Matt and Steph of @slownsteadylivin have been travelling and surfing their way through Europe and North Africa and we have been enjoying following them the whole way. We got in touch to find out a little bit more about their vanlife experience.
Who are you?
Steph and Matt from Slow and Steady Livin!
Where are you from originally?
Originally we were both from the Midlands but we have spent most of our time in Australia and also Cornwall for the past few years while in the UK.
What type of van do you have?
We have a duck egg blue Iveco Daily 1996 with an extended back (about 6.5/7 metres long)
How long have you had it?
We owned our current motorhome for about 4 years now!
What do you call your van?
Ivy (short for Iveco)
What is it that drew you to travelling in your van?
I (Steph) always dreamt of living in a motorhome and being able to change address at the turn of a key. I read a book when I was younger called “Rolling homes and handmade houses” and couldn’t shake the need to live on wheels and see the world! Matt loves to follow the surf, and we both love to adventure so it’s a match made in heaven.
What’s the hardest part about living/travelling in your van?
The longer you have lived on wheels the easier it becomes; we’re highly adaptable to most hiccups and complications after 4 years of living this way. We’ve learnt what can go wrong will go wrong and you just have to roll with it! It’s second nature to us now, we can’t imagine living in bricks and mortar. As we have an older vehicle, at the moment the hardest part is keeping up with the rust and general upkeep of our van. She’s got an excellent engine and chassis but in terms of her bodywork she needs constant TLC.
What would you be doing if it weren’t for vanlife?
We can’t imagine doing anything else! We would love to own a small piece of land in Cornwall to have a veg patch and build a tiny self sufficient house, that’s the dream.
What’s your favourite feature of your van?
For us it’s the space and layout of our home on wheels, we use it as a surf shack come creative studio space where we work on our creative projects individually and together. It’s a versatile floor plan with loads of storage, a living/working area and a fixed bed! (Plus a garage)
What was the biggest surprise about vanlife?
For us it was a natural transition as we had already been living in a van for a year full time in Australia. It was actually a luxury and felt like a palace compared to our tiny old van! Which was a fixed bed in the back with the kitchen outside, you couldn’t even stand up inside. So now being able to walk around, cook inside and be able to sit/work at a table is really cool.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about getting a van of their own?
One thing we will say is: ‘van-life’ is heavily glamourized on social media, it’s not sunsets, bikinis and epic views the whole time! It is hard work and can sometimes be super stressful if your van is having mechanical issues for example and you’re stuck somewhere not so scenic and cannot speak the language well. When something has gone chaotically wrong or the van is limping to a garage all we can do is laugh and say ‘hashtag vanlife’ because it’s so far from what it is usually portrayed on Instagram! However you can’t have the sunsets, star-filled open skies and waking up to empty waves without the breakdowns and the complications! I think something all van-dwellers feel is the sense of absolute MAGICAL freedom you feel when you put your foot down and cruise on to different destinations, meeting like-minded people and waking up in beautiful locations. It’s about people who want more out of life but can live with less.