By Aliki Kraterou
Meet the globetrotters who converted their £1,000 minivan into a cosy home on the wheels.
Ben Fuery, 26 and Lucy Pinell, 24, from Hayle, Cornwall spent 10 months and £5000 transforming their 2002 LVD Convoy and travelled in 25 countries.
The couple knew they wanted to travel and see the world so after their graduation in 2015, they worked tirelessly over the summer, saving up to buy their dream van.
Ben used to work as a chef and Lucy used to run her own Airbnb but they are now work on the road as photographers and filmmakers- they are able to live on £20 a day.
They have also decorated their van with items they pick up along the way- Indian sheets from Ben’s backpacking trip around India, a handwoven rug from a Greek salesman, a Mexican blanket on the bed and Thai elephant patterned curtains.
Lucy said: “Ben wanted to visit the Middle East and I have always wanted to see more of Europe- we’d both always fancied the idea of owning and travelling in a van so it was only a matter of time until our ideas came together and we ended up buying a van.
“The conversion wasn’t easy as we knew basically nothing about DIY and the van we’d bought was rusty, leaky and covered in tie dye spray paint, so every process was a learning curve.
“As money was tight we used a lot of reclaimed and upcycled materials such as pallet wood, coffee sacks, scraps of plywood and driftwood for decoration.
“Our life on the road to us feels like we are living our real lives, doing what we want to be doing and pursuing our passions, whereas when we’re back in the UK it feels like our lives are on hold while we save up money for the next trip.
“Living in a van also enables us to save money quicker when we’re working, as we have no electric, water or council tax bills to pay, just diesel for the tank- all of our power is generated by solar or when driving, and we fill up our water tanks from taps or springs.
“Things don’t always go smoothly, though; there’s always things to fix, engine maintenance to be done, and a lot of cleaning and tidying, but these are all fair trade-offs for a life on the road.
The pair are going back to their hometown to work over the summer and save some money and then they are back on the road.
They have travelled to 25 countries so far, across Europe, as East as Ukraine and as far South as Greece.
Their van has enabled them to live completely off the grid as it has a gas oven and cooker, heating and hot water, a shower, a fridge and a toilet, a solar panel on the roof, leisure batteries and big water tanks.
Their next trip will be a seven – month road trip across the Balkans, including 13 countries in between and after that they will heading to Asia.
They added:“Our van has taken us to places we could’ve never imagined an LDV minibus would go and she continues to be our reliable companion on this journey.
“For us, challenge is what makes life worth living, a chance to push ourselves further and build character, and although we don’t always appreciate it when a situation goes wrong we always come out the other side stronger and wiser.
“Our aim is to continue travelling the world, telling the stories of the people we meet and working remotely to fund our lifestyle, and as such we have big ambitions for our lives. “