Most of us dream of packing in our job and changing our lives, but most of us rarely do.
One man who had the guts to do it waved goodbye to his old life in Sheffield and given away all of his possessions to travel the world in a 10-year-old converted van.
Bored with his conventional life in Britain, systems engineer Mike Hudson, 26, spent four months refitting the van before setting off from his home city to live in some of Europe’s most striking wildernesses and cities.
He has now spent 300 days travelling 10,000 miles in a £2,500 LDV Convoy van, which he has converted into his very own “studio apartment” complete with a bedroom-lounge-diner, walk in shower room, 200-watt solar power system, fridge and gas cooker.
After working in an office during the day learning how to build websites, and then refitting his van in the evenings, Mike formulated a plan to make a dramatic change to his lifestyle.
“I lived in Sheffield and really love that city,” said Hudson. “I have loads of great friends in England and I had my own place which I rented with a friend. I had a car and a good job.
“Looking back though, I was quite miserable the year before travelling. I felt a bit trapped, and I had a feeling of – is this it? This can’t be it.”
So the 26-year-old decided to try something new.
“I wanted something different – adventure, experience and challenge. I was bored and living on the road was a daydream I couldn’t get rid of,” he said.
“I was nervous, scared, excited and relieved because I knew there was no going back. It’s a bit of a life experiment.”
Mike, who left the UK in March last year and is currently in the paradise Greek island of Santorini, managed to scrape together £4,500 to finance his new life.
He now survives on a daily budget of just £10 per day by diesel-sharing with hitchhikers, generating money from his online blog and juggling fire as a street performer.
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Highlights of Mike’s journey include crossing the incredible Transfagersan pass in Romania, taking part in Hungary’s SUN music festival and spotting brown bears in the forest.
“In Slovakia, I did a three-point turn in a narrow mountain road and the back wheels slipped off the edge of the crumbling road,” he said.
“My foot was pressing so hard on the brake, there was fluid leaking onto the road, I couldn’t let go because I’d go off the road down the hill, backwards.
“My van is rear wheel drive so I had to be towed out. I really didn’t think I’d get out of that situation.”
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So far Mike has travelled from England to France, Spain and Portugal, then he travelled east to Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria to eventually reach Greece.
Despite the drama of life on the road, Mike explained why he has no firm plans to return home at the moment.
“I like England, but the winter and lack of light kills me – plus it’s too cold to live in a van during winter,” he said. “I want to look back when I’m older and think – yes I was living, and I made the most I could out of life.
“I describe everything in my blog and whether this gives people a kick in the right direction to follow their dreams, or helps them in some way with van conversions or travel then I’m happy.
“Eventually, I want my website to be a resource for anyone who wants to convert a van into their home with minimal skills and tools, as well as a guide for living and travelling in a van.
“This is a great way to travel and live.”
To read Mike’s blog, visit www.vandogtraveller.com