Dolomites with a motorhome

Our Story

Hi there!

One of the most common emails and questions I get is “how did all this start?” I agree, it’s not normal to leave a well paid job and spend most of your life travelling in a motorhome.

When I first got a motorhome with my husband, we had no intention of living long-term in it. I certainly wasn’t planning on quitting my job and changing my entire life. 

After all- real people don’t do that… right? 

Yet, 3 months after purchasing our first ever van, I found myself in the Swiss Alps, sitting on the steps of our motorhome, staring up in awe at the Milky Way. 

The actual Milky Way. 

I’d never seen anything so magical and I wanted to stay there another few nights to see it again. But, instead, we had to return home. To work. To “real life” with all its rushing around and barely seeing each other. And I didn’t want to go. 

That night under the stars, we realised we wanted adventure and freedom now, whilst we were still young enough to enjoy it. 

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning…

Watch Our Story here…

If you prefer video, you can watch our story and how we ended up touring in a motorhome here:

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Who is Wandering Bird? A little about us

My husband and I have always been a bit ‘weird’- we’ve lived on boats for over 15 years; partly to save money and partly because we love the view! We’ve never been excited about big houses in the suburbs and didn’t want a mortgage.

Instead, we spent our money travelling.

We got married in Victoria Falls in Zambia, we honeymooned with the elephants in Botswana, we’ve marvelled at the Northern Lights in both Norway and Iceland, and we’ve eaten ourselves into a pancake coma in America. Twice.

But we’ve always worked and had jobs to return to. We started life together both coming from difficult relationships which left us with nothing, and we bought our first boat with the last of our savings as we couldn’t even afford rent.

So we’ve always worked and travel had to fit in around our jobs. We didn’t really think there was any other way.

Through the years, we both found good jobs- him in software and me as an air-traffic controller, but something just wasn’t right. We felt restless and like we were missing something. 

We tried living in a house a couple of times, but both times lasted no longer than a few months- we’re just not really ‘cut out’ for house life.

Then, in 2017, our lives changed dramatically. My lovely mother-in-law, who was one of the world’s ‘good people’, became ill. We rented a house because we thought we’d need to look after her, but sadly she died a couple of months later. Her passing was totally unexpected- and really shook us up.

To try and fill the void she left, I tried to cheer my husband up by taking him to ‘look’ at touring motorcycles.

Funnily enough, we came away with one.

Shortly after, I bought one for me and we started exploring and touring on bikes. After our first trip to Europe, we bought a motorhome to tow them around with. We explored France, Italy, Liechtenstein and somehow found ourselves standing on a mountaintop in Switzerland, gazing up at the Milky Way, planning how to never go home.

This is the night which changed our lives- seeing the Milky Way for the first time and deciding we didn’t want to stop exploring.

“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life”

The whole way back, we discussed what was keeping us in one place- and how we could change it. It turned out that my job was the biggest reason we couldn’t travel as much as we wanted to- he could do a lot of his work from the road.

So we decided to change our lives. I started researching simple living, early retirement and living in a van long-term. I began to envision a life beyond what we had- one which allowed us time to enjoy the simpler things in life.

I applied for a year-long sabbatical from my job but, as we were planning and saving for that, we realised that if we drastically changed our lifestyle and reduced our bills, we could afford for me not to work at all. 

I handed in my notice the very next day.

(Read the full story of how I quit my job to travel HERE)

We upgraded our motorhome, got rid of all our stuff and started travelling.

Our first big trip was to Norway– we spent 5 weeks travelling up and back. We LOVED it- although sadly it rained pretty much every day. We can’t wait to go back sometime.

Since then, we’ve explored 19+ countries and travelled over 60,000 miles. We’ve watched the sunrise over Stonehenge, walked behind waterfalls, seen the Disney Castle and paid our respects at the Menin Gate.

We also got a spaniel called Mac (who’s the perfect vanlife doggo)- you can read more about Mac here.

Mac in October 2019 in the Dolomites aged 18 months.

Why doesn’t Wandering Bird travel with her husband anymore?

Sadly, Mr WB became very unwell in 2022 and decided to stop travelling. Even more sadly, this eventually led to our separation, although we still remain close friends.

I now travel mostly on my own, although occasionally friends or my daughter Jade will join me (although shes now over 20 and is in uni, so she’s too cool to travel with her parents very often!)

I was initially really nervous to drive the motorhome by myself, but since the end of 2022 I’ve driven the NC500 in Scotland, explored the entire Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland and even driven a motorhome from the UK to Iceland and back (yes, that was as epic as it sounds!)

I know many people travel alone for a variety of reasons. My advice to you is don’t let the fear stop you! You can find out more tips for solo vanlife and travel here.

Solo vanlife in Ireland

Buying a motorhome changed my life. I honestly believe everyone can (and should!) experience the incredible freedom of life on the road- whether it’s for a long weekend or a 3-month tour of Europe.

If you’d like to get more tips on motorhome travel, road tripping in Europe or changing your life, join our email list and get lots of free resources and guides to help.