Parts & Accessories

Introducing the Big European Odyssey

04th March 2022 | Marcus Leach
Travel is, as writer Paul Theroux points out, at its most rewarding when it ceases to be about a destination and becomes indistinguishable from living life.

I first read these words as a young man, a time when it seemed unimaginable to live a life of constant travel, to always be exploring this magical world we live in, to set eyes on new horizons each day. And so, it is today, now happily married with two children and still on the young(ish) side of the spectrum, almost a little surreal to think that we are on the brink of turning once unimaginable into reality.

Our recent adventures have, aside from allowing us to create some wonderful memories as a family, affirmed to us what we already knew; that our motorhome is the perfect vehicle to explore the world in, allowing us to open our eyes to new experiences and to forge unbreakable bonds as a family. And yet, with every passing adventure, there has been a yearning for something more, a trip where life and travel become one, where the world we move through becomes a classroom without walls and the experiences we have filled our lives with joy and happiness.

That desire for more has slowly grown in recent months, eventually becoming an irresistible calling to leave our current life behind and set out on our greatest adventures yet. One that isn’t limited by time or borders, one that, through its scale and scope, becomes so much more than an adventure – it becomes an odyssey.

By very definition, an odyssey is a long journey full of adventures. A series of experiences that bring about knowledge and understanding. And that is precisely our aim. To not only enrich our lives, educate not only our children but to share this journey in a way that can hopefully impact countless others as they seek to expand their horizons. That might be booking their first overseas trip or finding a new destination within Europe to explore.

So, what exactly is the journey that we will be embarking on?

Starting on May 1st, we will set off on ‘The Big European Odyssey’, a journey that will see us travel through twenty-five countries across three continents, although, as the name suggests, the focus will be Europe. However, given the reduced freedom we have in moving around Europe since Brexit, we have been forced to be creative with our route in order not to fall foul of the ninety in a hundred and eighty-day Schengen Zone rule, hence the forays into Asia and Africa along the way.

Not that we are complaining about the need to seek out unfamiliar destinations as, having researched several countries we might not have visited otherwise, we are all hugely excited about the prospect of exploring places such as Georgia, Armenia, Bosnia, and Montenegro. It’s the allure of lands, cultures, and people vastly different to that which we experience in everyday life that appeals to us so much, to be able to give our children priceless life experiences at a time when their curiosity for the world around them is at a peak.

Equally, we would be lying if we said there haven’t been moments of uncertainty as we slowly start packing up our house, deciding what to take with us and what to put in storage, but in such moments we are reminded of the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, who said that ‘the purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for a newer and richer experience.’

And so it is that we will set off in search of new experiences, living our lives to the fullest and doing so with open hearts and open minds. We are not foolish enough to think it will all be plain sailing, but at the same time, we know it’s the inevitable challenges that we will face along the way that will teach us about ourselves, to educate us and hopefully ensure that we come back wiser for having left a life of familiarity behind.

We will be documenting ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ of our odyssey through a variety of outlets and channels, so you will be able to follow along not just through Bailey of Bristol, but also through Practical Motorhome magazine, the Caravan and Motorhome Club and our own social media channels (@marcusleachglobal and @our.roaming.odyssey on Instagram, @MarcusGLeach on Twitter and @OurRoamingOdyssey on YouTube).

This is an entirely new journey for us, so if anyone has already taken on long-term travel and has any advice or tips, please get in touch with us. But for now, there’s a house to pack and a motorhome to fill.


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