Couple sold home and possessions to travel the world in £40k camper van

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A couple who sold their home and possessions to travel the world in a £40k camper van in the midst of the Covid pandemic now say they 'feel safer' than ever.

Meg Ward, 29, made the "crackers" decision to uproot their life and leave everything behind after meeting a community of people who lived in their vans while on holiday in 2018.

She sold their three-bedroom house she had purchased with her partner Josh, 31, over ten years ago and began to look for a suitable vehicle to satisfy their wanderlust.

Their daughter Marlowe is four years old so the couple felt it was "now or never" for them as she'd otherwise be too old - and decided to set the wheels in motion.

Despite a global pandemic causing holidaymakers to reschedule their plans - the family say they feel safe as they are essentially "self contained and self sufficient".

Meg, from Winchester, Hampshire, said: "It sounds a bit mad to go on this trip during the pandemic but we'd already set the date to leave.

"It's been pretty straight forward for us - we just make sure we look up each country's restrictions and stay away from the big cities.

"In France it was a lot like in the UK, whereas in Spain you have to wear a mask at all times.

"It's not been an issue at all - in fact I think it's been safer because we're self contained and self sufficient in the van.

"We're not going into hotels or staying indoors with groups of people at all."

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They drove off in mid-September and have already travelled more than 4,000 miles - visiting western France, the Basque country, northern Spain and now the Portuguese coast.

But Meg says she hopes to go hundreds of thousands of miles more in the next two years as they see where the camper van takes them.

Meg said: "We have always wanted to travel around Europe and then the world and this was our chance to do so before our daughter needed to go to school.

"We've never lived in a van before, or done anything like this before in our lives - it was all completely uncharted territory.

"It was really difficult packing up your entire life but it also felt incredibly freeing.

"It was hard for our daughter to see all of the furniture suddenly disappearing and then having to see some of her toys go into storage.

"But we want to see the world, we want to live simply, and experience things we never could have even imagined.

"We're constantly outside, moving between city to city, country to country, and it's a bit surreal.

"Our friends all said we were completely crackers because we weren't organised at all."

Left 'stable' job

Meg works in marketing and is able to work from anywhere in the world - a privilege she has finally decided to take advantage of.

Her partner Josh, however, left his "stable" job of 12 years working as a maintenance supervisor with oil and gas.

She said he had been working long hours for as long as she's known him and he wanted to spend more quality time with his daughter as she grows up.

She said: "We felt really settled in life, in our home, in our jobs, with our family, which made this decision a bit more daunting.

"We weren't escaping from anything really, it felt more like we were chasing a dream.

"Josh really wants to spend every moment with our daughter and he's worked so hard throughout the years. He really felt it was the right time."

After selling their home and their furniture, they moved all of their remaining belongings into a 90sq ft storage unit and began searching for a van.

They purchased the £40,000 Mercedes Sprinter long wheel base in early September, just 10 days before setting off to France.

The 22ft long camper van is kitted out with solar panels on its roof to power its amenities, a 70l water tank, a mini kitchen with a gas job, a bed and a bench.

'It felt real and surreal'

Meg said: "The first night didn't feel like the first night at all - but our second night was incredible. We were in France, we'd really left home and left everything behind.

"We were at a campsite and we were still figuring things out, the water, the gas, but we felt calm.

"It felt real and surreal all at the same time.

"We came into this completely blind but it felt like we'd done it - even if it was just day one."

The trio hope to travel the world and have penned Canada and Mexico as dream destinations, and have already planned for a skiing trip in France later this year.

Meg said: "We would love to keep going for two year but we know that with everything that's happening flexibility is key.

"We want to see all of Europe, Morocco, and the dream is to get to places like Mexico and Canada.

"We just want to see the world and we'll see where this campervan takes us."

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