By Tom Dare
STUNNING images have revealed what life is like on the road for a couple who quit their jobs and packed up their pets to go travelling around Europe in a converted van.
Marketing manager Marion Henry and civil engineer Florian Fradet, both 25, decided last year to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life by putting all their savings into buying and converting an old Ford Transit van, which they then took around Europe.
With their cat Sacha and dog Lewis in toe, the French couple, from LaRochelle, have so far visited Switzerland, the South of France, England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Austria and Slovenia, where they’re currently taking some well-earned rest.
They plan on visiting Croatia and Italy before returning to France in September, and Florian says it was a short road trip to Switzerland that inspired them to quit their jobs and take their lives on the road.
“We first bought the van to go on holiday for a few weeks per year,” he said.
“But after our first road trip in Switzerland we decided to quit our job and to go on a bigger road trip across Europe.
“Living in a van is like living in a house, but everything is smaller. We have to cook, to tidy the van, to take the dog for a walk etcetera.
“The feeling when you wake up in new places every day is priceless. We have something new each day and we love it.
“Our daily routine is we wake up around 8am, fold out the bed, and take some time to prepare the breakfast and drink a cup of tea.
“We then clean the van and move to our next destination, where we’ll do some activities like hiking, paddling, swimming or chilling.
“Then we take some pictures and videos and try to work on our blog. We usually take a shower at night after a good day of outdoor activities, then we read or draw before sleeping.”
It took the couple six months and just under £4,000 to convert the van into what they affectionately call ‘The Travelling Shed’, before taking it on the road and covering a remarkable 26,000 miles so far.
Marion said that she’d encourage anyone considering packing up their life and seeing the world not to hold back.
“It’s a fantastic adventure,” she said.
“Don’t be afraid to quit your job and buy a campervan. We can decide each day what we do, and we can change when we want to. We can adapt our plans depending on the weather that day, or what kind of mood we’re in. The freedom is the best part.
“You have just to be aware that it’s not easy every day. You still have bad days just like in normal life.”