There are plans afoot for 2018, and they are big ones!
I have managed to secure a sabbatical from work for an entire year, starting in April and preparations are already underway.
So far I have booked paragliding lessons in Spain and a Kitesurf Trip to Morrocco, after which I plan to pop back home for a few days or so and then head out on a roadtrip all the way round Europe, everywhere from Andorra to Finland and Greece!
I know so little about Eastern European countries in particular that if anyone has any suggestions then please post them below, I am trying to not plan everything to the last detail so I can take whatever opportunities come my way. But if, on my return, I were to discover an awesome place not far from the route I had travelled I’d be pretty disappointed.
I will write a more in depth post about why I’m going at another time, but for now I just want to talk a little about the vehicle I’ll be travelling in…
I absolutely adore my van! I have had it for a few years, so when this road trip came up I knew it needed a spruce up. So, off came the body kit and I swapped the wheels for something a little smaller (that can be re-tyred much cheaper). The paint had got pretty knackered too as the orange had been done quite poorly, so I rubbed it back and primed where necessary and sent it off to my friend Sarah for a masterpiece. She hadn’t painted a vehicle before and absolutely relished the opportunity! You can see some close up shots of the amazing detail she’s put in there in the slideshow below.
I figured if I’m going to get it repainted then I should get something that reflects me and my interests. I think that much more love and care went into this than if it had been any old job for a stranger and I would have played it much safer rather than going for a mural.
I went for Rust-Oleum CombiColour as it is a Primer and Paint all in one and it come is a whole variety of colours, but selected to just buy the primary colours plus black and white because otherwise we would have had too large a quantity of paint and it would have cost so much more.
One thing to note, all lacquers say that you should sand back the paint to get a good bond. Because the paint thickness varies with the mural I didn’t do this. I made sure it was as clean as possible before lacquering it with Rust-Oleum rattle tin gloss primer. We shall see how it holds up!
In the next few weeks I need to get a towbar fitted (for the bike rack) and do a trial weekend with all my stuff to see how living in it will be and iron out as many kinks as possible in my packing plan.
If any of you have done similar trips before and have any tips for solo travel anywhere in Europe, or how to efficiently live out of a van, then please let me know in the comments below
Massive thanks to Sarah for the work and the photos in the slideshow.