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Meet the Higham couple who converted their campervan into their home in lockdown to travel the world

Being trapped in one location for the best part of a year was far from ideal for anyone.

But for one couple who were used to earning a living from their travels, it provided the perfect opportunity to convert a campervan into their new home and forge new plans for the future.

Last year, all was going great for YouTube and travel bloggers Cazzy Magennis, 28, and Bradley Williams, 27, when Covid-19 hit and put an end to their globe-trotting adventures.

Like many young people, they found themselves returning to their parents' homes as work and social opportunities ground to a halt.

The self-funded travel writers divvied their time between Bradley's family home in Higham, near Gravesend and Cazzy's parents in her native Northern Ireland.

Bradley, who attended Higham Primary before going on to Rochester Math, said: "It was strange for us. Our blog is our business and literally everything dried up overnight."

Meanwhile, the couple continued to seek out work opportunities before undertaking their biggest challenge to date.

Travel blogging couple Cazzy and Bradley converted their campervan in lockdown for their travels. Photo:@dreambigtravelfar
Travel blogging couple Cazzy and Bradley converted their campervan in lockdown for their travels. Photo:@dreambigtravelfar

Cazzy said: "We went down a rabbit hole to see if it was possible to travel around the world by van.

"When the lockdown lifted last summer, we spent three months solidly converting our van, getting it ready for the journey ahead.

"Covid had us sitting for a year, which is a long time for two people who travel full-time, so when we did get the chance to travel again, we decided it was going to be a mammoth of an adventure."

In just three months, the avid travellers converted and fully kitted out their Peugeot Boxer campervan, nicknamed Helen.

Inside it contains a double bed, a shower and toilet, kitchen area and, perhaps most importantly for travel, an espresso coffee machine.

"We can't take full credit, it was definitely a team effort," added Bradley, who hired help from friends and local tradesmen to ensure the camper was roadworthy when restrictions eased on May 19.

Over the next three to four years, they plan to head east with Helen through Europe, onto Central Asia and towards South Korea, where they will ship the van to Australia.

A "rough" itinerary of the couple's travels over the next three to four years
A "rough" itinerary of the couple's travels over the next three to four years

From there, they will ship again to the USA, and explore both Canada and America, before driving down through Latin and central America, into South America, where the couple's journey together first began.

The couple met back in university and have been running their online travel blogging business since 2016.

Together, they have travelled to dozens of countries over the past five years, sharing helpful guidance and tips on their blog which receives more than 130,000 page visits a month.

"I guess we have been travelling for five years now," said Bradley. "We sort of started in South America and what started as three to six months became five years."

Gradually the couple grew tired of "backpacking hostel life" and began to dedicate their time and funds to camper trips.

Inspiration for their latest journey came from a pre-pandemic tour of Scandinavia.

The couple first met at university and have been travelling since 2016
The couple first met at university and have been travelling since 2016

And while planning a route to drive around the world is tricky at the best of times, the couple are envisaging a few extra challenges as a result of Covid-19.

"We’re fully vaccinated, no stranger to a PCR test and ready to safely travel the world again," explained Cazzy.

The YouTuber was diagnosed type 1 diabetic when she was 16 and uses her videos and blog posts to inspire fellow type 1 diabetics to pursue their dreams and overcome any boundaries the illness poses.

To keep themselves and others safe, the couple have adopted a "super relaxed timeline" and say they will be taking each leg of the journey slowly to ensure they can respect Covid-19 rules and regulations in each country.

On this point, Bradley added the "biggest challenge" will be some of the borders and points to countries such as Tajikistan and Russia on the Asian leg of their journey.

Bradley holds a British passport while Cazzy carries an Irish one, meaning there are also some "niche rules" and visa differences to be aware of.

On May 19, the couple crossed from Dover to Calais for the first leg of their journey through France.

Aerial footage of the couple's stopover in the north of France

"The plan was to get started and head straight through France and do a loop through Spain before heading east," said Bradley.

But the couple have already made their first detour.

"Cities like Paris are the quietest that they will ever be in our life times," explained the economics graduate from Higham.

With that in mind the couple decided to capitalise on the absence of large tourist numbers to fully explore the French capital.

"It's definitely been quiet so far," he added. "We went to see the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe and no one was there.

"The only tourists are local French people."

It's worked wonders for the couple's Instagram shots, no longer needing to get up before sunrise to beat the crowds.

Cazzy Magennis enjoys a deserted Paris in May
Cazzy Magennis enjoys a deserted Paris in May

Next up on the couple's itinerary is the "Champagne route" as they make regular stopovers at vineyards and campsites.

Bradley added: "For the rest of this year we are planning to spend it in eastern Europe.

"We are hoping the Covid situation is better by that time."

And if the trip does takes a little longer owing to the pandemic the couple say this is actually a "win-win" as it will just mean they get to meet more people and make new friends along the way.

You can keep up-to-date on the couple's adventures on their blog here, or check out their YouTube channel here.

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