End of the fulltiming era (1 Viewer)

maz

Jan 26, 2011
4,485
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Bizeljsko, Slovenia
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After 11 years on the road, I am no longer a fulltimer. A few of you know that last May, David and I bought a house in Slovenia. We then promptly had to leave the country as our 90 Schengen days in 180 was about to run out. Returning to the UK in June we had to wait for the house to be entered on the Slovenian land register before we could apply for residency. This took longer than anticipated but finally in mid-October we were able to visit the Slovenian Embassy in London to hand in our application and supporting paperwork. The following week we set off in the motorhome on our journey back to Slovenia to move into our house - at that stage effectively a holiday home. Today we collected our residence permits and identity cards - Slovenia is now officially our home. :Smile:

Thinking back on 11 years of fulltiming has brought many memories to the fore. Overnight I went from driving a Honda Jazz to an 8.3m Burstner Elegance 821 called 'The Beastie'. It was both scary and exhilarating to be driving my new home back from Nottingham to High Wycombe - on a day of extreme high winds. :Eeek: After a few weeks spent in a farmer's field kitting out the van to my satisfaction, I set off for my first Fun rally at the 2011 Peterborough Motorhome Show. As I drove onto the showground, the first Funster I met was the legendary JJ - thank you, sir, for taking me under your wing. At that show I also met Karl Gromett another fulltimer who was to become a good friend. That Fun rally was only the first of many. Over the years I have enjoyed listening to the Funster Band, and Janine & Barry playing ukulele, Elvis, the delicious Jacob's Table feasts and shared meals, group walks with our dogs, playing Tri-ominoes with Amanda Ambilkate, the Royal Wedding Funster Olympics including Fray Bentos Pie Rolling, singing along to 'King of the Road' and 'that other song':RollEyes:, drowning out Joe Pasquale at Lincoln, the sea of mud that was Peterborough Show in 2012 (and being one of the few to drive off the field under their own steam - and with a tag axle! :wink: ). I am particularly grateful for the social support that has been offered by so many Funsters over the years. There really are too many of you to give everyone a shout out - but special mention must be made of JockandRita who helped me so much when that first Burstner developed a vibration issue, and also Jane catspyjamas who shares my enthusiasm for boardgames. Then, of course, there is our esteemed leader himself Jim :notworthy2:, who made this great social network possible in the first place and who is a lovely guy (even if we don't agree on a few political issues!).:laughing:

Throughout the 11 years there have been various trials and tribulations - life on the road is not always easy. Fulltiming offers one type of freedom but also has its own set of difficulties, usually caused by bureaucracy. The nature of fulltiming has itself changed over those 11 years. When I started out, fulltiming meant keeping under the radar, not drawing attention to yourself. Over the past few years 'van life' has emerged with all its attendant social media. Certainly not all aspects of 'van life' are detrimental but it is not something with which I can readily identify. Probably the most difficult period for fulltimers as a group was the first Covid lockdown. Knee-jerk reactions from both the CMC and the C&CC resulted in many fulltimers being told to leave campsites - but where were they supposed to go? A few of us stood our ground and after a while the CMC relented and made special provision for fulltimers. The C&CC never did - and it has been remembered.

So, back to Slovenia. Our new home is in a small rural community called Bizeljsko, set within the Kozjanski Regional Park, close to the border with Croatia. It is an area of rolling hills and vineyards, with views across the Pannonian Plain. Our new neighbours are all kind and helpful, and we have been made to feel very welcome here. I have started to learn Slovenian (a difficult language!) but English is the second language in many parts of Slovenia, so many people here speak that too (albeit mainly those under 40). Obviously it is early days yet but we feel we are going to be happy here. Throughout my life I have always tended to jump in at the deep end (it's what led me into fulltiming in the first place) so a move to a foreign country is not exactly out of character. It is, however, the start of a new era ........ :cheers:
 

Nanniemate

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Oct 1, 2019
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Still dropping clangers and making it up as I go along
Cant wait to read the book if the is the preamble 11 years you must have had some amazing adventures, best wishes for your next adventure
 

canopus

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Nov 27, 2010
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Maz & David, we are sure you’ll both enjoy this new and exciting chapter In your lives.

Thanks for all the exhaustive work and research you've done involving the dreaded Pet Passport.

We hope you will have many more exciting adventures in Slovenia,
vso srečo.

