Today is Bank Holiday Monday 28th August 2017 and it marks the first anniversary of Angie and I moving out of our lovely home closing the door and walking away from 30 years of owning a mortgage. We can’t believe that it has been a year already and that we voluntarily made ourselves homeless. Well one year on and we are still living and loving our dream although the winter and spring was a little less exciting than we were hoping for as our travels through Spain were cut short.
So how has it been? – Well initially it was exciting and scary at the same time. Having sold up, we threw ourselves into the moment with an educated guess that we would get work somehow in the summer to pay for the winter. With that glimmer of optimism we started our first tour and headed for France. We had six amazing weeks in France (all our adventures are logged further back in this blog) and it was a superb taster of the life to come. Having travelled back to London for and induction day with the Camping and Caravaning Club we then returned to France and on to Spain expecting to spend at least Four months there.
When we were called back to do a months work in Theobalds in January for the club the “exciting and scary” became “relieved and intrigued”. Relieved that we had an income for the summer and intrigued on learning the job.
February and March saw us wandering the U.K for 7 weeks and we became “pleased and relaxed”. Pleased that we had made the right decision to return in January securing our summer placement and relaxed, touring the UK and seeing some lovely places that we had never been to before, catching up with lost and old friends and having a mini ( if you can call seven weeks mini – it’s nearly twice what most folk get all year) Holiday before we started seven months of work.
From the end of March until now and right up to the end of October we have moved to “content and grateful” We love the job as it’s not really a job. It’s more of a way of life and we get paid to do what many people pay to do, i.e spend time in the countryside in their motorhome or caravan living life outdoors. We have an amazing pitch, a pretty garden and spend our time working, talking to and mixing with nice people who share our attitude on life and love of camping. We have made new friends, some of whome are holiday site assistants and managers and others who are campers on the site. We have had more trips away for weekends since doing this job than we ever had in the last 10 years or so put together, and we have seen parts of the U.K that were previously a mystery to us. What’s more without the trappings of mortgages and household bills etc we save more money each month than we have ever done when we lived on BIG salaries but also had big outgoings and this is despite us now being on the minimum wage. We have money in the bank so now, for the first time in 30 plus years if we want something we buy it, where as before we had to really think hard and either save up or put it on tick. We need to keep in mind that we will want to eventually settle down when we are too decrepit to continue as we are, so we keep a check on what we buy. As there are no trappings of “better this or newer that” for the home to consider we find that there is very little that we want now and we have already done the big purchases to get us up and running for our transient lifestyle. Things such as motorhome, awning, furniture for awning,smart car, V’Dub and drive away awning etc were all expensive but one offs that need not be repeated for a good few years to come
The summer had been kind to us with wall to wall sunshine until mid July only turning typically British for the 6 weeks of school holidays so I suppose we have been sort of lucky it that respect and we have already booked the ferry on 8th November and 5 camp sites in southern Portugal Spain for the Winter so are itching to get away
So with all that said and done did the ” GAMBLE ” pay off? Well for us – YES INDEEDY! So far so good, we are loving it and with tans as proof and so far we haven’t Experienced the five month Spanish or Southern Europe winter escape! Don’t get us wrong there are still days where it’s not all rosy and we have had our challenges and upsets but even on those days its STILL BETTER! We couldn’t imagine going back to our old life where we hade less personal time, money, weekends away, holidays, lazy mornings or afternoons sitting in the garden, sundrenched lunchtimes and a relaxed working day and a whole lot more commuting, traffic jams, pressure, long hours,targets, stress and worry.
FOR US ITS THE BEST DECISION WE EVER MADE?
As I’ve typed this I have realised that I may have come across a little bit braggy and I don’t want it to be. This life style is definitely not for everybody and we have given up a lot to do this, potentially risking a very comfortable old age but we are great believers “managed fate” And living life for the NOW – Life change can be amazing if you are willing to just give it a go. It would have been very easy for us to have carried on as we were but we are so glad we didn’t. So a year on and we are happy to be homeless when our home is where we park it and at the moment it looks like this.
….And we have memories like this…