International travel has slowed down in 2020, but it has given rise to local and regional experiences being explored by a large number of people. And what better way to get a change of scenery than in a camper van? For one UK couple, Josh and Harriet, making their vanlife dreams afforded them a feeling of immense freedom and adventure.

“We were inspired to get into vanlife after feeling like there had to be more to life than working every day. We wanted to get out there, see new places and travel comfortably in a home we had created. We decided to buy a VW T5 while still working, and started to slowly convert it over a period of a few months. We set a date to quit our jobs and start our trip around Europe and managed to get our van completed in time,” Josh and Harriet told Lonely Planet. 

The couple travelled for three months starting in May 2019 before their van broke down and they had to return to the UK. While at home, they fixed up the van and sold it on, using the money to buy a bigger vehicle which was converted and named Monty. The conversion was completed in five weeks, and saw Josh and Harriet learning new skills as they went along. There was a plan to travel back to Europe in April this year before Coronavirus hit. 

Hudson inside Monty the van
Hudson inside Monty the van © montythevan_

In their old van Josh and Harriet travelled through countries like Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Italy. Norway is on their travel bucket list for the future, along with Sweden and Denmark. They also said that they would love to tour Canada and the United States by van. With COVID-19, international travel is proving complicated, but with Monty they have the option to explore their own country at their own pace. Recently they took their first drive in months with their dog Hudson and loved it.

Cosy vanlife
The couple recently installed a projector for film nights © montythevan_

When it comes to offering advice to others thinking of embracing vanlife, the couple says to take the plunge. “It’s the best thing we’ve ever done! The vanlife community is amazing, there are always people on Instagram who can help answer any questions you have, and there is so much support out there for the lifestyle. It’s nice having a huge group of people living the same way as support. Also, make your van as homely as possible – it’s a great comfort when miles away from home!”

josh and harriet dog vanlife
Josh and Harriet plan on returning to Europe when it is safe to do so © montythevan_

Josh and Harriet’s adventures can be follow on their Instagram profile.

Read more:

These European destinations have been named safest to visit during COVID-19
Airbnb reveals the top ten trending destinations in the USA
The 10 best RV and vanlife kitchen essentials and accessories

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