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Spain, Crete and Bulgaria – Exploring Europe in a Motorhome
For more than a year now, Karen and Myles have been semi-retired & work digitally as they explore Europe in their motorhome.
And they couldn’t be happier.
Unlike you and me, they have no restrictions on what they can do tomorrow – or where they can go.
The “Motoroamers” have quit their stressful lives in high-pressure jobs, and are taking their time to do what we all wish we could do.
Exploring the world, one country at a time, from the comfortable setting of their own motorhome.
They’re currently discovering the wonders of Bulgaria, with all its natural, mountainous beauty – and that famous eastern European atmosphere.
But Karen has taken a little time out to talk to us about their adventures so far.
So, how did it all get started? Why did Karen and Myles decide to live life on the road?
“Our story is like so many others,” Karen says. “Life in the corporate machine, stressed, burnt-out and surviving month to month.
“That was life for us for far too long and we knew that to live a better life, something had to change.
“We sold our mortgage-chained house, bought some rental property for income and relocated to Somerset to make a fresh start.
But something was still missing, she says. That yearning for adventure was getting too big and, following a six-week motorhome trip through New Zealand, they decided to take the plunge.
“We researched, visited shows and found the van of our dreams. We headed off into the European sunset with adventure in our pockets and a rough route on our hands.”
Although they initially planned a year-long trek through Europe, the total time on the road currently amounts to 17 months.
Karen and Myles have visited 12 different countries, and racked up 17,000 miles on the motorhome.
Having visited so many fantastic places, which was the best? Which stands out the most?
This question, Karen says, is impossible to answer.
“We’ve fallen in love with each county’s uniqueness,” she says.
“There is something profoundly beautiful about their culture, topography and generosity.”
As for other ‘best ofs’, Karen’s favourite region is Provence in France for its “diversity and jaw-dropping scenery.”
The best town is Alberobello is Southern Italy, mainly due to its unique Trulli houses.
And finally, she spoke of the World War 1 memorials in Verdun, France, and the Last Post in Ypres, Belgium, as the “most moving experiences”.
Karen said: “There really are so many more ‘best’s’ as Europe is blessed with them around every corner.”
How has the experience been so far? What would Karen and Myles do differently?
It’s an understatement to say that Karen and Myles have thoroughly enjoyed their time on the road.
Karen says: “The freedom of waking up to a different vista every morning and the choice about staying or moving, is liberating.
“It enriches our life experiences as we integrate into different cultures, meet new people and learn about local traditions.”
Would they change anything about their adventures so far?
The immediate answer to this question, Karen says, would be to have done it sooner.
“If we knew back in the days of running three businesses, working crazy hours and trying to keep stress at bay that we could feel this happy, we would have had the courage to change sooner”, she said.
Other than that, Karen says she didn’t imagine how tiring travelling would be.
“In our first six months we had a crazy schedule meeting up with friends and family around Europe, so we rarely stayed anywhere for more than two days.
“We exhausted ourselves. Even now with that experience under our belts, we still find our 3-hour travel limit tiring for driver and navigator.
“Now we allow more time to smell the roses, drink coffee at a bar and people watch over a beer.
“We stay for longer so we can feel a place and not just see it. This has been one of our biggest lessons.”
Let’s talk a little bit about the motorhome itself…
Karen and Myles have been travelling Europe in a Pilote 740 motorhome, a fantastic vehicle for living and moving.
We asked what the most essential item they keep in their motorhome is.
“Six months ago I would have said my juicer,” Karen said.
“Now I think it’s a tough call between Myles’ white gaffer tape for covering up our minor ‘incidents’, and my camera to capture the life we are experiencing.”
What sort of incidents?
“A few minor things have gone wrong on the van, like leaky taps, sticky roof-lights and faulty cooker igniters, although having your very own DIY man on board helps,” she said.
Despite a few hiccups, Karen and Myles are determined not to let small things ruin their good time.
“There are too many anxieties that can damage your enjoyment of life on the road; break-ins, accidents, being moved on, being weighed or damage to the bodywork,” says Karen.
“The quicker you learn to appreciate the bigger picture of your travelling life, rather than worrying about what could happen, the better your experiences will be.”
As if to prove her point, Karen also talked about the time their bikes were stolen in Lucca, Italy.
Instead of letting it get them down, the pair decided to invest in brand new electric bikes, which they have fallen in love with.
Karen said: “They help us to travel further and discover more.”
There’s no doubting that Karen and Myles are living life to the fullest, and they’re incredibly happy with the choices they’ve made.
I asked if they would ever consider returning to a ‘normal’ life, or if this was a permanent arrangement for them.
“Right now, I cannot imagine going ‘back’ and never want to”, says Karen.
“Although ‘never’ is a dangerous word to use. We are committed to travelling forever, however long that may be.
“If our personal circumstances, health or family issues require us to adapt, then we will. We have, if nothing else, learnt to be flexible.”
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