We started doing van trips about 6 years ago. At the time we had a small transit connect. We are only small, but our feet were almost always under the front seats. Our van 'Mick' was great... but we always had a dream to own something bigger...a VW of sorts.
Deciding that saving for a mortgage was not for us, one Sunday, we hatched a plan with our oldest friend Lloyd : We became property guardians in Brighton. We all saved as much money as we could for the next 2 years to invest in our dream vans ( living in a 50 bedroom old peoples' home on the way: It way an experience we'll never forget. )
We eventually found our van... a 2004 T5... 'Marcel D'accord' ... (for some reason he was always going to be French )
Lloyd invested in a Mercedes Vito.
We kept our vans simple for space, doing all the work ourselves. Simple wooden interior and some shelves to house our stuff. We like to travel light. And the more we travel, the less we need. It's all about the adventure.
After spending time travelling around the UK, mostly in the West Country looking for surf, we decided that a trip down the west coast of France & Spain would be the next step. We followed Lloyd's route from a previous trip, but this time, there were the 4 of us... The Wolf Pack was born.
Jonny is a videographer and had always wanted to make a film about vanlife. He'd come across a poem by Edgar Albert Guest which summed up our reason for doing the trip: 'I might have been rich.......'
Our highlights... First night, accidentally driving into the Festival of Ile de Re... probably one of the most beautiful places we've woken up... Silent, secluded, and great coffee from the beach bar ( if you can speak good French! )
Lacanau - Midnight skates down the front and cheese at Cafe Maritime ( Vince - The friendly barman - was our host with the most! #hero )
Hossegar - Watching the stars, beach side, avec bbq on an almost empty beach.
San Sebastian - After an hour or so of getting used to city life. traffic wardens & new found travellers, we had the best tapaswe ever had... #Pincho & wine under the steps of The Torreón de Igeldo
Then to Biarritz, where Lloyd was lucky enough to find a space on the coast... no payments, just pure vanlife.
After this, we all slowly headed north back home. We stopped overnight on the island of Ile de Re again... we rocked up late to Les Maraises, but were warmly welcomed (even though they had a family bbq night on ). We will always remember their generosity and kindness with letting us stay, especially after so many parking tickets... we ate, showered, and headed home...
The drive back north was long... and gave us time to recollect on our trip. After only 9 days, we had found a way of existing and living with our friends in a way we'd never even expected. All we can do is hope for more.
Thank you to everyone we met on our way for being so accomodating and inspiring. Follow our adventures below!
Website is www.jonpurchase.co.uk
Instagram is @jon_doublexair