There is no going back for Karen & Myles
Today you can read about Karen & Myles, who lived as full-timers for four years, and they do not going back to ”that MATRIX life style”.
We now leave the space in this post to Karens word and their joint story. Enjoy!
Karen & Myles
We are Karen and Myles, lovingly known as The Motoroamers; a pair in their early 50s who are set on loving life and exploring this precious world. We are from UK although after four years on the road, Europe is now our home. Our history is like so many; stressful businesses, working long hours and selling our souls to the corporate devil. Tired and ill we decided to make some serious changes to our lifestyle. For a while we were comfortable in our new stressless life, although there was something missing. After a six-week trip in New Zealand in a motorhome, we realised it was travel. And so we hatched a Gap-Year Plan, which soon evolved into a permanent life on the road. In March 2016, our lives changed forever and we now share our passion for travel and motorhome life through our blog motoroaming.com.
Scoobie is a four year old, 7.5m Pilote 740c. We bought him from new, collecting him on 19 December 2015. Since then we have done 50,000 miles and travelled through 21 countries. Scoobie gives us everything we need for a comfortable life. We have learnt that what you need is different to what you want – and I really need my juicer and NutriBullet blender! In addition we have an inverter, both a portable and fixed solar panel that eases our love for wild camping. We also have electric bikes and a drone, although the kayak has been relegated to our storage. Given our challenges around payload, like many others, we have made many compromises to keep weight compliant. We adore Scoobie and he is everything we could wish for. Although if we could change anything, it would only be giving him a 4×4 capacity so we could go off road a bit more.
Stress masked the passion to explore
Going full-time was never a dream. Our vision was to create a self-sufficient lifestyle on a farm with donkeys, pigs and a greenhouse. Although this was just not fulfilling enough for us. Our curiosity and desire to explore was stronger than the need to settle down. Stress had simply masked this passion. So six weeks into our gap-year, I realised that this is what I wanted to do forever – and as a girl who needed four walls to feel rooted, there was no one who was more surprised than me. Life is now about exploration, personal growth, learning about this magnificent world we live in and making the most of every single day. Tomorrow is not guaranteed and after years of stress and hard work, we allow ourselves the pleasure of this lifestyle and we will continue for as long as we can and desire.
Constantly learning and growing
Life on the road has changed us both in different ways. As an introvert I flourish in my freedom to be creative and my new vocation of writing books and blogs. Myles is thriving on having fun with his videos and has fulfilled his desire to live with choice. Of course the stresses of life still linger and can take their toll, although generally we are happier and more authentic. Experiencing different cultures gives us a new appreciation for life and the amount of simplicity and freedom we have has truly liberated us. We have adapted to living and working in small space and are now able to work through issues with less drama and intensity. Life isn’t perfect – I don’t think perfect exists. We flow with life and, through the people we meet, are constantly learning and growing. I believe this is how life is meant to be.
Influencers and rental properties
Engrained with a strong work ethic, we knew retiring was not for us. So we evolved as digital nomads, developing a blog and Social Media channels to inspire other people to travel. That keeps us busy a majority of the time – too much sometimes. Whilst it doesn’t pay us much money, it is what we love to do. In-between blogging, Myles runs our Share portfolio and Rental Properties in the UK. And I continue to run my Coaching Practice and writing my latest book – A Pathway to Happiness. These give us our income structure and enable us to live comfortably. Our lifestyle is so much simpler; in fact we have cut our expenses by 50% from our old lives. The only thorn in our sides is our storage. Given we were initially only away for a year, we stored a lot of our possessions and have to pay a princely sum for the pleasure.
Mostly wild camping
In our first year on the road, our ‘homes’ were generally campsites and Aires with the odd wild spot thrown in. Wind forward four years and now we mostly wild camp. It’s not just a financial consideration. Of course money has a part to play, although it is about freedom not free. Having the choice of view, peace or natural location is liberating. Of course campsites do feature in our lifestyle when we need to park up and rest or do practical jobs, although this is probably only once a month. We can be off-grid for at least five days at a time without services; armed with our portable solar panel even in winter wilding is our ‘go to’ option. And from a girl who used to need four walls, this is still a huge surprise to me. We are both introverts so wild camping really suits our personalities and need for space and introspection.
Miles after miles
We drive around 12000 miles pa and find those miles are so easy in Europe. Oh, except for Italy where the roads are awful. There’s no road we won’t try, even if it does make our bottoms clench. Give us Transfagarsan, Stelvio or Trollstigen, we are generally up for it. As a general rule we avoid motorways and tolls; mostly because these roads are about speed not exploration. So you will find us weaving through small towns and villages, stumbling upon unknown beauty. Our philosophy is definitely about getting off the beaten track. So you will see us in places and countries that the tourists generally don’t go with plans in the future for some Overland Experiences! We have few plans, just a general vision and tend to forge a route week by week, which again, for a self-confessed obsessive planner in my former life, is another shock to my system.
Had our fair share of issues
One of the dark sides of life on the road is the challenge of breakdowns and faults. And in four years we’ve certainly had our fair share of issues. In fact as I write this, we are in a hotel in Sitges in Spain awaiting a repair on our radiator. We hate being without Scoobie. So we have learnt to take things as they come and we use our Breakdown Insurance and our network of experts ‘out there’ to help us. It does come in handy when your partner is a bit nifty with mechanics. Although the problems we have encountered never once have had us wishing to return to our ‘old lives’. We have accepted that this is just part of life. It’s not a dream life, it’s real life.
Adventures in the future
Our Gap-year in March 2016 took us on an adventure into Europe and into ourselves – yet when we passed our six week marker, I knew it would be more than a year. I fell in love with the lifestyle. In terms of where we see ourselves in the future, who knows. We will travel for as long as forever blesses us with, although Brexit may have something to say about that! Eventually! Now travel flows through our veins and whilst in the future there may be a house as a base in Europe somewhere, we don’t see ourselves returning to that MATRIX style life. It’s just not us. We have evolved and there is ‘no going back’. So for now, we enjoy where we are in the present, with half an eye on adventures to Canada, Georgia, Japan and South Africa, although that’s for tomorrow.
Travel as far as you can, as often as you can, for as long as you can – just travel
I constantly amaze myself by how much my life has changed, how much I have changed. It has been the most enriching experience of my life and, however long we are fortunate to keep doing what we do, I will always be grateful. We love what we see and the stories we can tell others through our Seriously Entertaining Travel blogs, vlogs and resources. It feels the most ‘right’ thing we have ever done in our lives – oh except for getting married 30 years ago – of course! I have grown, we have grown, our minds have grown and our confidence has grown. We have so much to be grateful for; for the people who have come into our lives, the cultures we have learnt about, the journeys that we have taken. For it all, we are truly blessed.
The images are private, taken by Karen & Myles