Time flies as you slip back into the rat race!

DSC08719I have finally got around to sorting out the photo books of our tour (ordered from Lidl of course!). It was only when I clicked order that I realised we’ve been back in the UK just a couple of days short of five months!

These first few months have been difficult, the pull of the road is strong and if we weren’t so low on funds it would have been so easy to turn around and head off again. We’ve now got a few quid in the bank, so what is stopping us from going again? Trust me, when the alarm goes off on and you are woken into a dark, windy and rainy morning the thought of jumping into Dave and leaving it all behind is so tempting. But we have a bigger picture to think about. We met some amazing people while we travelled and many of them were able to travel at our age because they had life goals. We’d mainly wandered through life seeing what it brought; only when we decided to travel did we start setting goals. It now makes total sense to set goals for our lives, after all pretty much everything else in life has some sort of plan or structure around it.

Man In SuitOur main overarching goal, which drives everything else, is to retire by 50, if not sooner. We have under nine years to get ourselves in a position where we don’t have to work if we don’t want to. We want to be free to travel again, but not have to worry about coming back to earn money. We could simply dream of a lottery win, or we can actually do something about it ourselves. We’ve opted for the latter.

We were planning to live on a narrowboat, it would be give us some of the sense of freedom that we got on the road, being able to slip the ropes and potter around the canals of the UK. But when Jay put the numbers into a spreadsheet, they simply didn’t stack up. While a narrowboat would be cheaper to live on, it wouldn’t rise in value like a house should, so in the long term it would end up costing us. We’re now on the look out for a bricks and mortar home. We’re also saving to invest in some properties to rent out – after all the bank is hardly giving us any interest on our savings.

We’re on another sort of journey now, one to educate ourselves about all things financial. I don’t know about you, but I tend to glaze over when someone mentions APR or pensions. But if we want to retire at 50 we need to make every penny we earn work for us. The photos won’t be quite as beautiful and the posts not as frequent, but if you want to join us on our journey to financial freedom, you can at moneymuppet.co.uk.

If you have followed our blog you’ll know that we have had an amazing two years. We met some fabulous people, saw some beautiful places and learned a lot about ourselves. One thing we did learn was that we want to feel that freedom again, but personally I won’t feel it until we are financially secure. We met folks who lived from day to day, earning while they travelled, but that isn’t for me. I want to know that if for some reason we can’t work, we can still do what we want. And while nine years seems a long way off, it’s an awful lot closer than 26 years, at which point I’ll get £88.12 state pension a week to live off (I just worked it out here).

While we’re talking about all things financial. We’ve had a few people get in touch, who are setting off on their own motorhome adventure, asking about costs. It reminded me that I never got around to publishing our total trip costs. I think that will be a fitting end to this blog, so when I get around to working it all out that will be the last OurTour post. However, we haven’t vanished, and the blog will stay live – we might still add the odd bit of info too if it seems relevant – so please keep posting comments and getting in touch on email (julieandjason@ourtour.co.uk will still reach us), especially if you have your own blog so we can follow you!

Ju x


  1. You are sounding all very sensible! But, just think how many trips you can plan for in 9 years time. I will keep an eye on the new blog and see how you’re doing. If ever you fancy a trip to Chamonix, you can come and stay in our little Mazot. Mandy

    • Thanks Mandy

      And thanks again for the wonderful hospitality you and Todd showed us. Your place was amazing – beautifully placed and a perfect way for non-motorhomers to visit Chamonix, we’ll certainly be in touch when we need some more mountain air and a break from being sensible!

      Ju x

  2. Hi,
    sounds like you are on a different adventure. Enjoy every moment & don’t forget that LeShan thing I copied to you.
    We are starting our own adventure soon-have sold & intending to ’emigrate’ to France to set up a personal & professional Sanctuary with the help of Hettie the Hymer (Exsis i578). Hence the change to non-ISP linked email. Our route to financial independence no longer exists with the death of index-linked pensions BUT I do think buy-to-let is a good bet particularly in Scotland. (If you Google me & ring I’ll gladly tell you more-God that sounds like a sales-pitch (!) although it’s free info.

    Once we do, maybe you could come & stay & ‘play’ as a thanks for the encouragement & entertainment I’ve received from your blog over the years.

    All the best & home you find your dream,

    Roger Waldram

  3. Hi Ju,

    We started to plan for our trip with five years to go and in the end it turned out to be seven because we kept saying to ourselves just one more year of savings will makes such a difference!!! In the end what toppled me over the edge was the quality of life we were leading. And we decided life was too short!!! We have 4 weeks to go now before we set off for foreign shores and this last month has been such hard work preparing but we just know it will be so much worth it in the end!!! I hope you keep in touch. Best wishes Dawn :0)

    • Wow Dawn! I am quite jealous. The last few weeks are the hardest, but they are so very much worth it. Plough on as you are in for one amazing adventure!

      Drop me an email if there are any last minute questions I can help with, no matter how small. But most of all, enjoy!

      Julie x

  4. Hi,
    I discovered your blog a few weeks ago. I’ve been slowly working my way through it. It’s been very inspiring and has had scouring the free adds looking for a suitable camper van “Henry ” lol
    Then near the end you have got me thinking, 47 next week. Could I retire in 10 years or less probably. Do I work hard now, or take a year off and travell… Hmm

    Anyway have a good look at investments, the housing market what it is. Does not have the gains of a few years ago. 5-6% is a typical return for your money. It’s good for the long hall. But harder to free up your assets if needed. Sorry I expect you know this, I was going to invest in a property last year. But have invested in other things with a greater return.

    A good blog to read is http://travelbugblues.com have a look in the finance section. It makes interesting reading.

    All the best


    • Hi Ian

      Thanks for taking the time to write.

      Good luck in your adventure wagon search! and in the ever-present dilemma of now versus future…

      Our financial approach is 50-50 funds-property (giving us sufficient liquidity in case of disaster while maintaining our comfort level with property and diversity across asset classes), and we’re taking a fairly low risk approach and accepting the lower returns. 4% nett plus inflation will work for our plan. Thanks for the blog link. She’s a Mr Money Moustache fan, as am I. The double-approach of cutting life costs while investing anything you’ve left over from living works well for me. After a couple of years out, it’s painfully clear there are only so many things you NEED in life, and so much fluff and dross eating up our freedom-giving cash!

      Cheers, Jay

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