Ken & Lynda
 
Apr 9, 2019
408
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30 years Caravan 13 years Motorhome
Have a great life there ,do envy you to some extent. Agree with your comments on social media posts ,seems that a lot of people cannot get on with there favourite way of life without wanting everyone to know where they are and what they are up to, so good luck.

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OP
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maz

maz

Jan 26, 2011
4,485
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Maz & David, we are sure you’ll both enjoy this new and exciting chapter In your lives.

Thanks for all the exhaustive work and research you've done involving the dreaded Pet Passport.

We hope you will have many more exciting adventures in Slovenia,
vso srečo.

Ken & Lynda
Hvala lepa in srečno novo leto! :cheers:
 

bobandjanie

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Apr 28, 2008
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Congratulations Maz and David we loved the little bit of Slovenia we saw when we went to Croatia, 🤔 apart from Janie getting very ill trying to drink Lake Bled 🙄, and its been on our must return list since. 🙂

Good luck with the next chapter, we left for our new life in 2013 and it certainly puts the fizz back into life 😁 getting away from the same old day in and day out, we have made and are still making new memories and not a day passes without thinking how lucky we are. 🙂
😎 Bob Janie and Izzy.
 
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maz

maz

Jan 26, 2011
4,485
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Is that the booking site for the Slovenian Fun Rally? :xrofl:
Levelling blocks may be required ......

CB06ED7A-67D8-4DC4-A47E-96CECCF1BE00.jpeg
 
Jul 18, 2009
11,295
18,325
Manchester UK + Javea/Xabia Spain + Abu Dhabi
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2004
After 11 years on the road, I am no longer a fulltimer. A few of you know that last May, David and I bought a house in Slovenia. We then promptly had to leave the country as our 90 Schengen days in 180 was about to run out. Returning to the UK in June we had to wait for the house to be entered on the Slovenian land register before we could apply for residency. This took longer than anticipated but finally in mid-October we were able to visit the Slovenian Embassy in London to hand in our application and supporting paperwork. The following week we set off in the motorhome on our journey back to Slovenia to move into our house - at that stage effectively a holiday home. Today we collected our residence permits and identity cards - Slovenia is now officially our home. :Smile:

Thinking back on 11 years of fulltiming has brought many memories to the fore. Overnight I went from driving a Honda Jazz to an 8.3m Burstner Elegance 821 called 'The Beastie'. It was both scary and exhilarating to be driving my new home back from Nottingham to High Wycombe - on a day of extreme high winds. :Eeek: After a few weeks spent in a farmer's field kitting out the van to my satisfaction, I set off for my first Fun rally at the 2011 Peterborough Motorhome Show. As I drove onto the showground, the first Funster I met was the legendary JJ - thank you, sir, for taking me under your wing. At that show I also met Karl Gromett another fulltimer who was to become a good friend. That Fun rally was only the first of many. Over the years I have enjoyed listening to the Funster Band, and Janine & Barry playing ukulele, Elvis, the delicious Jacob's Table feasts and shared meals, group walks with our dogs, playing Tri-ominoes with Amanda Ambilkate, the Royal Wedding Funster Olympics including Fray Bentos Pie Rolling, singing along to 'King of the Road' and 'that other song':RollEyes:, drowning out Joe Pasquale at Lincoln, the sea of mud that was Peterborough Show in 2012 (and being one of the few to drive off the field under their own steam - and with a tag axle! :wink: ). I am particularly grateful for the social support that has been offered by so many Funsters over the years. There really are too many of you to give everyone a shout out - but special mention must be made of JockandRita who helped me so much when that first Burstner developed a vibration issue, and also Jane catspyjamas who shares my enthusiasm for boardgames. Then, of course, there is our esteemed leader himself Jim :notworthy2:, who made this great social network possible in the first place and who is a lovely guy (even if we don't agree on a few political issues!).:laughing:

Throughout the 11 years there have been various trials and tribulations - life on the road is not always easy. Fulltiming offers one type of freedom but also has its own set of difficulties, usually caused by bureaucracy. The nature of fulltiming has itself changed over those 11 years. When I started out, fulltiming meant keeping under the radar, not drawing attention to yourself. Over the past few years 'van life' has emerged with all its attendant social media. Certainly not all aspects of 'van life' are detrimental but it is not something with which I can readily identify. Probably the most difficult period for fulltimers as a group was the first Covid lockdown. Knee-jerk reactions from both the CMC and the C&CC resulted in many fulltimers being told to leave campsites - but where were they supposed to go? A few of us stood our ground and after a while the CMC relented and made special provision for fulltimers. The C&CC never did - and it has been remembered.

