A COUPLE found an innovative way to cut their mounting bills – by emptying their house and moving into a seven-ton truck.
Catherine, 52, and Chris, 50, gave up their nine-to-five times and decided to travel the world – bringing their new camper van with them for the ride.
The couple, who have been together for 13 years, found renters for their suburban home and sold most of their belongings as they transitioned into their new lifestyle.
They could “escape bills” and drive into the sun in their truck, named Florry.
They bought the truck with a £15,000 loan and spent a further £10,000 converting it into a daily home.
It is equipped with an open living, dining and sleeping area with a separate shower and toilet room.
But despite saying they’re happier than ever now, Catherine admitted, “I was scared when we said we were going to do it, but I knew we couldn’t go on like this.”
The couple had a family of five from previous relationships, but said the move was “all about timing.”
The mum told Wales Online: “My girls were leaving home and Chris’ children, who have a full-time home with their mum, said they would rather spend the holidays with us than the weekends, so we decided that the time would be better.” was ripe.
“We both like scuba diving and were in Menorca where one of our instructors invited us to her home in what turned out to be a truck!
“That planted the seed and when we got back to England we just thought we could do the same.”
Catherine, a part-time secondary school teacher, said Chris’ arduous career in IT was another motivation for the move.
“We knew we couldn’t and didn’t want to continue like this as Chris was depressed and stressed from the long hours he was working, we were both exhausted and because the needs of the family were changing we both said, ‘Leave it then do it to us,’” she said.
“We’ve always holidayed in motorhomes but knew they were too small to live in and not always so well built so we started looking for a truck and soon found Florry on eBay in November 2017.
“It was only the third truck we’ve looked at, so it all happened pretty quickly.”
But after a successful first ‘test drive’ trip to France in March 2019, their bold plans were quickly called into question when Florry collapsed.
Waiting a week in a garage for their house to be repaired left them both homeless and forced them to break up with their family.
“We hadn’t planned it and were glad she collapsed during the test run and not when we finally left the UK a good two months later,” Catherine said.
In May, their vision was back on track — and they hit the open road alongside their chocolate Labrador, Rolo.
The couple then traveled around Europe for seven months, going to France, Spain, Menorca, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium, sleeping on the side of the road or paying for the night in parking lots.
“WEIGHT OFF YOUR SHOULDERS”
Finally away from his stressful career, Chris says life in the truck has been the ideal escape from the stresses of modern life.
He said: “When we left London we gave away so much after emptying a four bedroom house that we suddenly realized we didn’t need all those material things.
“It’s a load off your shoulders getting rid of everything and there’s nothing I miss now.
“I have photos on one side of the truck and for me my memories are my photos now. I don’t need all these possessions.
When I go back to London and see people living in the hamster wheel, I realize I just don’t want it anymore – I’m so much happier
“We also eat a lot healthier. You can’t just order takeout and we don’t really eat out as we are on a budget.
“I sleep much better and think it’s great that we’ve simplified everything. We are less stressed, which of course makes everything a lot easier.”
The duo now hope to maintain their nomadic lifestyle for as long as possible.
Catherine said: “This is truly our last window of opportunity to do this before we have responsibilities to family members again.
“There is no fixed plan. It would be nice if we could enjoy this lifestyle for five or six years, but we are very flexible.
“The only thing I know is that I never want to get rid of Florry, so she will always be part of our future plans. She’s part of the family now.”
https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/20483473/we-save-thousands-on-bills-by-living-in-lorry/ We save thousands on bills by living in a lorry – it’s not conventional but we get to travel the world