It’s been over a month since I got back from my road trip and I have had so many questions since! So, I thought I would wrap up my adventure with one final post answering all of them for you.
But first, a quick recap.
From the 12th-30th of April 2021, I undertook a mini circular road trip from my home in the northwest of the UK (point G on the map), down to the south coast, around and back again.
Here was the route I took.
I stayed at 5 campsites in total and here’s what happened at each stage of my adventure.
- My UK South Coast Circular Camping Adventure (Part 1)
- Camping at Devizes, Wiltshire (Part 2)
- Camping at Veryan, Cornwall (Part 3)
- Camping at Verwood, Dorset (Part 4)
- Camping at Normans Bay, East Sussex (Part 5)
- Camping at Sandringham, Norfolk (Part 6)
Now that we’re all caught up, let’s dive into the questions.
Q – “Aren’t you scared?”
This was by far the most common question I got asked.
I’m a young(ish) female traveling solo with my dog and sleeping in a tent every night. I suppose this does make me a very easy target. After all, if someone wanted to break into my tent in the middle of the night, all they had to do was unzip it!
But to answer the question, no, I was not scared.
The UK is a very safe country, and although crimes are committed, the chances of something happening was very low.
Secondly, I was not camping in the middle of nowhere. I had booked myself into private campsites which have staff members on-site 24/7 and I was surrounded by other happy campers.
And speaking of happy campers, the majority were couples enjoying their retirement. The average age is probably around 65 years. Throughout all of my camping adventures, I have not met any others around the same age as myself, since the majority of them are all at work, which leads us nicely into the next frequently asked question…
Q – “How come you can take so long off work?”
The short answer is because I’m self-employed. I have no boss and I don’t have to ask anyone for permission in order to go travelling. It’s my time and I can do what I want with it.
The long answer is because I’m self-employed AND I earn all my income through passive income streams. So, even when I was hiking a coastal path in Cornwall, I was still getting paid.
That doesn’t mean I never have to work – those income streams still need managing – but it gives me an immense amount of flexibility and detaches my earning potential from my time.
Q – “Why don’t you stay in a hotel?”
Throughout the whole 3-weeks, I was living in a tent and showering with cold water outside.
This got easier towards the end of my adventure as the weather started to warm up, but at the beginning, the nighttime temperatures were as low as -2°C making things a little bit more difficult. It was during this time when people thought I was crazy and I should be tucked up warm in a hotel.
Here are a few reasons why I chose to stay in a tent.
- It’s difficult to find dog-friendly hotels and I didn’t want to leave my dog at home.
- Hotels are a lot more expensive than campsites and I’d much rather spend less and invest the rest.
- In general, I enjoy being outside (even if it is cold at night) and so does my dog.
- Staying in a tent is more of an adventure!
- There’s something very humbling about living outside and having cold showers outside. It brings you right back down the earth!
Q – “What are you missing the most from home?”
From the previous question above, you would probably assume that I missed hot showers and a comfy bed the most. And although I did miss them, there was something else I missed more.
…but not just any food.
I craved fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat.
Since I had no access to refrigeration and I didn’t want to ‘break the adventure experience’ by popping in and out of a supermarket, I stocked up on tinned food.
Although there was nothing wrong with the food that I had taken, after a few weeks, I was craving a freshly prepared meal.
If you’ve checked out my Instagram story highlights on my profile, you’ll know that I enjoy eating healthily, and that involves eating a variety of foods. Towards the end of my trip, I was daydreaming of a home-cooked meal with lots of vegetables.
Q – “What’s been the best experience so far?”
I have lots of great (and some not-so-great ?) memories from my trip, but I would say that the highlight was the first day we hiked the South West Coast Path to Carne Beach.
My heart almost exploded when I saw how blue the water was when I looked out to sea. This was followed by an interesting hike (lots of ups and downs and amazing views around every turn) and concluded with a picnic on the beach.
You can read about it in this post – Camping at Veryan, Cornwall (Part 3)
Q – “What’s the most valuable lesson you have learned?”
I learned two important lessons from my trip, and I’m going to share them both, but I’ll start with my most valuable lesson.
Lesson #1 – Lifestyle creep
If you’ve looked around my blog you’ll know that I enjoy learning about wealth building and investing.
The basic idea is that you increase your income whilst keeping your expenses as low as possible. You then use the disposable income to invest in assets to further grow your income. And around it goes.
However, what usually tends to happen, is that as a person’s income increases, so do their expenses. They get a bigger house in a nicer area, drive a more prestigious car, purchase fancier clothes, and eat out more regularly. In other words, they increase their standard of living.
The problem with this is that it forever keeps them on the hamster wheel.
This is what’s known as ‘lifestyle creep’ and it can happen without you even noticing.
It takes a lot of discipline to keep your expenses low and resist the urge to show off and splash the cash whilst the money is flowing in.
As my income has been increasing, I have fallen a victim to lifestyle creep and unknowingly allowed my monthly expenses to increase slightly.
Stripping everything back to nothing more than a tent in a field was a great way for me to recalibrate my ‘need’ purchases from my ‘want’ purchases, allowing me to funnel more money away from liabilities and into assets, helping to fuel the growth of my future wealth.
Lesson #2 – Do stuff whilst you’re young and able
I stayed at 5 campsites in total and, in most cases, I was the only person in a tent.
As mentioned earlier, most of the other visitors were older couples in their retirement and they were touring in their motorhomes or caravans.
When talking to them, they all said roughly the same thing, which was that they wished they had had more adventures when they were younger.
Since most of them were in their twilight years, sleeping on an airbed in a tent was not an option; they needed a certain level of luxury for their health and comfort.
Their days were spent pottering around the local market town and having lunch at the pub. This is all very well and pleasant, but they were envious that I was out hiking coastal paths, getting lost in a forest, cooking outside on my little stove, and generally having an ADVENTURE!
When you’re young, you’re able to rough it for a few nights and you can forgo a few luxuries. When stripping everything away you can see the world for how it really is. You’ll experience the best sunrises and sunsets, you’ll feel rain on your skin, see the best mountain views, and look up at the darkest of night skies.
So, do stuff whilst you’re still young enough and able enough to do them.
Make sure that when you’re old and you have little mobility left, you have the best memories to re-visit and you can rest knowing that you lived a full life experiencing as much as you possibly could.
P.S. I was going to write a closing paragraph, but I think that last one also double-ups as an appropriate ending and message for this post. ?
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