Our story (so far)
We’re a family of 4 from England who have renovated a 20 year old motorhome (still a work in progress!), packed up 10+ years of possessions, said our goodbyes, and are now travelling around Europe.
In April 2016 we bought an old motorhome with plans to do it up and travel around Europe as a family. To spend more time together as a family, and maybe even discover a new path for the next part of our life. In March 2018 we left our home, and in July 2018 we left for France.
Since then we had travelled extensively through France, and also visiting Italy, Slovenia, and more recently Switzerland and Germany. We’ve also returned to England at various points. As of spring 2020 the Baby Bus remains our home, but change is on the horizon.
Why the ‘Baby Bus’?
Why the ‘Baby Bus’? The day that we went to view our motorhome, we needed some way to describe to our then two and a half year old daughter what we were going to see. Charlie described it as a ‘baby bus’, being the closest thing she could think of that our daughter would understand. It has affectionately stuck and we still all call it our baby bus.
The Baby Bus is in fact a Fiat Ducato Burstner, left-hand drive, originally imported from Germany 20 years ago.
Where are we up to?
Updated February 2020
July 2018 we travelled the length of France to get to the Pyrenees to watch a stage of the Tour de France. Augst 2018 we had to escape the 40 degree temperatures inside the van and take refuge in a French hotel. August and September 2018 we arrived in Italy, which was highlighted by van troubles, a holiday with family, and lots of time spent in the Friuli-Venezi Giulia region.
End of September and start of October 2018 we headed into Slovenia and fell in love with this beautiful country. We enjoyed welcoming in autumn here, before heading back into Italy in October. Securing a housesit over Christmas in France changed our plans to head to Greece for the winter, so we returned to France at the end of October 2018. November and December 2018 were spent renting a gite in the Dordogne.
December 2018 and into January 2019 we did our first housesit on a smallholding in France. February 2019 we did another housesit in Brittany. End of February and March 2019 we returned to England. End of March 2019 we returned to France and back to housesit again in Brittany. April 2019 was highlighted by a wonderful housesit in the Aveyron region of France looking after 6 horses, 3 dogs, 2 cats, and chickens. May and June 2019 were spent in the south of France, before we headed north for the end of June and the extreme heat that hit France. July 2019 we returned to England, expecting to return to Europe at the start of autumn.
After a few months housesitting in the UK, we decided that our family travels had finished and that we were ready to settle down again. Nick started looking for a job autumn 2019. He secured a temporary job contract, while Charlie and the girls continued to travel around the UK in the Baby Bus and housesit. December 2019 concluded the year with a lovely housesit over Christmas and New Year in Wales.
January 2020 Charlie and our daughters set off to France on a solo journey, with no return date in mind.
Who are we?
We’re a family of 4 from the UK – Charlie (mum), Nick (dad), plus our two daughters who are 6 and 2 years old. Four years ago we bought an old motorhome to fulfill a desire to change our lives.
For a while we’ve both had this feeling growing inside us that we don’t want to be in the same life 10 years from now. The birth of our eldest daughter was the catalyst that made us both see that we wanted to try something different, even if we decided to come back to the same life after it.
We had a growing discomfort that we’d followed a path set out for us by someone else – get a degree, get a job, buy a house, do it up to sell for more than we bought it for, work our way up the job ladder, repeat, repeat. Tick, tick tick. Starting our own family made us question whether that’s what we really wanted.
In January 2018 Nick handed in his letter of resignation after 10 years with the same company. Part of this journey for him is to have time to reevaluate what he wants to do career wise. Charlie runs her own business, an eco wedding directory, which we’ll be ‘taking with us’ on the road. It’ll be our main income to support our travels, at least to begin with.
So here we are, making ourselves take a leap. Neither of us are big risk takers, our holidays are always thoroughly organised and planned out, but we need to make ourselves leave without a route. No plan, no destination, no certainty of where we’re ending up. For us, it feels bloody scary.
Come find us on Instagram for regular updates on where we’re up to!