When I first met my partner Sam, he already owned a 2001 Transit which had been converted by the previous owner into a camper van.

Sam, an avid mountain biker and climber, was using the van to carry gear and sleep in for weekends away, but we soon had bigger plans for a potential home on wheels.

When I graduated from University heavy with the debts that come with a degree, and little desire to spend all our money on rent. Moving into the van together full-time was a pretty easy decision.

However, the van was not set up for full-time living, and we had to make some changes. A fixed bed was added for convenience and extra storage, as well as re-painting and adding little touches to match our tastes and personalities.

After graduating with a good degree, I was continually being asked what my next steps were towards a career; it felt as though I was being locked in a box and each person asking was adding another padlock onto the door. Working reliable 9-5 jobs to have a beautiful house and a good retirement is not what we want. Who knows what the world will be like in 30 or 40 years time? That mountain we desperately want to climb may not even be there.
We want to live now and living the vanlife is the most alive we’ve ever felt.

A more sustainable way of living and vanlife seem to go hand in hand. We live off the grid, and our home is powered by solar panels, this gives us so much freedom to park our home wherever we please.

We are currently both working full-time jobs in the UK to save money for a big European adventure next year. We tend to spend the weeks working and are fortunate enough to have access to free parking near the woods and the beach as our ‘regular’ spots.

The perks of living in your van can still be enjoyed during periods of time where you can’t financially support 24/7 travel (The dream). The best part of having the van is the endless opportunities to get away on weekends with little costs or planning. Friday- Sunday you’ll find us exploring different parts of the UK, parked at the bottom of a mountain, the start of a bike trail or next to a beautiful lake.

Van life may not be easy, luxurious or glamorous but it’s our life, and we love it.

Follow Poppy & Sam
Instagram @poppybackshall
Photo courtesy of @poppybackshall
 

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