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The day after the wedding in Malaysia we had the usual heartache to face of saying farewell to our new friends. We waved as they drove away, all of them on their way back to Kuala Lumpur and we were heading north into Thailand. Onto the next step on our adventure and them onto theirs.

We drove for a few days and stopped in some amazing places along the beaches of beautiful Thailand. We even found an actual campsite and I think, by the look of shock on the receptionists face we were the first ones in a campervan to have ever stayed there.

Camping on the beach in Thailand

The beaches were long and empty but the grey overcast skies reflected in the waters and we couldn’t seem to find any enjoyment in them. The heat and humidity was unbearable and the litter everywhere started to get me down, I pretty much stopped going outside and Alex would reluctantly go and briefly explore whilst I prepared dinner before settling in for another restless night. One afternoon we decided enough was enough and booked into a cheap apartment. The best place we could find with a kitchen was in Phuket and it offered us a place to hide from the heat, work on the weddings and make onward plans, we felt like we were wading through syrup and literally moved into the apartment, bought a fridge full of food and worked and planned constantly. The website was coming together but needed constant input. Working with our developers was a delight but working over 3 time zones wasn’t as much fun.

Jutting islands in Thailand and school children riding mopeds

Boris had sprung a fuel leak so we took him and left him at the garage for repairs only to be called out at 7pm one night to go immediately to help the mechanics. Alex got to the house that Boris was parked at (with a family of 5 sat eating dinner next to him) to find that the mechanics had taken off the fuel tank and exposed sparking live wires which were threatening to ignite the fuel tank. Everything was a blind panic as people all around (barring the family eating) looked for a way to grab and diffuse the live wire. Alex ran straight into the van and switched off the electric at the mains, killing the wire and the possibility of the entire place going up in a ball of flames.
Boris came home the next day apparently as good as new, even if Alex had acquired a few extra gray hairs!

The garden pool had waterfalls in Phuket

After two weeks of lurking in an air-conditioned room we moved out of the apartment in Phuket and straight into another place in Hua Hin, just a few days drive further north. A gorgeous little apartment with 3 on site pools right on the beach but still we were uninspired and moved in with little regard for where we were or what we were doing. We pushed ourselves to use the gym, to go for a swim or a walk on the beach but every day we felt defeated.

Pristine blue waters on the beach in Thailand

Arranging our onward travel was becoming a serious chore, visa’s and rules and regulations that meant we had to have a guide with us or that we couldn’t even take Boris into certain countries was making everything super expensive or nigh on impossible. An embargo on driving personal vehicles in Vietnam was POSSIBLY due to be lifted on August 1st but on enquiring about driving into Vietnam we were told we would need a guide, a Vietnamese drivers license, a lot of money and a load of other rubbish too. The same applied to drive through Myanmar over 5 days, thousands of dollars, lots of paperwork for us and the van and just 5 days to drive around 1000 miles. Our dreams of driving through to India were being chipped away at bit by bit but we couldn’t care less.

We went out to the market to buy food, a sure way to cheer us up and Boris’s fuel leak was back.

Suddenly our energy had run out, expired, gone. Totally gone. No amount of cajoling, enthusing, day dreaming or otherwise could help us. We were done.

Here is the post I wrote that day :-

Today is the day we are done with long term travel.

It has been a long time coming but it still snuck up on us and took us unawares. This is what I can see right now as I write this…

Infinity pool over looking the beach

…and I don’t care.

I have become numb to the beauty surrounding me and that is a crime. I see it, appreciate it momentarily but I have nothing left to give it. I cant even gasp at it, or feel lucky or wonder at what is out there on that island.

All I can think about is how do we know what will go wrong with the van tomorrow? will we be able to fix it? how do we extend our visa’s again if it does go wrong? can we get into this country or that one this week? why is there still a fuel leak? will someone drop a cigarette near it while we are asleep and accidentally kill us? how can we cool our living space to make it bearable? can I go home now?

The answer to all of those is of course, we can’t.

Our energy is expired, our money is spent and now we would like an ounce of normality for a while, hugs from our friends and family, a toilet that has plumbing, a gas tank that isn’t a death wish.

Is that too much to ask?
On the road, yes it absolutely is.

So as of today, we quit.

We are going home…wherever that may be.

Of course, we aren’t going to QUIT, we are going to do what can be one of the hardest things, even harder than quitting! We are retaking control and making a change in our lives, the same as we did 4 years ago when we set off on this adventure!

The van, once our freedom had turned into a burden. A chain around our necks stopping us from moving forward, always needing repairing, always costing us a fortune, always making us change our plans to fit it in. Even staying in the apartments we had to make sure there was ample parking for the van. It had become a struggle and one that we no longer had the energy to continue fighting for.

panorama from the rooftops over looking the beach in Thailand

It took an entire week from the point of writing that post and realising that we weren’t done with this adventure, but we were done with Boris and van life. We dubiously made the decision to ship him back to the US. We ummed and aahed, we spoke to our families, we spoke of nothing but that decision every single day of that week. We tried to talk ourselves out of it, into it and out of it again. We went through the five stages of grief for crying out loud. ‘Denial’ that it was Boris fault, ‘Anger’ at each other for not having the energy to pull the other one through it, ‘Bargaining’ that ‘if we could just get him as far as blah blah it would all be ok and far easier, ‘Depression’ that if we didn’t have Boris that we wouldn’t have our home, our comfort and the vessel that he had become for carrying all our kitchen shit around and finally ‘Acceptance’ that after four years of living in a van, it was time to let it go.

