Time to turn your dream of life on the open road into a plan?
It’s a question that’s not only crossed the mind of every motorhome owner – but a sizeable proportion of the population at large: Could I really sell up and live on the open road full-time in a motorhome?
Well, the short answer is yes. Some people do it and change their lifestyle for good, so it is definitely achievable.
Predictably, the longer, more considered, answer is more involved and less emphatic. For the right person, it can be a wholly liberating experience. But there are lots of ifs and buts to consider before making such a drastic move.
So just what inspires the dream in the first place? The word you will hear more than any other is ‘freedom’. There is something about escaping normal life and taking an alternative route that just appeals to the explorer in us. Waking in fresh surroundings, with fewer restrictions and commitments, where the treadmill of commute-work-mortgage seems a million miles away. It’s not hard to understand why it has such a powerful pull for many.
Yet the common perception of ceaseless travel, with no long-term home, is not accurate in most cases. Sure, there are some genuine nomads, who never truly settle, preferring a new horizon each day. But this accounts for relatively few full-time motorhome owners.
Far more people choose to split their time between two or three longer-term bases. For instance, spending summer in the UK and winter in a warmer climate, such as Spain or Portugal. It’s a hugely appealing way to enjoy the best that each country can offer: avoiding the searing Mediterranean summers or freezing British winters.
This type of lifestyle, relatively easy to achieve just a few years ago, faces more challenges today, thanks to two main factors: Brexit and Covid-19.
Assuming a return to some form of post-vaccine normality, it is likely that Covid restrictions will be short-lived in the scheme of things. Indeed, the experience of this pandemic is sure to fuel a resurgence in the passion for travel for millions. And while Brexit may mean some additional planning, for example with healthcare, pets and permits for longer stays, it will certainly not prevent thousands from pursuing this lifestyle in future.
The third category of permanent motorhome resident are those who find a site they love and simply stay there, as an alternative to buying a house. While not chasing the same dream as many on the road, this type of existence is certainly achievable for those that want it.
So, let’s consider a few practicalities when embarking on a motorhome life on the open road. Firstly, they cost far less on average than a house. This puts it within reach of thousands who simply cannot see a way to owning their own home, or even renting in many cases. Of course, budgets vary hugely depending on the type of motorhome and age/condition. But for those committed to the idea, they usually find the means to make it happen. And of course, once acquired, your motorhome is likely to require far less general upkeep and maintenance than a traditional house and garden.
Secondly, it need not mean quitting your job or losing your ability to earn. One major lesson of Covid is that many, if not most, jobs can now be performed remotely. So, for millions of us, switching from a traditional home to a motorhome can be achieved while maintaining a reasonable income.
Thirdly, as technology advances, the concerns many share over losing contact with friends and family diminish rapidly. Living on the road these days does not mean being cut off – unless that is your choice. For most, it simply means a different type of contact and communication. Indeed, in an age when fewer of us live close to our parents or grown-up children, life in a motorhome can often mean greater ease of personal contact than the opposite.
Embracing the life
Many who embrace the motorhome life actually find their social circles broadening and improving. For those in middle age upwards, traditional life ‘indoors’ can be increasingly quiet as older socialising habits give way to home entertainment. By contrast, those in motorhomes inevitably meet more new neighbours and acquaintances.
For millions, life on the open road will continue to be a part-time passion, to be enjoyed in conjunction with a more conventional way of life. Yet for those with the belief and desire, there is no reason why a dream of real freedom cannot become a reality. If you have a passion for seeing new places, meeting new people and waking to new horizons, it could just prove your best ever decision.