Year 1 – 200 days away!


What a year.  With our 5 main trips, and a few weekends and other short trips away, we’ve just hit 200 nights away in a year in out 4.8m van!  With almost countless countries, memories, experiences, sights and senses – we need to look at this site to remember where we’ve been!

We’ve completed 17,000 incident free miles; 200 incident free nights, visited France, Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, Holland, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg and of course Scotland and England.  What is worrying is that we don’t think we’ve touched the tip of the iceberg!

What now?

Well having a year off work has been great.  We set ourselves a budget to blow, and despite trying, we’ve not even dented it, though we did get some short term work when we were at home sorting out other things.  So – as we haven’t blown it yet, we’ve decided to continue and try and blow it over the next year!  We do have some other projects we need to sort out which means we’re tied to home for a while, but of course we’ll be planning to get away soon…

We also have some other projects coming up which will be more interesting than typical work, as well as some more interesting longer term possibilities to be explored….

What have we learned?

Well – even after 10 years of marriage – and being stuck with each other in our van – we still speak and actually got on better than we could have hoped.  We haven’t tried to kill each other at all and we have enjoyed the adventure together.

We have learned more about Europe than we could have ever expected, sadly most is down to how much impact WW2 had which we have to admit is far greater than we ever expected.  We will explore this further…

Our language skills are still rather poor, but we are getting better and can order a couple of beers in any language so far!

How has the van been?

Well considering its a small van pretty much designed for weekend or short holiday use, its been an absolute star.  Even after 200 days use this year (300 total probably) it is pretty much unscathed and with a wash and clean it would look like it only had light use.  A huge testament to the guys that made it.  A couple of minor things have gone wrong, but considering its now completed 28,000 miles and in effect it has everything a house has in it and it has an earthquake every day – nothing really has broken and in 4 years its cost < £50 in spare parts.  Less than my house which is empty more than the van!

The charts

Favourite country so far:     Italy

Favourite cities:  Amsterdam (NL); Rome (IT); Venice (IT); Dresden (DE); Berlin (DE)

Favourite random finds:  Sperlonga (IT); Treviso (IT); Trevi (IT); Frejus (FR); Near Aljezur (PT)

Most fun places:  Cap d’Agde (FR), L’Aquila (IT), Sierra Nevada (ES), Thale (DE)

1 thought on “Year 1 Review”

  1. I’ve enjoyed reading this- especially the not killing each other bit! We’ve been to Greece for the summer for the last four years and I must admit , it was a worry that being together all the time might be difficult but the absolute opposite was true…….we’ve talked about so many things…even thinking up daft questions to ask each other like’ if you hadn’t done what you’ve done, what would you have liked to do?’ and neither of us got the expected answer!
    Your site is really interesting ( especially as we have the same camera and same creative Zen MP3 player) I always like looking at other people’s hints and tips as we can all learn from other’s experience- so if you ever decide to go to Greece- I’m available for hints and tips ( as are margaret and barry williamson an amazing source of information)

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