We have driven across more than 50 countries in Peggy, and 2 huge countries and 3 little ones in Boris out of the 70+ countries we have visited. I think we have done enough miles to have driven around the world (in a straight line) 5 times over the past four years…and we still haven’t made it from A to B once!

We finally made the firm decision to pack Boris up and send him home.

We will finish our wedding adventure on foot…or on plane rather and we WILL be home before this 4 year adventure becomes 5. So hold onto your wedding hats people, its going to be a crazy few months!


  1. Agapanthus by Harry says:

    Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about all of these! But I guess it is really not worthwhile when Boris keeps giving you all the troubles. As far as the wedding is concerned, I’m glad that you all will still be doing this again sometime in the future. Well, I hope both of you will be able to replenish the lost energy back home, and start all over again when the two of you are ready!

    1. peopleli says:

      Thanks SO much Harry. We tried so hard to make it work and ended up wearing ourselves out completely. BUT we are excited to finish the wedding adventure on foot and there are certainly a good few wonderful weddings coming up. Boris is safely on route to the USA and I reckon we will get another adventure or two out of him there! Thanks so much for the support and the love Harry! <3 Xx

  2. Caroline says:

    It must feel good to have made the -hard- decision, now that it is done. Onwards and upwards you go!

    1. peopleli says:

      Caroline, it really, really does! Thanks for all of your support throughout the decision making. You kept me sane. Huge love and thanks, watch out for the dust trails we leave behind once we get going again ๐Ÿ˜‰ Xxx

  3. Jo says:

    Sounds like a new twist in your adventures no decisions are bad one just a part of the future you! What builds you and makes you wiser and stronger! Xx

    I haven’t been able to say on top of your blog but I assumed it was all plain sailing (driving!) but obviously that was naieve thinking it sounds like you’ve had some struggles but when I tell people about what your doing I always say I don’t know anyone else who could have done this – you 2 are 1 in zillion! ?

    1. peopleli says:

      Thanks SO much Jo! You are so right! So many people do think it is a bit of a jolly haha, you are certainly not on your own there. But you are right in saying that no decision is a bad one, it is just a fork in the road and we will get over the twists and turns as we always have. Having the support of so many and the fact that you believe in us SO hard keeps us going regardless! Thanks so much for leaving a comment, you made me blub! Big love to you and your gorgeous family! <3 Xx

  4. Mike says:

    ….guys April Fools is not for a few more months!….ok, just trying to bring a little humor to an otherwise somber post. but in all seriousness, there is nothing AT ALL wrong with changing course when you need to…we all come upon storms in the ocean, and you need to change course to calmer waters. and you can make that pivot knowing that we will all be at your side no matter where you decide to take your journey.

    so much love,
    mike & anne

    1. peopleli says:

      Hahaha thanks Mike! We LOVE having your support and the fact that you guys KNOW how difficult this life is makes it all the more wonderful to hear you and your wonderful encouragement and advice. Calm waters sound so good right now and so does having you guys on our side which ever way we decide to sail!
      Huge love and thanks as always! Xxx

  5. Anne says:

    Though this is super bittersweet news…It’s your life and you have to love it. As you said, a beautiful view and luxurious things aren’t worth anything if you aren’t in a place emotionally to enjoy it. You’ll go home, wherever that will be, simplify and get back to the joy in little things. Just remember to be proud of yourselves, with no regrets– you’ve done it kids! We are all admire you for what you’ve done and inspired us every step of the way. The next adventure, even if it’s taking a nap, will be exciting in a whole new way. Now that you have this off your chest, do you best to enjoy every moment on the road and down the aisle while you got it! India here you come!

    1. peopleli says:

      Thanks Anne,
      Honestly, it is amazing what the relief of making a decision can do. We arrived back in the UK and after so long away we noticed all the things we have ever taken for granted from the beauty of this country. The wobbly countryside walls, the amazing feeling of a blue sky, the ease of driving in a civilised manner, I can go on and on and on. But like you said, nothing matters if you can’t appreciate it and this has been our biggest lesson in this decision. The joy in the little things is back and we are ready to brave the next adventure on a very different level, sans Boris! Thanks SO much as always for your support, your encouragement and your wisdom lady! we love you…and honestly, a nap! MUST fit that one in ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx

  6. I am Happy and sad for you. I also loved being able to say I had been “there” . I selfishly loved living vicariously through you. Don,t beat yourselves up, rejoice in what you have accomplished. I,m honored to have been a little piece of your adventure, Bill and I. Be safe, do what your heart tell,s you. love, Christine and family

    1. peopleli says:

      Thanks so much Christine for being there! In such a big way! You and Bill touched our lives so much so that our connection has run deeper than just a chance encounter. Things lining up so that we could be with you for Bills Memorial End of summer Hummer, the fact that we are drawn to live nearby you and your family, you have had a wonderful influence on us and it has been a true pleasure to have you live with us vicariously!
      Don’t think it is up yet, you have a little more vicarious living to do so prepare yourself! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Huge hugs and lots of love and thanks so much for your support and wonderful encouragement! <3 X

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