As a family, we’ve enjoyed two years of adventures in our 16-year-old Swift Kon-Tiki – also known as Connie – and I am now a motorcaravanner for life.
My husband, Allan, and I travelled around Australia in 2000 in a tiny Toyota LiteAce camper, and since then we had dreamed of having a big motorhome to take our family away in, and allow us to explore the world.
Now we've bought our motorhome we use Connie as much as we can, going away most weekends and for Halloween events, Bonfire Night and at least once over the Christmas and New Year festive period. She’s a good bus and we love her!
Having my own bed and all my lovely things around me in a home on wheels makes it a little sanctuary.
As soon as the weekend comes, we jump into Connie and off we go. Usually we stay on the Isle of Man, where we live, and go to the best beauty spots and campsites here, where our children have learned new things and enjoyed superb experiences that they would have missed if we didn’t have Connie to take us there. We've become even closer as a family, too. So you could say that having a motorhome has changed our lives for the better.
Sulby Claddagh is our favourite place on the Isle of Man. It’s in a valley with a river running through it. Our kids love being in the water, fishing, swimming and just having lots of fun. Having a motorhome makes us feel free.
Last year we went on our first trip abroad with Connie, to Bruges, Paris and the Somme. Allan and I took the children to see the trenches and the war cemeteries because they are studying World War I at school this year.
Our kids are very well-behaved on long drives, and settle in to their own space with lots of board games to pass the time. We’ve just returned from a four-week trip touring through France and Spain, where we had a brilliant time, exploring amazing unspoilt scenery and towns.
Our friends often join us in their motorhomes, even in Europe, and they often come away just for weekends. It's a great way to spend time with friends, wherever they live.
Every time we go away in Connie, we learn something new; every trip is different and we relish the fact that, if a place isn’t right, we can pack up and move on. The same goes for the weather – if a sea mist is hanging around in the valley we're in, we can head in the other direction in search of the sun! We’ve always got our home with us, so there’s no such thing as a bad camp.
We enjoy touring so much that I’m sure we’ll continue until we are old and grey, and then it will be the kids’ turn to take us!