Becky & Ant : Land Roamers
NAMES: Ant & Becky
VEHICLE: Mercedes Vario 4×4
BORN: United Kingdom
RESIDENCE: Essex, UK
OCCUPATION: Ant is a Cabinetmaker and Becky is an Artisan Painter
Ant grew up on a old farm in rural Essex. He spent much of his childhood outdoors building den’s,
finding snakes in hay bails and playing on quad bikes. He discovered BMX at a young age and it’s something he’s been passionate about ever since. He still rides now and takes his bike on all of his travels.
Becky grew up in a small, quiet, artistic mrket town in the midle of the Suffolk countryside. She too spent a lot of time outdoors, and found a love for surfing when she was around 15. She used to travel to a surf spot on the East Coast with her friends regularly and spent many summers living and working in Cornwall. She is very creative and has always enjoyed sport, art and yoga.
Ant and I now live together in a house we are in the process of renovating in Essex. Ant’s skills as a cabinetmaker come in very handy, and I njoy painting the furniture he makes, contributing to ideas for the inteior design of the house and being in charge of colour palettes.
As we are both creative individuals, we make a great team and enjoy working on projects together. We both love to travel and have had two campervan’s in the paast. “Big Red” our third and latest project was the most challening build we have done to date. She is a 4×4 off road beast, built to be stron and capable enough to take us deep into the wild. We both love nature and getting off the beaten path, so the further we can travel, the better. Our dream is to one day travel around the world.
WHAT FIRST DREW YOU TO HAVING A TINY SPACE ?
Since before we met we’ve always had a desire to explore. Ant enjoyed riding his bmx and had a Vauxhall Astra Estate in which he used to travel the country with this bike. I took my surfboard to Cornwall at any opportunity.. so when we met we had a lot of stuff to travel with. Around 12 years ago we did a two week camping trip in Ant’s Astra and that’s when we decided we needed to invest in a bigger vehicle to carry all of our stuff around. Soon after we bought a T4 in which Ant converted into a camper, creating a space in which we could carry all of our stuff and at the same time travel at our own pace. It was a convenient way for us to travel and do what we both loved.
Our van is a Mercedes Vario 4×4 affectionately known as “Big Red.” We believe she used to be an ex fire service vehicle. We decided on this base vehicle as we loved the look of the vario panel van’s. They have a strong base structure to build upon and are built for carrying weight and have great off-road capabilities.
When creating our interior space we infused practicality with function and a natural aesthetic. As Ant is a cabinetmaker, he built all the furniture from scratch and added beautiful details throughout. As an off-road vehicle it was so important that the cabinetry was made extremely well and strong, but at the same time lightweight. It was a very challenging build but we are pleased with the result. We wanted it to be as environmentally friendly as possible, so we installed a compost toilet and a series of solar panels to give us power when we go off grid.
The great thing about a self build, is you have the opportunity to keep tweaking your project. We’ve taken things away that didn’t work and we’ve added extra things we realised we needed along the way. Our latest addition to the van will be a roof rack (when it’s finished being made!) to carry spare wheels and tyres for longer off-road adventures.
A MEMORABLE ADVENTURE
We love pushing boundaries. Every trip we go on, we try to do something out of our comfort zone. Whether it is a trip to a foreign place or pushing the limits of what our vehicle can achieve.
One of our most memorable trips has to be travelling Morocco with our friends The Tin Can Family. At first we were so apprehensive and nervous about travelling to a place with such a different culture, but we were rewarded with some incredible experiences, beautiful scenery and kind hospitality. We discovered what “off the beaten path” really was as we navigated some of the most challenging driving we had ever done.. it was ‘the’ trip that convinced us we needed to invest in a 4X4 van.
Our next trip is likely to be somewhere in Europe. There are so many places we are still yet to visit, as well as places we would love to go back to and explore a little deeper. Switzerland is high up on the list!
In a couple of years we would love to do a much longer trip, and are considering shipping the van to Canada and then travelling through the US to the bottom of South America.
There are quite a few tests we would like to put the van through before then, to make sure we have everything we need.