Returning to van life? What we’re getting up to lately.

Every so often I feel like I should give a bit of an update as to what we’re doing on this site.  This blog is 6 years old now and things have definitely changed over the years!

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In the past we’ve tried out a number of different ways to travel.  Our first stint of travelling full time was in a camper van named Gloria and we enjoyed the van life before there was even a hashtag about it!  After that we tried travelling using Airbnbs and house sitting and travelling fairly slowly from one base.  That was the end of our full time travel and since returning to ‘normal’ life we’ve slowed down a lot.  We sometimes take time off and go on a trip but we’re dictated to by work holidays so it’s less often than we’d like.  As the kids have needed more time for school work and exams even weekends and days our have slowed down.  I do always have grand plans of blogging our trips but they tend to get brushed aside with other work commitments – sorry about that!

So that brings us to where we are now.

Earlier this year James and I were talking about how we’d like to get a camper van again when the kids left home and perhaps we could convert it ourselves rather than buying one ready made like Gloria was.  We talked for a couple of months about it, watched lots of videos of self built vans and were getting excited about the prospect in a couple of years time.  Then, out of the blue, we realised that we could probably use our holiday budget for the coming months, plus a little more we had saved up together to get ourselves a much older van to have a bit of a practice with.  From deciding it was a possibility to actually buying a van took about 5 days!  We don’t hang around!

citroen relay conversionSo, let me introduce you to Tonks.  Tonks is a bright yellow 2005 Citroen Relay panel van that we have been spending the past 10 weeks updating and converting in to a camper.  Our plan is to use her for weekend getaways and for summer holidays while the kids are still around.  Now they’re at college we’re even more limited in when we can take off – a camper is ideal for just getting away when we want to.  We’ve already spent a week in Dumfries and Galloway in her and it was bliss!

I’ve been documenting our build over on Instagram so head on over if you’d like to see more pics and I’ll be writing some posts on here about the conversion soon too.

Vanlife in the works?  So, what in store for the future?  Everyone keeps asking us if we’re going to head off travelling in her full time again.  It was never our intention when we bought the van to set off again and go full time – the kids are at an age of first jobs, college and university so we want to be around while they fledge.  However, you never know what the future might bring…  we’re definitely enjoying van life again and there have been some conversations about it!

citroen relay self build inside


2 thoughts on “Returning to van life? What we’re getting up to lately.”

  1. I love this idea!
    You know, my 14 year old was watching a doco on YouTube about some dude camper vanning from Alaska to the tip of S. America and was very excited about it. We won’t be going to the USA but I’m open to a trip around Australia, or, the dream would be Asia or Africa, but that’s pretty hard to do. I could maybe settle for the Balkans. So I’ve been watching your van conversion with interest on Instagram. Our kids aren’t going anywhere, certainly not school, so we’ll need one for 4. Maybe a bus! In a couple of years I’ll be able to leave them at home and James and I can go solo, but till then we’re 4 and need plenty of space for our laptops. But wi fi will be a massive pain. Need to find a solution for that. So many possibilities!!
    I’m watching your progress, keep it up!

    • I’d definitely love to do Australia 😀 Actually wifi was one reason why we struggled when we first started, but that was 5 years ago and things have definitely moved on a bit more now in terms of technology. And solar is so much better and cheaper now so I don’t think charging laptops will be a problem any more either.


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