By Ben Wheeler
MEET THE STUNNING ex-marine turned male model who left his old regimented life behind in favour of hitting the road in his retro Volkswagen T25 van.
Will Gregor (26) grew up in the quaint village of Yealmpton in Devon before spending his early adult years serving in the military as a Royal Marines Commando, where he developed a keen interest in travel.
“I grew up in a bilingual family as my mother is Spanish whilst my father is from Plymouth, so I’ve always been very open-minded and interested in learning about and experiencing other cultures” he said.
“My parents were actually the main inspiration for me buying the van, when me and my twin sister were younger our parents owned two VW vans themselves, so I’ve got a lot of good memories stored away about the lifestyle and places we visited.
“I left home at a fairly young age to join the marines during which has equipped me with a considerable amount of skills which have definitely helped on my travels.
“Those kinds of experiences have a big impact on you and the lessons I learned during that time will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
Will purchased his own VW in early May for just £1,800 and renovated it over the course of six weeks for an additional £500 with some help from his girlfriend’s dad.
After taking it on some test runs around Cornwall he then set off for a three-month road trip around Europe.
“£1,800 was a complete bargain and even the renovation was done relatively cheap as we did it primarily with pallet wood,” he said.
“It was challenging but I was lucky to have a lot of help from my girlfriend’s dad.
“It’s always hard putting something into practice when there are no guidelines, I really wanted a rustic wooden interior but hadn’t come across any T25 done like that so it was all trial and error.
“After taking it round Cornwall I went to Europe for three months which was amazing, the best thing about it is being able to abolish normality.
“The locations are great but it’s the feeling of freedom that makes this kind of lifestyle stand out for me.
“That might have something to do with the rigidity of being in the forces but for me there’s nothing more exciting than starting the ignition not having the slightest idea where your next destination is.
“It’s not all plain sailing though, the van doesn’t have power steering so I’ve ended up exchanging my previous lack of freedom for tendinitis, so everything comes at a price!”
Will now intends to return to his studies at Goldsmiths University of London where he is taking a degree in Sociology and Anthropology.
And he’ll be a busy man, balancing his studies alongside his successful modelling career, all whilst planning his next trip in his beloved van.
“I’m trying to focus on studying again now and I’m hoping my practical skills I’ve picked up over the last few years tied with the academic skills I’m developing will lead me on to even bigger challenges,” he said.
“I’ve been modelling on the side regularly for a couple of years now, working with different clients around the country and whilst it’s been a great experience and I’ve met some amazing people it’s not where my heart lies.
“I want to take the van as far East as I can get it, possibly a transcontinental trip, Europe through Asia.
“I’m hoping to do some extensive writing along the way and possibly even make a documentary related to my degree.
“I’d like to use future trips to connect with people from completely different cultures as I’m fascinated in human nature and the attributes that universally unite us.
“There’s just something wonderful and empowering about hitting the road knowing that anywhere can be home to you.”
For more information see https://www.instagram.com/wjgregor/