This is my story as to how I came to rebuff the standard life of living in bricks and mortar and embrace the more flexible living style of living on the road. My family thought I was nuts. My kids thought I had well and truly lost the plot. I am still not sure as to whether my mum is bought into the whole idea .
how I actually got to this point. I guess its quite a thing really. Like how do you live? Where does the money come from? How can you jack your job in. For me, the big part is I sold my house to enable me to quit my job and then travel fulltime.
Enable is the key part. I do work sometimes. I can pick up the odd bit of work here and there – but the main thing I do is this blog and exploration and enjoying life.
The easiest enabler – not having any mortgage to pay or any debts to pay. That was the absolute GAME CHANGER. By opting out of the usual way of living and opting in to something much more alternative – I was able to lose the millstone around my neck of paying a mortgage. Wooooooooo! EXCITING!
OK – many of us in the UK remember the day when Boris Johnson came onto the TV and told us all to ‘STAY AT HOME’ back on 23rd March 2020.. It was like something from a movie scene – and so begins a long, long lock down when talking to the cat became the norm – like full on conversations. The above gallery shows my story very quickly in photographs . . .
Before she was a cat I stroked and sometimes cursed for bringing me ‘presents’. Now I engaged in full on conversations. She even started to respond……. (in my head anyway!!)
So, I sat and worked. I worked long days. In my conservatory – grateful for having a job still, grateful for not losing anyone close to me with this dreaded new virus, grateful my children were not at home all day with me because working and looking after them as a singleton would have been very very challenging indeed!
I missed the kids so much. One was in Southampton and the other one was in Surrey. I had pretty much lived my life with a focus on how I could best provide for the kids. So what now? KIDS LEAVE HOME. This is a fact. Kids do that shit to you. They build their own lives. Its what you do. Its why I am what I am today – because I built my own life. My own CHOICES.
You are always someone’s child. You will never stop being someone’s child. Even in death, you are someone’s child. Or parent. Or sister. Or brother. Someone.
It made me think. I thought a lot. I talked a lot. A lot of talk to the cat about my thoughts. She looked at me. I talked to the wall about my thoughts. The wall didn’t even do that. I knew I was going to have to do something else with my thoughts…….
I thought of the holidays that I had had cancelled that year because of Covid-19. Almost 2 years later I have flight credits – and holidays that were cancelled and still haven’t taken place! The holidays stood still – but I haven’t.
My Iraq trip was cancelled, so I decided to book a holiday to a country to WHO EVER WOULD LET A BRIT IN. It turned out to be Sicily (Italian Island)
I spoke to my boss. I asked him if I could work from Italy for a few weeks. I love the word ‘few’. His few was less than mine. So as soon as he said yes – I went straight onto Skyscanner and looked at flights. I could easily get a return flight from Stansted to Palermo for £80.00, including picking my own seats and stuff! I BOOKED IT.
My daughter was going back to Southampton on the same day – that is us above at the train station waiting to go to our prospective destinations. Her train taking her home to Southampton, mine was going to Stansted airport. You can read about my Sicily trip on the blog.
For the first week in Palermo, I worked for 3 days and had 4 days off. I was able to go for a walk and pick up fresh coffee in the morning, in the sunshine and warmth (It was October) and get fresh baked pastries and sit in the sunshine in a square or plazza before I started work. This was the life I wanted to lead!
I was still doing my PT sessions via Zoom and still enjoying the food and the wine and the culture. I WANT THIS……
I moved down the coast to Cefalu. What a beautiful little place Cefalu is. It would have been romantic if I had been with someone that I loved. But I wasn’t. I stayed a couple of days. Then I moved again. Down the coast to Milazzo. I stayed a couple of days, then caught the boat out to Lipari and stayed a few days.
Then Messina, Taormina, Catania and Siracusa.
I like this way of living. Of going somewhere, working a few days and then seeing what is in the area and then moving on. Selling my house is not going to be enough. I WANT TO BUY A VAN.
So that’s how I came to start my vanlife. There is a whole article on Key questions to ask when choosing and buying your motorhome which gives some great advice on how you even start the process of buying a motorhome or campervan.
Not Quite North came into being as I continued to work whilst creating the blog – which is a slightly different take to a blog I had been creating for my Solo Female Travels. Something that until the pandemic hit, I thought I would be doing for a long time. and whilst I do still do my solo female travels, the fundamental significant change is that I live in a motorhome full time and travel fulltime.
That felt such a significant shift for me to require a total rethink on the blog and what the focus and direction should be.
Which is HELPING OTHERS TO REALISE THAT THEY CAN DO THIS TOO! FULLTIME OR PART TIME.
Two wonderful Norfolk Road Trip Itineraries capturing the most beautiful places that Norfolk has to offer.