It’s been almost 6 months since I last posted on this blog. I came back to the UK intending to stay for just a few weeks and then continue my motorhome travels after the summer. That didn’t happen.
I’ve Sold the Motorhome
One of the reasons I haven’t posted is because I’ve not had any ‘adventures’ to write about. Other than a couple of lovely river walks, I’ve not done anything fun.
The other reason is that I was embarrassed. Within days of coming back to the UK I knew that I was going to sell the motorhome. Not only could I not do the ‘fulltiming’ thing, but after using a real bathroom, a real kitchen and sleeping in a real bed for a few days I couldn’t bear the idea of a single night spent in the motorhome!
I was afraid to tell people that. Last year when I first made the decision to travel and told people about it, the most common reaction was something along the lines of “oh wow, that’s so cool and really brave!” It was nice to feel like the ‘cool person’ for a while, and I actually kind of felt like a bit of a failure for not being able to make it work.
I didn’t want to post again until I had something new and exciting to write about, which I know is kind of stupid, but it’s the truth! I had the motorhome up for sale for months. It was really dragging on and stressing me out. Plus, I wasn’t entire sure what to do next. I knew I had changed but I had a lot of mixed emotions going on.
Wasted time and money
In the end, I lived on the motorhome full time for 4 months, and I spent 3 of those months touring. I owned it for over a year, and I spent twice as long preparing and planning for my trip than actually doing it!
I spent countless hours researching a ton of places I’d visit in France and trying to learn French and in the end, I visited just a handful of those places and actually spoke to very few people. All of that preparation was a colossal waste of time!
I was planning to travel full-time, maybe not forever, but for years. I think in my head I had a three year plan. I had a rough idea of the countries I would tour on each season and a route planned for each year but of course it just didn’t happen.
Then there’s the money! I bought the vehicle itself, then spent around £4,000 on it after I bought it getting solar panels installed and doing countless repairs. And then I spent even more money getting more work done whilst actually in France. In the end, I spent an absolute ton of money for what ended up being just a 3 month adventure.
Worth it? Financially speaking, no! When I eventually sold it, I got back around half of what I spent all in all over the year. I lost thousands!
BUT… and there’s a very big but… I now have an incredibly cheap lifestyle which has also saved me thousands, and that would never have happened if it hadn’t been for the motorhome.
My lovely little caravan!
I bought the static caravan just a couple of weeks after coming back to the UK and I am just in love with it! Sure it has it’s problems – the toilet is wonky, it gets really cold in the winter and the pigeons that play on my roof are annoyingly noisy but it’s all mine, it’s super cheap, it’s in a great location, I have lovely neighbours and did I mention it’s all mine? No mortgage, no rent, and very few bills!
If I rewind back just over a year to shortly after the split from my ex. As I explained in my post about my decision to travel, I was motivated by two things – the need for travel and adventure of course, but also, the need to live cheaply.
I had looked for cheap housing but didn’t find it. Back then I did not know that it was possible to buy a holiday home; I thought you could only rent them. I don’t even remember how I found out about it.
But anyway, if I hadn’t gone traveling I would probably still be living in a rented house playing exorbitant amounts of rent and council tax and a ton of bills. Living in the caravan is around £1k cheaper per month – not an exaggeration!
Even though I lost thousands on the motorhome, I have saved an equal amount by living in the caravan for the last 5 months! And of course, I’m going to continue living in it as long as I am single (which could be a long time!)
Minimalism & Materialism
Those 4 months living in the motorhome changed me in a permanent way. I was never hugely materialistic before but I did like having a nice big house and nice things. Now I really don’t care much about that stuff.
Selling almost everything I owned was oddly therapeutic and I remember feeling that I had become an ‘accidental minimalist‘. The funny thing is, that I have been back in the UK for 5 months and I haven’t replaced anything.
I still have hardly any clothes. I still have just the 14″ portable TV from the motorhome which I don’t even watch anyway. I haven’t even got around to buying another slow cooker yet lol! Though I really should do that… 🙂
I don’t own DVD’s, I have just the very small handful of books that I kept and I just don’t have years of random stuff that most people hoard. The only things I bought for the caravan were a few plates and glasses and a clothes airer. That’s it!
When I hear other people talking about clothes, shoes, makeup, hair, perfume, nails, more clothes, designer gadgets and all of that stuff my eyes glaze over and my mind wanders off into the mountains and beaches.
When I see all the crap on TV that my mum watches like the news, daytime TV, celebrity stuff, reality shows, Jeremy Kyle, soaps, Christmas stuff, I just see it all as one big constant stream of infinite garbage! I cannot stand any of it! Not to say I don’t watch TV – but I watch specific shows that I like on Netflix, and not the main terrestrial rubbish.
I always felt a bit different to other people. I haven’t had a ‘normal’ job in over a decade, I don’t vote, I wear unfashionable clothes, I avoid the news like the plague, and I spend a lot of time thinking about life. But now all of that is magnified 10x and I feel ever weirder, even more different to other people, like nobody get’s me and that I simply don’t fit into normal society.
But I’m ready to embrace that now. I know I will never have a ‘job’ again, I know that I need to travel – a LOT and I know that I will always be different to most people and that is finally starting to be okay.
But back to the caravan – even if I had known a year ago that I could have bought a static caravan, if I had gone straight from the house to the caravan without the whole motorhome adventure in between it would have felt like a massive step-down, like a huge failure.
As it is, the caravan feels like pure luxury after living full time on that motorhome for 4 months! I still delight at being able to flush the toilet and sit up in bed! It has really made me appreciate the simple things that we take for granted in our abundant western lifestyle.
It all worked out in the end
So was it a mistake? No. I had an adventure. I think back to various parts of it a lot. I read my posts on here, I watch my videos and I look through my photos. I’m so glad I recorded it all. 2018 has been the weirdest year of my life and it was all because of my motorhome adventure! It’s an experience that will stay with me for a lifetime and it has set me up for a new life filled with more adventure!
My next adventure starts in another country in less than a week! But this post is already really long so I’ll save that one for another day… 🙂