We are both in our mid to late 40’s and been together for 30 years doing normal stuff like building a career, working long hours, paying off the mortgage and finding hobbies to help us chill at the weekend. Then one day in 2013, we made a decision to go travelling in a motorhome and the rest is history!
Our Bumble Crew
Occupation: Builder turned Graphic Designer
Occupation: Qualified Accountant and Director
The Dachshund Dudes: Mac ‘n’ Tosh
Job: Floor licker & chief cuddler
Job: Digger & foot warmer
Model: Hymer B590
As a rule of thumb we travel to a new place each day but if we like it, we stop a while longer. We mainly wild camp, which means if we like a place, we stop! This however tends to be in the middle of nowhere. We’re sensitive campers in that we never park in front of people’s homes or in places where we shouldn’t park. We travel between 30 and 50 kilometres per day this not only keeps the diesel cost down but more importantly it keeps us from dashing everywhere.
We are two ordinary people who had a dream of travelling the world. The dream often coincided with talks of our retirement plans or whenever we got chatting about spending more time together, enjoying a stress free life, doing things we’d always dreamed of etc. You know the kind of things we are talking about, right? Well, one day in 2013 we’d had enough, decided life was too short and took the plunge to live our dream.
I think it is fair to say that in 2013, we went through a period of nothing but bad luck and it really made us reflect on what was important to us and what we wanted out of life. The rat race, the material things, the fine dining suddenly didn’t appeal any more. When faced with losing each other and the people you love, it makes you realise what is important. This was our turning point. We took a long hard look at what we had, made a few tweaks and decided to take early retirement and… live our dream.
We spent a full year putting things in to place and planning what we would do. This involved working 6 months notice, which was one of the hardest things we’ve done. Both from a financial and mental point of view. By this stage in our lives, we were enjoying a successful career with large salary and benefits. Handing in our notice took away our financial lifeline and giving that up was hard. All of a sudden we had to think about our money in a very different way, yet all around us were our friends, still enjoying the benefits of a normal life. At this stage, we felt trapped between two worlds and even though the new world was unknown, we never questioned our decision. In our hearts, we know it was right and that kept us going.
In mid 2013, we bought our first Motorhome and did the usual stuff like going away at weekends. Each week we would do something new to the Motorhome like fit solar panels then spend the weekend trialling the gadget. We spent hours researching what we needed and then spent the same amount of time installing it. We optimised our storage to a fine tea and whittled things down to essential stuff except for my clothes, Craig would say. Well us women do love our clothes just as you men love your tools. By spring of 2014, we were ready for our first adventure.
In 2013, we purchased our first motorhome, a 2007 Hymer 694SL, a handsome chap and named him Homer. In April 2014, we set off and that year we travelled around Italy, Sicily and a little bit of Austria. We had a great time but the challenges of living in a poorly built Motorhome combined with an newly acquired itchy skin condition took its toll and within 6 months we were back in the UK. If anything could go wrong with the motorhome, it did.
Back in the comfort of our home, we questioned what we wanted out of life and still came up with the same answer, so with that we sold the 694SL and bought a 12 month old Hymer B590. With fighting spirit, we said let’s give it another go!
By early December 2014, we were back on the road. The B590 named Vin, is completely different to the first motorhome and we love him. Firstly, it feels more stable and nothing falls apart when you touch it. The built quality is good and with a Mercedes 3L V6 we can get to most places that we want to. For us, the size is right with enough room to feel comfortable but small enough to get in most parking spaces. We’ve installed solar panels, gas and adapted the Motorhome (all ourselves) so we can wild camp where ever we like.
For our 2016 trip we did a few minor alterations like additional heater vents on the dash to prevent side windows from steaming up, LED strip light in the front cab area, changed batteries and just minor tweaks.
When we set off in April 2014 we’d never been in a motorhome, never mind live in one. It was always a dream to own one but the reality seemed awfully different. Life on the road was challenging and it took some getting used to. Like being together 24/7 in a small, confined space with no me time. No nipping around the corner to see your friends or family or nipping to the pub for a pint. The frustrations of not having electricity and water when you clicked your fingers but most of all the smell of the bog, well it drove us potty!
However, the places we discovered were amazing and having the flexibility to stay where ever we wanted was fantastic. For us, the first trip allowed us to really understand what we wanted from a motorhome and how we needed to adapt to motorhome living. Now we have everything in place, travelling is just wonderful and the freedom to bumble where ever is totally liberating.
The Origins of Our Bumble
We call our travel tales ‘Our Bumble’ and up until now we have never really thought about how ‘Our Bumble’ came about. It just sort of happened?…back in April 2014, when we started our journey, I kept a diary of what we did and where we went. I would telephone my mum every week to tell her about our adventures and she would tell me about hers. We would often use the phrase ‘bumbling’ because I never quite knew where I was going and mum never knew where she’d been. Sadly, mum was diagnosed with dementia in 2013 and her short term memory was not quite what it used to be. However, the term ‘Our Bumble’ provided common ground for us to laugh, chat and occasional cry but most all, we had endless hours of laughter trying to figure out what the heck was going on in our world.
To help mum with her dementia, I started to put together a weekly update of the places we visited with plenty photo’s. I would always try and write the update as if I was talking to mum, so I kept it real with plenty high’s and the odd ‘keep it real’ low points, so she got a real true taste of our van life. Most of all I tried to fill with humour, so she could have a good laugh and enjoy our journey as much as we did.
Each week we would add more people to our circulation list and the list just grew. At the end of our first trip (2014) we had around 300 followers and come the end of the second trip (2015) we topped a 1,000+ followers and decided it was time to listen to our travel buddies and build our own website.
Building Our Website
In December 2015 we looked at how we could build the website ourselves and how we could achieve this. Neither of us had any experience in this, so plenty head scratching moments but come the New Year we were ready to roll. In January 2016, we registered our domain name and started building the website. After picking a theme we compiled our blog by loading and back dating all our travel journals from our 2014, 2015 and 2016 trip….and the rest is history, so they say.
If you have ever thought of packing everything in, changing your lifestyle and driving towards the sunset…or do you fancy a holiday in the motorhome and need some inspiration for that unique journey…or do you want to have a good giggle at our ups and downs. Our website is aimed at anyone with a sense of adventure and a desire to explore. We will share information on our hidden gems, our wild camping spots as well as stuff on how to travel cheaper, handy hints on living in a motorhome and tips to keep your on the move.
We hope you enjoy the website and if you do, please share with others. If you would like to receive updates on the site, just scroll to the bottom of the page & subscribe to the blog (we don’t send any spam & any details you provide are confidential.)
We reply to all our emails but if we are traveling in remote areas then the internet access will be limited and it may be a few days before we get back to you.
Our aim is our followers to help us build a website with the information that you like and want to see, so please send us your feedback. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to accommodate.