Vanlife

In 2017, with the idea of a 3 month trip around Europe, we purchased a Westfalia Columbus 600D campervan.  Based on a 6 metre Fiat Ducato panel van it gave us a fixed rear-bed with loads of storage underneath, hob+sink and a loo/shower.    We had hired a VW California a few times but decided that for an extra 1 metre in length the extra room, standing height, together with fixed bed and loo/shower would provide a far more liveable space for a longer trip, without compromising too much on the size and usability.

After a few UK weekend trips I booked by extended leave from work and we set-off for Europe pretty much as beginners and only a loose idea of a route up through Norway.  We soon settled into things and three months later we’d covered 14,000 km and visited 11 countries.  Mainly wild/free camping we sought out campsites only for laundry and a few remote working days, which reduced our costs significantly (see here for details on our budget).  The freedom was liberating – Europe is so much easier in a camper than the UK – though in hindsight we were too ambitious on our route plan and did way too many miles, too fast.  We packed in an awful lot but skimmed the surface of many places.

 

You can see our full route and overnight stops click on our Polarsteps page:

https://www.polarsteps.com/amountainhigh/757938-northern-exposure 

We now have the bug and have no plans to sell the van.  We find the 6m van size perfect for the two of us (+ dog), allowing us comfortable space and not limiting our ability to reach remote and out-of-the way spots.

Since our euro-trip we’ve spent many weeks away in the UK and a  trip to Poland’s Baltic coast. Our biggest challenge is finding the time while we are still working!

 

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