After tying the knot in May 2019, Ross and Sarah Barrett packed their bags and went on their honeymoon.
But it wasn’t the usual hotel vacation you might imagine.
Instead, the couple rented their cottage in Devon for £ 800 a month and embarked on a two-year adventure in their campervan, joined by their son Riley, five, and black Labrador Maui .
Since leaving, the team’s “family moon” has seen them travel through France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Bulgaria.
Now, back home, the parents have realized that they enjoy the trip so much that they are planning to switch to van life for good.
Ross, who previously worked as a commando in the Royal Marine, said: “Every day was an adventure, really.
“Every time you open the door of the van you’re in a different place, you don’t know what’s going to happen.
“We decided we wanted to have a great adventure and we also wanted to spend quality time together as a family, that’s what inspired everything.
“Our slogan became ‘Every day is a Saturday’ because we got married, left work and rented our chalet to spend quality family time enjoying each day as if it were a Saturday.
“It was a big decision because I obviously had a secure job with a secure income and then stopping that when you also have expenses is a pretty big step.
“We rented the house while we were away to finance everything. We kicked off the ball, I put my review in and tied it up after our wedding so we went on our two year honeymoon!
“Everyone thought we were crazy and that we wouldn’t last more than a few weeks.
“Two years later anyone can see the benefits and we absolutely loved every minute of it. It was the best decision we could have made.
The family’s new lifestyle is unconventional, but they love it.
The motorhome that serves as their home is ‘super small’, with just sleeping space inside, which means parents have to cook and shower outside.
They were able to afford the adventure simply by renting their chalet. Their income of £ 800 per month covers all their expenses including their phone bill, van insurance, vehicle tax, van fuel, food, ice cream, beer, wine, laundry and the occasional AirBnB.
They had already bought the motorhome in 2014 for just £ 6,000.
As you can imagine, their version of the lockdown was pretty dreamy.
“It’s the best thing we’ve ever done, especially with the pandemic,” Sarah said.
“We would have just been stuck at the house and instead we walked alone on the beaches!”
While other Brits were locked inside, the family strolled the beaches, fished for dinner on the Mediterranean coast, and explored sea caves on a paddle board large enough for the whole family (including the dog) .
With another lockdown looming in Italy, they headed to Turkey, then Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy again and finally France, where Ross and Sarah celebrated their wedding anniversary in the Lake Annecy.
The Barretts returned to England in June 2021 to await the summer months again and will begin the third year of their adventure in September.
Sarah’s sister Jules, who has terminal cancer, has also purchased a motorhome and will join the family on their adventure with her partner Will and their dog Taffy.
Not intending to return to their old life, Ross and Sarah have fully embraced the nomadic lifestyle.
Ross said: “We are teaching Riley at home right now and have no plans to change that – we love our new lifestyle and he is learning so much through our adventures.
“It was a big decision to quit my job, but looking back it was the best thing we could have done. Adventures before prostheses! ‘
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