VISITORS

Fresh Air. Issue 02.

Rolling Home With Lauren and Calum

Adventure seeking couple, Lauren and Calum, have made most people's dream a reality. They have been driving all over Europe, and the best part is they have made their van the most incredible home. Lauren and Calum are full time Visitors, and after hearing their story, its a dream come true.

1) What was it like when you both agreed to take on this adventure? What made you decide to start this adventure?

We always loved to travel and being in the outdoors, even from an early age. Calum spent his holidays in a camper van with his family, and I used to go camping in France with mine. We started to spend our summers in Calum's first van, which was a red Nissan Vanette. That gave us the first taste of van life. Once we got The Rolling Home, we always loved the idea of being able to just get away, and the van allowed us to do this. We have all our essentials in our little home.  All we need to pack is our clothes and some food and we can be on the road.

 

2) What was it like to let go of "a normal day-to-day life" and curate your own definition of life?

Since I left school, I always worked in an office, and I definitely didn't have a passion for it. Calum was at uni and set up Stokedeversince as a personal blog to share his photography and films from our travels. He eventually turned it into a company.  After a couple of years, I left my office job and we started working together! It was a tough decision to come to.  I was constantly over thinking about money and not being able to pay our bills etc, but it started to work and now we are in the most incredible position that we didn't think would be possible.

 

3) What's been the most rewarding thing you've gotten out of these experiences?

Life on the road is so much simpler. We have very little possessions when we are in the rolling home, and we don't feel like we are being weighed down. We feel much healthier in the van too.  We eat fresh food every day, as we can't really keep anything for more than a couple of days.  We spend our days walking and exploring where we are. 

I've also learned that life doesn't have to be so structured, you don't have to work a 9-5 and have a 2 week holiday every year. You can live off a small amount of money, in a small space and be perfectly happy and comfortable.

 

4) Has there ever been any second guesses? Or ever find it difficult?

We wouldn't say we have had too many difficult times.  But when we broke down in South of France due to our alternator giving up, it was around 35 degrees, near St Tropez which isn't very van friendly. We spent 3 days just outside of Cannes searching for an alternator. It is a simple part that we could fit ourselves, but we were quoted over 800 euros, so had to sit tight until we could have one sent out to us. When it arrived we fitted it in under 10 minutes and were back on the road. Harder times really make it worthwhile when you have incredible days like waking up in Sweden, with no one around and having an endless beach to yourself! There were too many days like this to count.

 

5)What's been your favorite place you've gone to? 

We have a few favorite places when we are in the van. Our go to place is Hossegor in SW France. We have been going there every summer for the past 6 years, even if it is just to pass through and say hello to the place!  We love Galicia in Northern Spain.  It is the most incredible coastline, and really is the perfect place for campervans. Our all-time favorite place to visit is Sweden. We spent around 4 weeks exploring the South Coast and up to Stockholm, and we fell in love. We have been back several times since, but we cannot wait to explore more. The country is set up for outdoor and van living. There have been several spots where we were the only ones there, with the Baltic in front of us, white sand beside us and a pine forest in the background!

 

6)Did living in such a small place change the way you look at your belongings and what you think is necessary?

Definitely! We have a good amount of storage in the van for the absolute essentials. We each have a small drawer for our clothes and the remaining space is for necessities, like toiletries and blankets and camping gear! When we came back to the UK from one of our trips, we decided to rent a little cottage. After 18 months we started to get comfortable and it agitated us! We accumulated so many things after a short period of time that we knew it was time for a change.  We needed to get back to living simply.

 

7) What does "Fresh Air" mean to you?

Fresh Air to us is the feeling of living an outdoors lifestyle! We love the idea of feeling free. The idea of not having to look at your phone and emails every day. Being able to explore different places and cultures, and staying in spots that you would never be able to if you didn't have a campervan. 

8)Do you think mentally these experiences have changed you for the better? 

I think it has made us and our relationship stronger. It shows us that we don't need to live a life like the norm. We have been together for nearly 9 years, and we had no idea that we would end up working together and spending our time in a campervan. We can depend on each other, and after living in such a small space together, we know each other inside out. We are our happiest when we are in the rolling home and away from everything. 

9)Can you describe the feeling when you see new scenery, or on the road to a new destination?

A whole mix of emotions really! We have so many places on our wish list that when we eventually go to these places there is so much to take in. Excitement - to find yet another beautiful place and have so much to explore. Sometimes we can feel quite anxious, there have been plenty of times when it is getting dark and we have not yet found a place to stay for the night. But mainly just happiness. We are our happiest on the road, and seeing new places really just gives us a sense of freedom. Nothing can beat it really.

 

10) What would you say to someone wishing they could start the life they've always wanted? 
You just need to take that leap and go for it! It may not work out how you expected but you just have to try it! We are here for such a small amount of time, there really is no time for regrets. We did it and it has completely changed our lives. 

All photos belong to Lauren Smith and Calum Creasey. 

Want to learn more about their awesome adventures?

Instagram: Lauren- @LOZZSMITH. Calum: @CALUMCREASEY

Make sure you check out their new book, ROLLING HOME