I embarked on a life on the road because I desired an alternative. I had the opportunity to take a gap year, had always wanted to travel and jumped at the chance. Living on a boat was also in the mix, but it's quicker to move around in a motorhome.
I have a sunny disposition and will always enthusiastically highlight the positives and there are many associated with this lifestyle.
- Ability to get to and away from places quickly, safely, easily
- Take what you need with you for a trip, whatever the season
- Get off the beaten track with amazing variety of locations offering range of vistas and experiences
- Minimalistic lifestyle
- No need to go home after the event
- Linger, or travel speedily. Longer stays get you to the heart of a place through the locals and their culture
- Keeping in touch back home convenient with modern mobile communication
So, those were the highlights, but what about the reality? Unfortunately, it's not necessarily a bed of roses, so here's the other side of the coin with potential pitfalls.
- Homesickness for friends and family. Missing out on various get-togethers, and life events, (weddings, funerals, illness) the garden and home surroundings
- Unable to participate in regular clubs and activities such as gym and other classes
- Leaving pets, grandchildren, parents behind
- Spending extended periods of time with A.N Other or family members may be stressful. Quite simply, you're not used to spending so much time in each other's company in a limited space! Relationship management is of key importance
- Difficult for a hoarder
- Some places are overcrowded at peak times and don't live up to the hype anyway
Finally, if you are considering this way of life, think about the following;
- Write a pros and cons list for every aspect of this type of life compared to your own conventional one
- Read blogs, join forums, chat to others and get a flavour of the motorhoming world.
- Research where you would like to go. Are you covering long distances or considering a small area or region?
- Budget carefully and prepare for unforeseen circumstances such as accidents, breakdowns or ill health for yourself, the vehicle or anyone back home
- Ensure that you have all the correct documentation. This list will vary depending on where you go, include MOT, tax, vehicle insurance, DVLA, driving licence, EHIC (European Health Insurance Card), medical insurance, pets passport. Vehicle insurance can be vague in terms of what exactly is covered. Aviva insurance is concise in its definitions for what is covered for trip duration, and provides clarification on full-timing, as opposed to long term touring and also extends to the type of vehicle being used, whether a motorhome or campervan.
- Take a look at at https://www.aviva.co.uk/insurance/motor/campervan-insurance/
- Remember to take enough prescribed medication for the duration of your stay
- Consider extremely carefully before cutting all ties back home. Living the dream is one thing, but this could become a recurring nightmare if you needed to get back on the property/rental market at home as it could prove expensive.
- If you need extra funds overseas, don't assume finding and getting paid for, casual work is easy
Remember, we're only here once and life is about the journey, if you hanker after this lifestyle then you should seriously consider it. If you become unable, unwilling or no longer desire giving it a go then you won't have missed out. I jumped at the chance and have had a lifetime of holidays with fabulous memories as a result.
Good luck, have safe and happy travels,