Ellie’s Travel Adventure – And we’re off!

Ellie's Travel Adventure - and we're off!

Hi! I’m coming at you from somewhere on the A1 heading north – trying to distract myself as I’d love to visit a service station right now…!

So, what is this, this isn’t the usual kind of topic for our blogs?

Well, today my husband and I have set off on a bit of an adventure / experiment, made possible by the amazing Cheryl,  allowing flexibility in working, and understanding that we don’t just live to work, but work to live!

For as long as I can remember, I knew I would spend my life travelling. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t ‘’hate’’ being at home or anything, there’s just so much world out there and I’m itching to experience it, at least, while I have the circumstances to.

 Well, as you can imagine, the past 18 months or so did throw a bit of a spanner into those works! My husband and I were in Gambia doing some volunteer work, and came home early March 2020 .. and it turned out just in time! Less than 2 weeks later we were in lockdown, and other friends were stuck out there, living very basically off of their savings, having flight after flight cancelled, for another almost 6 months.

We stayed with my parents for a bit, planning to just wait the situation out .. but it soon became clear that lockdown wasn’t just going to be a 2 week blip – so we started looking for somewhere to live, and some work. 

I was put into contact with Cheryl, and honestly, I couldn’t believe what a perfect fit this job was going to be! Speaking with her, I made it very clear that travel was still what I wanted to do in life – and Cheryl made it very clear that she loves everything to be done online – i.e., it would be possible to work from anywhere! I know that most of us here at Pink Pig do love to see the world (just ask Cheryl what her plan is in 5 years time), and it’s so nice to have a boss and a team who support each other’s plans, and are excited for them, rather than just thinking you’re a weirdo for wanting to sleep in a van…(!)

So here we are, a year later, and, although somewhat modified, the travel plans continue! A few months back we purchased a Volkswagen T5 and have been working on making it our little home on wheels! As much as we’d love to be fully globetrotting, there’s plenty of the UK we’ve never explored, and so it seems like this is where we should start!

It is only a little van, so it will be interesting, but we have managed to shove our belongings in, using up every little nook and cranny I never

Back view of campervan for travel
Back view of the van, a few weeks ago, before it was fully finished.
The drawers do now have handles for easy opening!

would’ve thought of before! There are storage drawers for clothing etc, and another drawer known as ‘the kitchen’, which pulls out and provides table space to sit at, a worktop to prepare food, and storage space for pots and pans etc. We also have a little water on board and a camping fridge. The vast majority has been made from pallets – both because we like to be conscious of re-using if we can, and it massively keeps the costs down! It takes a bit of work designing it, chopping wood, sanding, painting … but now looking at what we’ve accomplished, although it’s definitely what I would call ‘rustic’, we love it!

The van with the driveaway tent – a test night in a friend’s garden before setting off on our travel adventure!
The van with the driveaway tent – a test night in a friend’s garden!

We’ve also bought a ‘driveaway’ tent. It attaches to the side of the van but can stand on its own if you are staying in the same spot for a few days. This just kind of provides another ‘room’, and will be where we have cover to pull out the drawer to have food, and sit at the table etc. It’s not all the home comforts, but we do think it’ll be enough for our temporary van life – and we at least have space for the projector and a bottle of vodka (he’s Polish)!

If anyone is interested in the tech, my clever husband has fitted a leisure battery, with an inverter, providing many USB sockets, but also a plug socket for this little laptop! The leisure battery charges up whilst you’re driving, but then the circuit closes when the engine is off, so you’re not going to find yourself needing a jump start because you’ve been working for a few hours! He is clever, but he’s not an electrician, or a mechanic. This is something I’m sure most people would be capable of after watching a few YouTube videos! We have a mobile phone contract which has unlimited data, so I just connect my laptop to and it’s no different to connecting to wifi.

This week is just getting up to see family, and drop off some belongings for storing, so I guess it’ll be a week or so before we’re in ‘’van life proper’’, but it’ll probably be good to ease in!

My ‘desk’ for the morning - van style!
My ‘desk’ for the morning!

This blog is going to be documenting our travels a little bit, showing the advantages and disadvantages of working on the move (I’m going to guess already that dodgy connection may be the biggest one of those, but I’ve been working from the van all morning using a mobile phone hotspot and have had no issues so far!), seeing if we can live on a reasonable budget whilst still enjoying the places we visit, and just trying to show how, if it is your dream to work and travel, it is possible!

We’ll post links to each update below so you can join me 😊

Week 1 – Family visits, Peak District, Anniversary & more!

Week 2 – Wedding Party & Wales

Week 3 – From Wales to Scotland

Week 4 – Sunny Scotland

Week 5 – Isle of Skye, Whiskey & Dolphins!

Week 6 -From the Lake District to the South Coast

Week 7 – Hurst Spit & Piglets Day Out

Week 8 – London, Woolacombe & leaving the UK

Week 9 – From Paris to Poland

Week 10 – Exploring Poland

Week 11 – Zakopane ~ the ‘winter capital of Poland’

Week 12 – Polish Bears & Roller Coasters

Week 13 – Copious amounts of Polish food!

Week 14 – Reliving the Polish sauna experience

Week 15 – December!

Week 16 – Our team day out!

Week 17 – We’re off to Central America! 

Week 18 – Exploring Mexico!

Week 19 – Our Mexican adventure comes to an end!

Week 20 – We’ve headed to Panama!