Monthly Archives: Jan 2016

False starts and finances

After all the planning and latent excitement for the beginning of our new lives, we are now delaying our start for five months, until September.

The disappointment associated with the later departure date is offset by the additional few months’ salary to remain until August, adding a level of certainty to our plans. Whilst disappointing, the time delay is short in terms of the rest of our lives out exploring, and the extra savings backup we’ll now have help to solidify our finances and ensure we can, with reasonable confidence, live as we wish in perpetuity.

It also has the following benefits; we can splash out on a special kayaking trip around Greenland we’ve had an eye on for a long while, enjoy Le Tour and the Rio Olympics at home before being sans TV in our Motorhome, finally cycle the South Downs Way and other local routes we’ve sadly neglected up to now, and properly say our goodbyes to those we might not otherwise have seen in the time we had left. And we’ve made a promise to ourselves that this will be the last time a decision on our futures will be based purely on the perceived financial benefit; money is to never be the goal again.

Our route will now change, with us heading south for the winter rather than beginning with a summer in Scandinavia, but that’s by no means a hardship. The only outcome is that we will now cut our teeth in the more familiar countries of France, Italy and the Iberian peninsula.  So be it, we’ll reach Northern Europe and the Midnight sun in due course.

A van and a plan

Van with a Plan

Initially, as the skeleton of our escape plan slowly formed in our minds, several key decisions needed to be made- how, where and when of course, but also in what? The form of our long term home, our daily transport and our shelter was a prime consideration.

After much deliberation and quite a few vists to motorhome shows and local dealers, we settled on a Benimar Mileo 201.  It suits all our requirements internally, as we wanted a fixed transverse bed, decent kitchen storage and worktop space, with less emphasis on the sitting area, as there would only ever be the two of us.

The external storage garage fits our bikes perfectly without the need for an external rack. The standard inclusion of a solar panel with an additional leisure battery allows for the longer wild camping and off-grid exploration we crave.

All this in a van less than 6m long, suiting another mindful consideration- the minimising of costs associated with toll roads and ferries in Norway, our main focus and destination. The shorter length also suits our wish to travel smaller roads and negotiate routes perhaps not accessible to a larger vehicle. Combined with our novice driving experience on the continent this model made perfect sense for us.

The Beginning…

Walking Away

2016 is the year when we have chosen to step away from the careers we’ve both been working so long and hard to forge for ourselves, in a hope of finding a very different existence.

We are what we repeatedly do, Aristotle said.  Excellence in anything is not an act, but a habit. All things require repetition in order to perfect. And we  have decided that we don’t want to perfect the act of staring at a computer or sitting at a desk; we’re aiming for something more.

In order to become better people we need to practise being better.  And in order to become happier people we need to practise being happier.  We want to give ourselves the best and fullest opportunity to improve ourselves through the repeated search for new places, experiences and ideas that bring us happiness, through both the knowing and the finding.

What will be fundamentally different in our daily lives?  In a single word; time. Time to be ourselves, or to become something other, more interesting and more interested.  Time to explore and enjoy other cultures, cuisines and countries. Time to meet new people.  Time to be with each other and away from the already well known mundane, and to look deeper and longer at what really matters to us.

What do we hope to achieve?  To read the books we’ve not had time to read, to write and draw and make art in whatever form we choose.  To improve our photography, our language skills, our general contentment.  To expand on our cycling, swimming, climbing and kayaking skills.  To surprise ourselves, challenge ourselves, to laugh more, to relax more and to socialise with new people and enjoy as yet undiscovered natural wonders.  To become the child again and reconnect with the inner wonder we all once had.

In short, to further our experiences and knowledge of the world, and our place within it. And live as we’ve always dreamed.