Summer 2017. A quick twenty minute process on the PC, the finger hovers momentarily, then, we hit the ‘send’ button.
Twenty years ago, balmy summer evenings sat outside our frame tents, or on the cooler evenings in a tent, in various parts of the UK with our oldest and dearest friends, Mags and Oniss. Kids tucked up in sleeping bags, gently slumbering on airbeds that would slowly deflate during the night, we’d sit outside, wrapped in blankets in April or watching the shooting stars in August. Disposable BBQs, cooked upon, with the heat slowly fading strategically placed under deck chairs for extra warmth. Wine glass in hand, contemplating the meaning of life and putting the world to rights. We’d often talk and dream about winning the lottery or inheriting money from an unknown great uncle Bill. We’d buy and run a camp site. We knew what we liked. We talked to people and knew everyone wanted something different. Back in the day, caravans weren’t even a dim and distant glimmer. They were a different set of holiday makers. They didn’t rough it. They holidayed in style. They talked about how relaxing it was listening to the rain on the canvas. We lay listening, wondering if the canvas would eventually give in to the elements. Would we get up for a wee in the night to find that our ground sheet had given up the ghost as the water seeped through around our feet.
The ‘send’ button had now set the wheels in motion and very specifically in the direction of the Caravan and Motorhome Club head office. If we can’t buy our own campsite, then why not help run one, Assistant Warden applications submitted.
In the context of ‘pursuing the dream’ to travel more and work less this decision has been long and seriously considered. We don’t view this as a change of plan but more of an interesting and very much complimentary diversion route to the same end. Financially, we are not yet ready to retire and it was never going to be before we hit 55 at best… so a few more years to go. More importantly, we owe it to ourselves to enjoy our work, working with, and especially ‘for’ people who enjoy the lifestyle of leisure travel.
We have been quietly and subtly researching the caravan site Warden role for a couple of years now, observing a genuine enjoyment in what they do, though, we are under no illusions over a hundred departures and arrivals on a manic summers day won’t bring its own kind of stress. The additional advice and support of Wardens we have met on sites or through social media in this time has been both helpful and very much appreciated.
Interviews took place in October, to which a verbal ‘thumbs up’ was delivered by phone call a couple of weeks later. Then it was time to wait for the all important site allocation and contracts. This arrived in the days just before Christmas and we were finally able to issue notices on our current employers.
An end to our travels? Well, yes, for the length of a site season. The long winter break will, however, provide extended tour possibilities now that our 50 days in Europe has given us the taste for touring. Having the caravan awning set up for a full season will prevent any quick ‘getaways’. This presents an opportunity discussed in a recent blog, the Campervan… Not that we have one!! We are actively looking to downsize the house in the next twelve months and a DIY Campervan conversion is part of that plan. It won’t help us in the first year but may play its part if they are happy enough to continue employing us in the following years.
At this point we are unsure how the blog will follow this diversion on our journey. We have no intention to write about our jobs or about people we encounter whilst in employment. It has already been done very well before, nor would we ever wish to cause offence or risk venturing into unprofessional grounds. We will continue to write about the general lifestyle, our non working adventures and provide updates to ‘our dream’.
Wish us well and wish us luck. We start in February 2018 somewhere in the south of the country. We will still be writing our stuff but it may not be travelling your way quite so often as it did before…
… but first, two weeks in Lanzarote, think we will need this holiday… a long while before the next one.