Have you ever thought about trading the school run for a full time vanlife adventure? That is exactly what featured vanlifers Mum Delanie & son Qunicy decided to do in their van Penny Pilotè. What an fabulous substitution full of amazing experiences & memories to share together!
Worth every penny…
So what made Delanie decide to venture into the world of full-time vanlife with son Quincy?
Having previously been enjoying vanlife part-time, a property falling through gave Mum Delanie a life changing opportunity. A chance to visit many amazing countries with Quincy and see what the world has to offer. She decided to look for her first ever motorohome. When looking for a motorhome Delanie knew she wanted something vintage, unusual & boxy in shape and luckily she found Penny, a Pilote City Van CV60. It must have been fate, it was definitely love at first sight. Less than a week later they were headed to somewhere Quincy was desperate to visit – Scotland.
“One day I just woke up & realised that there is more to life than existing in one corner of the world & I wanted to see more & explore more”
Delanie admits full-time vanlife took some adjustment. Getting used to the motorhome water, electrics etc. She quickly realised it isn’t all perfect instagram opportunities. Speaking of which, if you want to follow their adventures you can check them out here. Very soon their travels led them overseas to Europe.
While in Portugal they stayed in a campsite high up in the mountains. The next day they were driving down the narrow winding roads to their next location. Being fairly new to motorhoming and being on the narrow roads they were taking it quite slowly. The car behind was flashing their lights and beeping their horn, but Delanie didn’t feel comfortable going any faster. It was only when there was an oncoming car on the same side of the road that Delanie realised why the car behind had been flashing. She was driving on the wrong side of the road! Even after this hair raising experience, it was still their favourite country to visit. They loved the warmth of the people, culture and rich history. Also the tolerance to the vanlife community. Quincy shares his Mum’s sentiments and his favourite part of their journey so far has been the portugese mountains. He also has lovely memories of a beautiful, happy and colourful market in Barcelona. One of his favourite things to do is in the motorhome itself and is having dancing competitions with his Mummy in the van.
The penny shaped bathroom is Delanie’s favourite feature of the motorhome. Which is just as well as she couldn’t live without the toilet in the van. She detests using public toilets, saying they give her the ick. At least having her very own throne to sit upon in Penny when nature calls means the visits to public loos are infrequent.
If you have kids, you are most likely familiar with the call of ‘I’m huuuuuunnnnnnggggrrrry’. This is no different when living full-time in the van. Quite often the pair will eat meals that are quick to make, with pasta being a firm favourite. Easy to prepare and you can throw anything you like in to mix it up. Being a foodie means Delanie will eat most things, and enjoys trying vegan, vegetarian and meat based meals in the van. However, this self professed foodie did manage to burn a pizza in the van once – happens to us all! Plus when starting out in vanlife and getting used to cooking in a van can result in some interesting meals.
Delanie is not one for fancy gadgets in the motorhome kitchen. Her must-have kitchen gadget is a can opener. Perfect for when making her featured recipe Vegan Sweetcorn Fritters.
They have a small kitchen set-up, ideal for the mum and son duo. They are kitted out with a good size fridge & freezer, an oven/grill & a 3 burner hob. The only downside is Delanie feels there isn’t a decent amount of worktop space. However, as with any resourceful vanlifer, Delanie has a solution. She uses a chopping board over the sink to get some more space while cooking. There is also a decent sized table if more space is required.
Mum and son travels
As with any big decision, it is diffcult to know whether you have done the right thing and many a sleepless night was had. The main dilemma was whether taking Quincy out of mainstream school for a life of home schooling on the road in a motorhome was the right thing to do. On reflection now, Delanie said that aside from becoming a Mum, it was the best thing she ever did. The experiences they have had has given them an unbelievable bond, and wonderful memories to cherish. One of Delanie’s highlights so far was a breathtaking drive through the French Pyranees. That was a real pinch me moment!
“I did this! – It was freaking awesome”
It’s not all smooth sailing! On their first voyage heading to Scotland there was a bit of a bump in the road – or on the head. The over cab bed hadn’t been tied up properly, resulting in it falling and landing on Delanie’s head while driving. Luckily it was a country road and not a motorway meaning they could pull over and tie it up. On a very early vanlife experience there was also a time Delanie drove away not realising they were still attached to the electric hook-up.
Sometimes the adventures are a lot closer to home & Delanie has enjoyed girlie nights in the motorhome with her friends – perfect! Delanie & Quincy managed to join us at the Vanlife Eats Big Picnic in 2022 and it was great to meet them and Penny in person!
Advice for fellow vanlifers
Vanlife has made me feel alive and refreshed. Being close to nature makes you realise what’s important in life. Having done this journey alone with my son has made me feel empowered and proud of myself. Just be prepared – vanlife isn’t always as glamorous as it looks on Insta!
Where to find our featured vanlifers
Facebook: Mum And Son Travels
Do you travel full time with kids, or are you thinking about it check out previous featured vanlife family The Howls, who also travel full time with their children.If you are based in the UK and thinking of travelling with children and want to home school, here is some advice from GOV.UK.
If based in the US you can find some useful information here.
Some great resources listed here for those of you in Canada.
Australian vanlifers can get more information about home schooling children here.
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