Who Are We?
We are Red (29) and Josh (32), partners in crime who decided to sack off the real world for a while and go travelling around Europe. Adulting be damned, we bought a creaky old van which stalled as much as our lives had and converted it into a deluxe homemade camper!
Josh has always had the travelling bug. He’s been everywhere, but me; not so much. Sure, I skim over people’s holiday snaps on Facebook and think “wouldn’t that be nice” but half an hour later I’m turning my laptop off and getting ready for bed before another early shift at work. Travelling is scary and requires planning. It requires taking holiday! I was never in a position to save money until a few years ago. Plus, I’m twenty-nine, isn’t travelling something people do during their gap year?
Retail sucks. I had a few interviews for nice, sitting-down office jobs but no success. Josh got made redundant in January and struggled to find a proper, career-type job. His housemates told him they were looking to move out on their own, making the contract on their shared place up for renewal in May. We were walking to some event on a cool spring evening when Josh asked me if I would want to go travelling. At first, I thought it was ridiculous. Would I have to quit my job? Where would we sleep? Oh god, how would I shave my legs? What turned into a hypothetical conversation about buying a cheap van and jetting off somewhere turned into a plan. I went to work and dreamt of days spent exploring in the sun instead of shifting boxes of stock. I could quit my job! We’d convert the van into a camper! Screw oppressive daily hair removal regimes!
After some searching, we got a train to Crystal Palace and bought a 2006 Ford Transit from a guy who used to sell trainers. Not one side of this van was undented and the inside smelt potently of oil… it was a fixer-upper. So we got to work. On weekends and evenings we stripped out the inside, board and insulated the walls. My dad, a builder, built us an amazing fold out bed. I did some tremendously shit paintwork on the inside whilst suffering from all the flu I’d shrugged off when I had to be in charge of a shop.
Ah, the shop. After months of threatening to quit my job, I quit my job. It took the sick look on my boss’ face for it to feel real. I had worked enough overtime and accrued enough holiday that I effectively left almost immediately. I had a lovely send-off and cried over the people I’d miss. “You better start a blog!” They said. So I did.
This is the story of our little adventure across Europe. I’ll update it as much as possible, whenever I can find wifi. I don’t know what to expect from this trip, which seems like an excellent reason to write everything down. Maybe I’ll hate travelling and all my posts will be long, snotty rants typed out passive-aggressively from the back of the van. Maybe I’ll love it so much I never come back. One thing is certain: for the first time in a long while, I am looking forward to the future.