back to the UK in September to see our children and grandchildren, visit the Lake District and plan next year’s travels. There’s a big world out there ready to explore."
"We love never knowing what will be around the corner. We spent yesterday driving along the Gorges du Verdon in Provence, and today I’m sitting with a map in front of me. The beauty of living and working on the road is that you stumble across sights you wouldn’t expect. A Land Rover is a great conversation starter. We’ve met all sorts of interesting, friendly people.
"Living in a small space in the UK climate in April was more of a challenge than the heat of August in France. It’s a small space, so jobs have to be done in a particular order (for example, making the bed means clearing the kitchen area). You have to be organised and tidy, but we’ve realised how little we actually need. We sent home three boxes of things within the first week on the road.
"One day, we hope to ship the vehicle over to Canada, the US or southern Africa. Our children aren’t surprised by our desire to travel, but they probably think we’re a little mad to do it with two large dogs. We’re lucky that the dogs travel well and see it as their home, and that we can run our business from anywhere.
"Of course, we can only tutor when the time difference allows, and when we can guarantee a perfect Wi-Fi signal. We’ve added a Wi-Fi aerial, and a top-of-the-range dongle.
"One of the reasons parents want tuition is for the one-to-one tutor and pupil connection. Lockdown helped us realise that it was completely possible to transfer that on to Zoom. While some parents feel their children are on computers enough, online tuition works in exactly the same way as face-to-face, offering flexibility for us and convenience for our pupils. Many parents are grateful they don’t have to drive to a tutor’s house at 6pm and wait outside for an hour while their child does maths – they can be anywhere too.
"We’ve got no fixed plans to go back to life as it was before, but as our grandchildren grow up, we’ll want to spend more time close by (but with the option of getting away).
"My advice to anyone would be to just do it. You can sit there and come up with a hundred reasons why not, but if you can find a way, do. For us, it’s about grabbing hold of life. Events such as the Adventure Overland Show are great for inspiration. We also follow a couple called GrizzlyNbear on YouTube, who post inspiring video blogs about van life. Jits into the Sunset is another favourite – Tania and Adam are an Irish and English couple, both filmmakers, travelling Europe and living full-time in a rusty 21-year-old campervan called Jitters."
‘On our first date, we talked about getting a campervan’
Charlie Osman, 28, and Josh Akhtar, 29, both graphic designers, quit city life to live, work and travel in a renovated Mercedes Vario 614D, affectionately referred to as “the bus”. This summer (sponsored by Columbia Sportswear), they are attempting to visit all 15 of the UK’s national parks – sharing their adventures with the 13,000 subscribers who follow their YouTube blog, Wandering Home
"We met via the dating app Bumble in 2018. We both knew London life wasn’t for us, and on our first date, we talked about getting a campervan. I fell in love with campervans at the age of seven when my parents bought a VW T2 Bay that we named Bluey. In 2019, we decided to spend a year saving up to go travelling in a VW Transporter we did up together – a T4 named Bluey Twoey.
"Of course, our plans to travel around Europe in 2020 couldn’t go ahead due to the pandemic, and we found ourselves living at Josh’s parents’ house through lockdown, working as self-employed graphic designers. We considered buying land, putting money down on a house, even converting a shipping container to live in – but it was the idea of a house on wheels that appealed most, and which would allow us to fulfil our dream to travel. Lots of our friends have Mercedes Sprinters, but we wanted something big enough to live and work in full-time.
"When we found our Vario on eBay, she’d lived a low-mileage life in Scotland as a council minibus, with 16 seats and a wheelchair lift at the back. We bought her for £4,500 in May 2020, and spent our monthly earnings on rebuilding her into a functioning off-grid home, with the help of YouTube and the van-life blog Faroutride.com.
"We taught ourselves how to create and edit videos in the process, and moved in in October 2020. We don’t miss our life before at all. Sometimes there are bad days when there’s a mechanical failure and everything goes wrong, but other days, you’re parked by the beach, going for a swim. In London, we felt our life was flat – going to work every day, coming home, getting a takeaway. In the bus, it’s up and down, but we prefer it that way."
"The bus is an adventure weapon to get us where we want to go with all our kit. As well as our laptops, we’ve got a motorbike, kitesurfing kit and wetsuits. We don’t know what we’ll be doing from month to month. Travelling so extensively around the UK, which was never part of the original plan, has opened our eyes to what we have on our doorstep.
"We didn’t want to leave Exmoor, we loved Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire, we found Scotland really campervan-friendly. The roads and the scenery are massive, which was great for us, as we’ve got such a large vehicle. It’s been good to test it on home soil, because a lot has gone wrong that I’m not sure I would have been able to communicate in a foreign language to a mechanic.
"The pandemic has made it more acceptable to work on the road. We were able to go down to working three days a week rather than five, because our overheads are lower. We’re all about living more with less, and we wanted time to do our blog justice and explore the amazing places we were visiting."
I’d felt a huge amount of pressure to have a corporate job and save for a house’
Emma Orlando, 26, worked in corporate marketing for five years, but left it to travel the world and retrain as a yoga teacher, doing freelance marketing as she went. The pandemic meant an abrupt return to her parents’ home in the UK. Instead of going back to an office job, she decided to start her own business, and run it from a VW campervan.
"Before I bought my campervan, I’d felt a huge amount of pressure to have a corporate job and save for a house. But I decided to take the money I was saving for a deposit on a house and buy a home on wheels instead. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.
"I stayed in a campervan in Australia for the first time a few years ago and fell in love with the lifestyle, but never saw it as something I could do full-time. When I returned to the UK in March 2020 with no work, the job interviews I had were for roles that had received thousands of applications. I felt overwhelmed and disheartened. But I noticed a niche in the market for consciously creative marketing for small businesses, and realised, as my new business (consciouscreatorco.com) built up, that I could work from anywhere.
"I wasn’t able to go abroad, so it was the perfect time to explore the UK. In spring 2021 I found the perfect van: a high-top VW Transporter converted by the Camper Way (thecamperwayconversions.co.uk). There were 15 people lined up to view it, but I had my heart set on it and rushed to put my deposit down. It was already converted; the total cost came to £23,000. I’ve been exploring and working in it ever since. Doing a creative job gives me the flexibility that a nine-to-five job and a mortgage wouldn’t. I can live the life I want to, while producing work that’s better than what I could come up with in an office. I can work whenever it is needed, and be there when a client needs me.
"There’s an amazing app I use to find places to stay with Wi-Fi, called Park4night. I’ve seen some of the most amazing places at a fairly low cost, experiences I wouldn’t have had if I’d got a job in an office. The theme of my trip so far has been “I can’t believe this is in the UK”. I’m lucky that my parents let me use their driveway and my bedroom at their home in West Sussex. The costs of living on the road are so low compared with rental prices that it’s allowing me to save. I’ve driven the length of the country, from Land’s End in Cornwall all the way up to John o’ Groats in Scotland, stopping in the Peak District in between.
"Now I’m in the Lake District, and next I’m heading to Wales. I felt lonelier when I lived at home than now. As soon as I got on the road, I met like-minded people living similar lifestyles. I’ve travelled solo a lot, so I’m used to it. Of course, the campervan is also for sharing with friends and family – my parents are planning to borrow it for trips of their own."
We work while away in our MH. We run a 10 person digital marketing agency and so long as we get a decent 4G signal we can do everything we need to do. COVID has made not being in something recognisable as an office perfectly normal. If it wasn't for my other job, an RDS (on-call) firefighter, we'd be away a lot more!