Although the van-life is packed with day to day challenges such as breakdowns, technical issues, and difficult people, Ben and Lucy are driven by this unpredictable environment that makes life truly exciting.
Ben and Lucy are photographers and full-time travellers from Cornwall, UK. After meeting in the same course, they decided to set off on an adventure to chase and document stories through their shared photography passion. Ben and Lucy have travelled throughout Europe over the past three years in their renovated home on wheels.
"[Our bus has] taken us across 24 countries in Europe so far with only a couple of major breakdowns, and hopefully she’ll take us across many more," says the couple.
"We enjoy having the freedom to do what we want and go where we want, and also being surrounded by nature away from people."
"Our dream is to be able to travel full-time, earning a modest income from various online jobs."
Lucy and Ben have successfully adjusted their lifestyle to achieve their long-time desire to break-away and see the world. As Ben had previously embarked on two backpacking trips around India and East Europe, and with Lucy's urge to buy a van and road-trip around the world, it was only so long before their shared dreams would become a reality.
Since setting off in their van, the couple has found an appeal for a minimalistic way of life. Although the maintenance of this lifestyle proves to need consistent maintenance and hard work.
"We love the simplicity of driving out into the mountains or to a wild beach and camping for a few days, cooking on the fire, bathing in lakes and rivers, and having more time to put into creative projects, such as our photography, writing, and video-making."
"We earn a small income from our website and writing for an online publication, and hope to soon be earning an income from our Youtube videos too once our following grows."
"We work incredibly hard for a short period of time to earn our money, and then we budget even harder when we’re away to make our money last as long as possible."
"Sometimes this means making sacrifices, not being able to go to attractions or for meals out, but we’d much rather be surrounded by nature and peace and quiet than queueing for hours to get into a tourist attraction anyway."
To sustain this van-lifestyle, the couple works in Cornwall for a few months while travelling for the rest of the year. Ben works as a chef and Lucy takes on a variety of jobs such as cleaning, waitressing and running her own B&B.
"It’s hard being off the road for so long while we save up money, but it’s also hard being away from our families when we are on the road.
"Ideally we would like to travel full-time and be able to come back and visit our family when we like, but we guess we can’t have everything."
Through their three years of experience living the van lifestyle, Lucy and Ben offer some advice for those wishing to set off on a similar adventure.
"Buy a van and go from there! We knew nothing about mechanics, woodwork, plumbing or anything. We started building our van, but we learned on our feet and we have so many skills now that we never used to."
"Don’t let anything stop you from turning your dreams into a reality. If people think you’re crazy for wanting to travel or you feel stuck in your job or tied down, just remember that everything is temporary and there is nothing truly stopping you from doing what you want to do."
"You don’t need a lot of money and you don’t need any skills. That’s what makes this lifestyle so accessible to just about anyone! There’s no right or wrong way to be on the road and it’s the journey that matters, not the destination."