Vantastic Kate UlmanEver dreamt of selling all you own and buying a home on wheels to travel in? Well that is the extreme dream that I sometimes have, normally when I have been on vacation and realise how easy it actually is to survive, even enjoy life with just a few essential belongings nearby. But if we can just calm things down, there is always the idea of keeping a home and investing in a camper van too.

For me the excitement comes initially from the idea of designing and decorating the interior of my tiny travelling paradise snug. Then preparing food out in the wilds with rolling hills or cliff top views, while I cook a one pot wonder on a tiny gas stove. Mornings spent boiling up coffee in my soot marked silver espresso pot and toasting bread and marshmallows on an open fire.

This lovely book – Vantastic by blogger and expert camper van owner Kate Ulman, is packed full of valuable information on just how to achieve the dream, including etiquette, hosting film nights, food on the move, craft projects, travelling with kids and everything else you could want to know about mini road trips cross country for a week or six months as Kate did.

Some of the ideas are just so damn cute and we will have to try them out in our own back yard! Cue an evening with ‘the best lentil bolognese’ an outdoor movie and some twinkling hand punched tin can lanterns. I was lucky enough to ask Kate a few questions which she answers here for us.

1. How long did it take to renovate your camper van?
Probably about six months, although we owned her for about six months before we started work. She sat in the driveway, the girls used her as a cubby house and every spare chance we got we painted and measured and glued and dreamed.

2. Is there one spot you like to keep revisiting?
There is a tiny little town about two hours drive from here with a caravan park right on the beach and we just love it there. Every time we visit we make up stories of what our lives would be like if we moved in. We would become beachy us. Our hair would get blond streaks, we would wear pastel clothes and sandals and the girls would have surfing lessons after school. There are a few shops, a couple of cafes and one of the most incredible thrift shops I have ever seen, and the beach is calm and private and gorgeous but only a short walk to a big wild surf beach. I am counting down the weeks until we can get back there.

3. What do you all do to keep spirits up if it rains three days in a row?
Move onto some where else – Have UNO championships – Set up the caravan like a mini home theatre with the imac as the screen, lots of cushions and blankets and popcorn and fairy lights.

4. How often do you pack up and hit the road?
It really depends on what is going on on our farm. In winter when it is quiet here we can go for weeks at a time, whereas in summer and autumn we have to make do with a weekend here and there.

5. Favourite fire side meal?
I really love every meal that is eaten by a roaring fire. Somehow the flavours are more intense and delicious. But the stand outs would be individual foil parcels of fish and tomatoes and olives and herbs, barbecued tofu and salad wraps and grilled vegetable kebabs.

You can keep up with Kate and all her new adventures over at Fox’s Lane, and Vantastic is £16.99 and available now in the UK from Hardie Grant Books.

  • Nana Diana
    September 4, 2013

    What a fun post. We are working on an old GMC motorhome and hope to have it done for next Spring. xo Diana

    • Jeska
      September 9, 2013

      amazing Diana, good luck with the renovation project, hope you get it mobile soon!

  • Brittany | The Home Ground
    September 4, 2013

    Eric and I have found ourselves dreaming of this lifestyle lately! I think for us, it would only ever be temporary, we both like to feel rooted and have a home base. But, it is in our 5-year hopes to get a camper and travel the countryside!

    • Jeska
      September 9, 2013

      Exactly Brittany, we are very much the nesting type too but would love to be free in a camper van to nip off and explore our country at the weekends x