My 30 Day Challenge – getting my life ready for a whole new way of living…

El comienzo de la aventura de mi querida amiga, la maravillosa Selina Barker, careershift coach, co-fundadora de Career Shifters y experta en el poder del juego. Selina habla inglés y castellano entonces si quieres contactar con ella pero dudas de tu inglés, write in Spanish…che, Selina, lo vas a traducir o lo traduzco yo?? BESOS Y SUERTE!!!!!

On the 15th April I’ll be leaving London and hitting the road for 6 months to travel around the UK, living and working from a camper van, taking my friends on adventures and seeking out the most beautiful, awe-inspiring and magical places on this tiny little island.

There are 30 days until take off.

The challenges have been (and I’m still working on some of them!)…

1. Funding the life change
I got a loan. First loan ever. I tried a couple of the super cheap loans but as someone who has been enjoying the money game of living a rich life on a shoe string my credit rating doesn’t get many bank managers that excited. Finally my own bank – Smile – gave me a £10,000 loan to be paid back at £178/month over the next 3 years. With 8.7% APR (look at me getting all dull and into the detail..whoop!) the loan will end up costing me about £2500. Worth the adventure!

2. Finding a camper van within my budget that is fit for a home
I gave myself 3 weeks to research camper vans, get clear on what I wanted and then 2 weeks to shop around and buy.

But 2 weeks in and I spotted this yellow beauty on ebay and fell in love straight away. She was well within my budget, a retro Renault, pop-up roof with space to sleep and BRIGHT yellow. Hello!  I scrabbled together the loan, shot up to Norfolk to see her, got a local mechanic to check her out and made an offer on the spot. SOLD. To the excitable lady jumping up and down and squealing with delight.

So here is my new home – Beryl – she doesn’t do more than 55mph but I’m in no rush and I LOVE her. Check her out in action.

3. Kitting out the camper van and turning it into a home I love
The makeover has yet to begin, but it will involve throws, cushions, bunting, fairy lights, splashes of Frida Kahlo-style mexican kitsch, mixed in with gingham curtains and polka-dot table cloth. Then there’s all the practical stuff like clever storage and leisure batteries to power those fairylights!

4. Stripping my life down into 100 possessions
This might be totally impossible if we’re counting every knife, pair of knickers and pens. But the idea is that I reduce my life down into 100 possessions.

(this is what we’re dealing with)

5. Throwing my business into a bag
I’ve been designing and shaping my career for the past 6 years so that I can be location independent and working freestyle – no boss, no 9to5 – free to work when I want and where I want. Last year I did a lot of travel and made it work, but I was still getting the bulk of my income when I was back in London and seeing clients face to face – either 121 or in groups. It worked best for me at the time . But now I need to take my career fully online  and that has meant  rethinking what I do,  how I do it and who I do it with.

6. Turning the camper van into a travelling wifi hotspot
With my career relying on me being able to hook up to people online with skype, email, live chat and video I need to get Beryl kitted out with the latest in mobile technology. My dad is a modern-day nomad himself, living half the year on a boat as he makes his way round the world on what has so far been an epic 8 year adventure. He kits himself out with a satelite phone, iphone, laptop and mifi –  a mobile modem. He’s just been blogging daily from the Antarctic, so if he can do it from the Antarctic, I should be OK out in the Lake District.

Other than my dad I’m finding a whole lot of location independent nomadic entrepreneurs giving their own tips on keeping happily hooked up online no matter where you are.

7. Doing it on my own…or rather NOT doing it on my own

One of the most daunting things about embarking on this adventure has been the fact that I’m doing it on my own. I know nothing about cars, let alone camper vans and I have never owned anything more substantial than a tent in my whole life. I hate making practical decisions based on logic, in fact I don’t think my brain was hard wired for it at all. And I don’t want to do this adventure on my own a) because of the safety aspect and I don’t want to always be cooped up in a secure campsite –  I want to be able to enjoy the freedom of wild camping in the middle of nowhere and b) because I like sharing adventures and experiences with other people. I’m not a solo traveller. I don’t mind it for a few days but not 5 months.

And so the humbling lesson in all of this has been recognising that I’m not doing this on my own. That my friends have played as much a part in making my dream come true as I have. From helping me find and buy the perfect van to joining me on the road over the next 5 months.

So there it is. My campervan adventures. I’ll be blogging while I prepare for take off and then throughout my 6 month adventure.
Read all my camper van adventures here on my blog and come follow me and hang out on twitter @selinabarker

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