For many years, my husband Carl and I dreamed about a life on the open road.
The thought of travelling abroad, visiting sun-drenched landscapes while dropping in on numerous vineyards, had huge appeal.
As did the idea of retiring and exploring Europe, as well as spending the winter months in sunny Spain.
These thoughts soon became our retirement plan. But what about the here and now, holidaying with our 14-year-old son Connor and our two dogs?
Carl and I have visited our nearest neighbours – Scotland and Wales – but Connor hasn’t.
Wouldn’t those trips be idyllic, too? What about England’s south coast?
Connor is growing up so fast, we thought, that soon he won’t want to holiday with us.
With the exam years looming, and holidays abroad looking expensive and therefore unlikely, we resolved to make some family memories while we still could.
So despite having never camped or caravanned as a family before, our hunt for a motorhome commenced.
We decided on a motorhome because we didn’t want to change our car and I didn’t fancy towing.
We also liked the idea of not having to set anything up when we reached our destination.
I didn’t want to be making up beds while I was on holiday, so an overcab double was a must for Connor, plus a separate double bedroom for Carl and me.
I also liked the idea of separate shower and toilet areas – no wiping down wet floors when you want to use the loo.
The right decision
I’m happy to say that we made the right decision: ‘Dolly’ is beautiful and we couldn’t be happier with her.
So far our adventures have taken in the Ashdown Forest, for the 90th anniversary of A A Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, where we raised £200 for charity as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme’s 60th-anniversary event.
Friends of ours who have a caravan offered us some handy advice for the trip and, despite some challenging driving along single-track roads, we had a great time.
One year on, we’ve enjoyed day trips, overnight stays and weeks away in the school holidays, and are really loving touring.
We are planning trips to Devon and Derbyshire, and will be venturing abroad next year to Brittany for some beach time.
We’ll also be touring WWI and WWII sites, as well as some of the vineyards that I’ve been dreaming about!