So, back to Slovenia. Our new home is in a small rural community called Bizeljsko, set within the Kozjanski Regional Park, close to the border with Croatia. It is an area of rolling hills and vineyards, with views across the Pannonian Plain. Our new neighbours are all kind and helpful, and we have been made to feel very welcome here. I have started to learn Slovenian (a difficult language!) but English is the second language in many parts of Slovenia, so many people here speak that too (albeit mainly those under 40). Obviously it is early days yet but we feel we are going to be happy here. Throughout my life I have always tended to jump in at the deep end (it's what led me into fulltiming in the first place) so a move to a foreign country is not exactly out of character. It is, however, the start of a new era ........ :cheers:
Good luck!

May I ask why Slovenia and what is the Criteria for residency please?
 

Ambilkate

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Jul 15, 2009
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Best wishes to you and David with your new adventure .
Amanda remembers hers games of triominoes with you . If ever we venture abroad again we shall get in touch for a rematch , take care and Enjoy ❤️
Ps
Pics of you new home and surrounding rolling hills and vineyards please if poss ,so I can show Amanda xxx
Kate x
 
Apr 25, 2014
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Lovely news
When we started full timing in 2007 we thought we'd find the place where we'd want eventually to settle. Unfortunately due to totally unexpected health problems we had to return to the UK and buy a small house in 2010. This meant we could lock up easily and carry on motorhoming doing three or four months in Europe every year until Covid.
We've never, ever, looked back on those three years without great joy and fondest memories and just wish it had been longer.

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Quackers

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Aug 11, 2019
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Hope you enjoy your new life, lots of luck to you both.


Still amazed we didn't break the bathroom scales when we weighed a large gas bottle for you once. 
 
May 7, 2011
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Enjoyed your potted history of fun 🙂
Congratulations and Enjoy your new home, I hope you have many happy years there.
 
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Apr 17, 2016
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3 years….
We visited Slovenia last May on our way to Croatia, lovely country with very friendly people that we will go back again to see again.

Good luck with the new home
You are very well placed to visit other European countries there👍👍
 
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OP
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maz

maz

Jan 26, 2011
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Good luck!

May I ask why Slovenia and what is the Criteria for residency please?
Ah yes, Slovenia wasn't an immediately obvious choice. :Smile: We had first considered Italy but though we both love the country we felt it was a bit too chaotic to actually choose to live there. Also, since Br*x*t, the annual income requirement for residency was beyond our reach. We also looked at southern Germany but found the winters too cold for our liking. We wanted our base to be in central Europe so that it was easy to head off in any direction we fancied with the motorhome, and Slovenia appeared on our radar.

Most tourists and expats head for the mountains and Lake Bled - very beautiful but, for us, not a place to actually live. We explored quite a bit of southern Slovenia and found the south-east to have a lot of appeal in a quiet, understated sort of way. The weather was relatively mild and the people were exceptionally friendly. As an added bonus, the further east we headed in Slovenia the cheaper the property became. We visited a few properties for sale but the one at Bizeljsko just felt right from the word go - in the countryside but not isolated, a good-sized plot of land but not too massive, within easy reach of good roads for travelling and a town for shopping.

The criteria for residency also suited us. There has to be an 'economic tie' with the country, which is met by owning a property here. The annual income requirement is remarkably low at around 4,800€.
 
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maz

maz

Jan 26, 2011
4,485
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Best wishes to you and David with your new adventure .
Amanda remembers hers games of triominoes with you . If ever we venture abroad again we shall get in touch for a rematch , take care and Enjoy ❤️
Ps
Pics of you new home and surrounding rolling hills and vineyards please if poss ,so I can show Amanda xxx
Kate x
Thank you, Kate, and I look forward to that rematch. I have very happy memories of our times together. :Smile:

I will post some photos later in the thread.

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cliffanger

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Apr 15, 2013
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Wishing you all the best in your new adventure- as others have, we visited Slovenia on the way to Croatia, but it’s in our list to go back and visit again.

Your house looks beautiful - and like Kate, I’m looking forward to more photos!
 
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maz

maz

Jan 26, 2011
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Slovenia produces top quality wines at a fraction of the cost of the neighbouring Italian (Italian) stuff IMHO.
Most of our neighbours produce wine - and we have sampled many of them already. :wine:

Over New Year we have also been introduced to some surprisingly pleasant spirits made from intriguing ingredients such as hazelnuts and herbs.

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