Who are we and how did we end up living in a van?
Well, I’m Jo and my partner in crime is Dee. Collectively Jodee which we use a lot.
I’m the mad crazy one that does all the sea swimming and Dee is the photographer.
We both love to travel. We had travelled separately before we met in 1999, then we took 6 months out and travelled together back in 2003/2004. It was always our dream to travel again one day.
Back then we didn’t imagine it would take as long as it did, but “Life Happens”.
Both of us are entrepreneurial have tried lots of things not all of which turned out as we’d hoped. We have been through tough times financially because of this, which we will never forget, but we turned things around and got through those times. Mainly by hard work and determination and doing whatever it took!
We are both the ‘self employed’ type and spent probably the last 20 years working like mad to get back on track and where we aspired to be. We worked whenever we could and very rarely had time off! We hardly ever took holidays and often worked weekends if the work was there.
Like a lot of people we realised that time was going by very fast. We didn’t want to work and then not be able to enjoy retirement due to health or worse!
In the last 10 years, we lost some important people, my parents, Dee’s brother, and 2 very good friends who were both in their 50’s!
When Dee’s brother died he was just 52, he had been ill for a while but always played it down. Dee had a very good friend, Ross who at the time said “it could happen to anyone” .
The scarey thing was that about 15 months later it happened to Ross!! He was 50! And that was our turning point! We always refer to it as “The nail in the coffin!” Which we know would have made Ross laugh.
We looked at the possibility of living in Spain but decided it wasn’t for us, then we considered living on a narrow boat. Dee had some friends that lived on one. We went and stayed with them a couple of times and again decided it wasn’t for us.
Then we decided that a motorhome would be the right thing for us.
From this point it took about 7 years. My parents were both still alive then and quite dependent on my brother and I so would have been very unfair to do anything at that time.
We used the time to move closer to our goal by getting in a position where financially we could .
I lost my Dad at the beginning of 2016 and then my Mum towards the end of 2018.
At the beginning of 2019 we started to decorate our house and get it ready for sale . We also started clearing out unwanted items.
We had a big house as when we first moved to Brighton in 2005 we were running a mortgage business and used 2 of the bedrooms as offices. Over the years, like most people we had accumulated so much stuff that we didn’t need and we no longer worked from home either!
Over the last few years we had been a bit stuck as we hadn’t really had the time or money to make the house look decent!
It took til the end of the summer 2019 before we were ready to put the house up for sale. Then nothing was moving because of Brexit! So we took it off the market and waited til after Christmas
Having been in the mortgage industry before I knew that nothing started to move again til end of Feb! This was 2020!
Yes you know what’s next! Covid!
The world was hit by Covid 19 and everyone’s plans went on hold!
A time the world will remember!
We finally managed to move in February 2021, into a great flat which was well worth the wait. Moving from a 4 bed house to a 1 bed flat was practice for later moving into a van! 🤣
The world still hadn’t recovered from Covid and we were still in lockdown. A waiting game for everyone.
In October 2021 we bought Jovanna. With winter approaching and some restrictions still in place we knew our journey wasn’t going to happen til 2022 but we were another step closer and we could now smell the finishing line!
Initially Jovanna was in storage in Somerset, a 4 hour drive away as we couldn’t find anywhere closer! 😯
In January 2022 we got her somewhere nearer, 20 mins drive from home . We had various bits done including a full service and some extras, then in April we did our trial run to Devon and Dorset ( see post)
We decided no more trial runs, let’s just get organised for the BIG adventure .
As you know we moved into Jovanna full time on July 5th 2022
We hope you will follow our journey and enjoy our blog
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