By Mark McConville
MEET the British couple who have been travelling the world in their converted van for the past four years, visiting more than 23 countries in the process and covering enough miles to circumvent the Earth THREE TIMES.
YouTubers Bee Roper and Theo Gove-Humphries (both 29), from Birmingham, UK, quit their jobs and sold all their possessions before embarking on a year-long trip through Europe.
The couple have clocked up around 78,000 miles in their £14k VWT4 as their initial year-long trip spiralled into a way of life.
Having visited France, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Monaco, Spain, Andorra, Portugal, Gibraltar, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia along the way, the adventurous pair explained why they made the initial leap.
“The idea has been with us for many years,” said Bee.
“In 2013 Theo converted a small Citroen Berlingo to wild camp around the UK in, we even ventured to France and had an amazing time. It was then that we thought about going on a year long trip, so after quitting our jobs and selling our possessions off we went.
“During this year in Europe we met many wonderful people who were travelling in self converted vans, and we itched to have a little more space and use our creativity to turn a panel van into a home.
“In the van we have travelled through as many countries in Europe as possible. We generally go with the seasons, and as we didn’t have a heater in the VW we chose to stay in places where the temperature was comfortable.
“However we fell in love with Norway so much that we ended up staying a bit too long into autumn and experienced -8C inside the van with our water, oil and tins of food freezing.”
The couple, who met when they were 16, are currently living on a 30-foot narrowboat while completing a conversion on a Mercedes Sprinter so they can live the van life again.
They explained why they love this way of life and their plans for the future.
“The freedom to explore is the driving force behind our love of travelling in a van,” added Bee.
“Wild camping gives us the opportunity to camp out in places you’d never imagine, and the benefit of being in a van means you can pack up and leave in an instant.
“Working online allows us the freedom to travel and work anywhere in the world. We are still trying to find a balance between work and life, as our life is our work. But, we massively enjoy the career we have created for ourselves, and love the freedom we have.
“Last winter we purchased a plot of land in Portugal, with a small stone barn on it. We have plans to convert it into a tiny home for us over the next couple of years, and are excited about the prospect of living off grid, growing our own food, and getting to know Portugal even better.
“This will be another massive life change for us, as we have never converted a stone building before and have lots of ideas to turn the barn into a wonderful home retreat.”
The couple make money by documenting their travels for their 200k social media followers while they also run The Alternative Living Group on Facebook with more than 24k members.
“We receive messages daily from people wanting to do it but worried about the process,” said Bee.
“The best thing we can advise people to do is just do it! It doesn’t have to be forever, you can go back to your previous lifestyle or something else if you find it doesn’t work for you. You won’t know unless you try it.
“Over the course of our travels we began to document our lifestyle for our family, firstly through a blog and eventually on our YouTube channel (The Indie Projects) as Theo is a professional filmmaker and was itching to film.
“What started as memories created for friends and family has now turned into the biggest alternative living YouTube channel in the UK, and is now our full time jobs.”
For more information see www.theindieprojects.com