While many of us dream of travelling the world, that fantasy doesn’t often get turned into a reality. But for one Plymouth couple, that’s exactly what they’ve done.
Chris and Sam Hoar have always had a “burning desire to travel the world”, but, having been together since they were 14, settled into married life with full time jobs. But during lockdown, they realised we took our freedom for granted which inspired them to quit their jobs and start a new life in a campervan, living ‘off-grid’ and travelling the world.
Alongside their cocker spaniel, Fletcher, Sam and Chris have transformed an old minibus into their new home and have spent the past seven months living on the road and exploring Europe. The couple have no regrets and are “loving every second”.
Before their new-found freedom, Chris, 29, worked as a mechanical engineer with his dad and a retained fireman for Tavistock. Sam, also 29, was a beauty and massage therapist running the business she started when she was 18.
Chris grew up in Tavistock and met Sam, who lived in Plymouth, in school when they were just 14. The couple got married at 23 and bought a house together in Plymouth. They say one of the hardest decisions they’ve made in this journey was giving up their careers with Sam giving up hundreds of clients and Chris stepping away from the family business.
However, Chris and Sam have no regrets and still pinch themselves that this is their life now. They said they still can’t shake the feeling that they will need to go back to ‘real life’ soon.
In the past few months, Chris and Sam have travelled through France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Italy. The couple are even documenting their adventures on their Instagram and YouTube channel so people can follow along with their journey.
“Nowadays, not many people are present in the actual moment, we live in such a fast paced world”, said Sam. “We fell in love with the simplistic life”.
“We just had this desire to live on the road and travel. We went to New Zealand back in 2018 and hired a campervan out there and I remember thinking I would never be the camping sort, I was quite nervous about hiring a campervan but we just fell in love with the freedom you had.
“The fact you had anything you needed in that one vehicle and you could literally go wherever you wanted, we just fell in love with it.”
Chris and Sam spent many weekends and evenings after work renovating their van once they’d got it. While Chris was handy with the building side of things, using skills from his previous job and YouTube videos to help, Sam was particularly excited about the interior. The campervan is fit with lots of storage space, a lounge area and bookshelf, a bathroom, comfy bed and even a roof terrace to take in the view.
Sam continued: “It was a really hard decision for both of us really to take the plunge and leave our careers, especially for Chris as it was a family business and he could have taken it over one day…I’ve never known someone love their job so much. He never had that dread for work in his whole entire life.”
Sam explained that they could’ve been “set for life” but wanted to collect more stories. They now realise that memories and experiences are far better than materialistic things.
“We rent our house out which means we get a little bit of residual income from that, we also do a little bit of online work with an online travel agency. We’re both very career driven, we love to work, we almost found it hard to sink into the slower pace of life full time because we’re so used to working so hard and earning lots of money.
“We have found the transition a bit strange. We love videography and photography so we want to explore avenues online like YouTube.”
Chris and Sam have recently got back to the UK and are planning to do some travelling over here next with places like Scotland and the Lake District on their bucket list. They will head back to “somewhere hot” in Europe for the winter though as their campervan is equipped with everything needed to live off-grid for days at a time.
The adventurous couple haven’t looked back since making the life-changing decision. Sam said: “We went down to the French Alps and found this lovely park-up that overlooked Mount Blanc, just being parked underneath that mountain on the sundeck on our roof with a cup of tea overlooking that view”. With memories like that, who can blame them?
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