Meet featured vanlifers Xanthe, Martin and Reggie of @rvhomesoon.
The trio have been exploring Europe in their van Pablo. Be sure to follow them on Insta @rvhomesoon and their blog https://rvhomesoon.com to keep up-to-date with their adventures. Also make sure to check out their ‘review my shower’ features on Insta and TikTok to see the best and worst campsite showers.
Why did our featured vanlifers Xanthe & Martin decide to live the vanlife?
The couple really loved the idea of leading a minimalist lifestyle. One where they could roam anywhere with their home on wheels seemed pretty ideal to them. Just like any true Brit, they knew living this way would mean they were never too far from a perfectly brewed cuppa either.
The other main reason they wanted to travel and explore in this way is their beloved dog Reggie. Those of you with pets appreciate what a massive role they have in your life. Xanthe and Martin didn’t want to be without him, so the best solution was to take him along too! This way their 4 legged friend is with them every step of the way and can join the vanlifers on their adventures.
Experiences of our featured vanlifers…
Well these guys had been travelling full-time across Europe in their van. They returned to the UK to get Pablo his MOT and some repairs completed. Until the situation with the pandemic eases they are pretty much grounded, but are eager to get back on the road to adventure as soon as they are able to.
The highlights of their vanlife travels so far include visiting Scotland. When here they were brave enough to swim in freezing cold fairy pools at sunrise on the Isle of Skye. They also visited the Smoo caves in the Scottish Highlands. The pair managed to enjoy them completely to themselves as due to the torrential rain, there was nobody else brave enough to venture out!
Another highlight for Xanthe and Martin was parking up lakeside at Lac d’Annecy and debuting their paddleboard.
One thing we think may not be on their highlight list however, was trying to find an open launderette on a Sunday! The couple noticed a nasty smell in their van one Sunday morning in France. Originally they thought it was the filter in the air vents. Much to their horror, they soon realised cutie Reggie was the culprit! Turns out the little fella had decided to cover himself in fox poo – that stuff is like nectar to pooches. He then decided he loved it so much he wanted to share it with his adoring hoomans – ALL OVER THE VAN! Reggie was promptly rushed out for a sponge and bucket bath, much to his disgust. Poor Xanthe & Martin had to wait until first thing the next day for the launderette to wash everything they owned – oops!
During their adventures to Spain they met up with previous featured vanlifers Laura & Benedict! They enjoyed morning yoga sessions, hiking in the afternoon and toasted marshmallows over a campfire in the evenings. (Knowing Laura & Benedict we can imagine there were oats involved at some point too!)
We spied on their Instagram they found an abandoned gold mine in Rodalquilar to park up which looked awesome. Abandoned buildings always have such an air of mystery surrounding them.
What do these featured vanlifers like to eat?
Martin & Xanthe are vegetarian and enjoy a variety of vegetarian and vegan meals when on their travels. One of their recipes was very popular on Instagram with others attempting it. This recipe is on their blog and we are very pleased they decided to share it with us. Keep an eye on their blog for new recipes (there is a dedicated page for them!) For now though, here is how you can recreate their Vegan Mushroom & ale pie – Omnia style.
This recipe is a favourite for them to make together. Martin deals with the complicated pastry cutting, not an easy thing to manage with the Omnia oven. Xanthe is in charge of the delicious filling. Another favourite meal Xanthe likes to make is Sweet Potato Risotto. It’s her go-to meal in the van and she says she has made it so many times she could manage it with her eyes closed.
That doesn’t mean the duo have escaped their share of cooking disasters. Once Xanthe decided to ‘wing it’ when baking some banana bread. She didn’t use any scales for measuring. This unfortunately resulted in a volcano of banana bread all over the van kitchen.
Xanthe & Martin’s van kitchen…
When preparing to move into a home on wheels, the couple realised it would be difficult to fit all their kitchen items into their new home. They came up with a plan to reduce the items they planned to take on their travels. When cooking at home they looked at the items they didn’t use on a day to day basis such a blender, slow cooker, many pans etc. From this they were able to strip back and decide on the things that were essential for them to take with them.
One of their favourite features in their van kitchen is the slide-out pantry. They do confess it is more of a pull out pantry rather than a sliding one these days and may benefit from a little WD40. Their favourite kitchen accessory is their stove top coffee maker which helps them get a kick start to the day. Although it takes a while to perfect their coffee they say it is definitely worth it.
Xanthe says that her favourite thing about cooking in the van is that there is always a new view to look at whilst cooking. A vanlife perk for sure! She also likes to be the one to cook because it means Martin has to do the washing up.
What’s in these vanlifer’s pantry?
We always like to know what are our featured vanlifers essential food items they make sure are well stocked. Here’s what Xanthe & Martin like to make sure they have in their van:
What’s next for Xanthe & Martin?
Both are keen to get back to adventuring with Reggie in Pablo. On their list of places to visit are Scandinavia & Greece. We are sure there are also many showers to be rated along the way. As well as morning yoga sessions with Laura & Benedict – even if they have to be virtual for now. Be sure to follow them to see where they head to next and what they think of the showers…
What advice do our featured vanlifers have for fellow vanlifers?
Xanthe & Martin recommend getting a good dustpan and brush – vanlife essential. When parked by the beach they said they would easily sweep 6 times a day.
Always double check everything is strapped down before setting off. They have had their fair share of the contents of their cupboards spilling out as they’re driving.
Finally, the unplanned adventures are often the best ones!!
Find our featured vanlifers here: