This month we invited one of our wonderful customers to share her campervan story in celebration of International Women’s Day.
Author, Speaker and Podcast Host, Sue Brayne shares her feelings around this exciting new chapter in her life – one which she describes as full of “freedom and excitement”.
After experiencing some challenging times in her 60’s, Sue explains how her healing journey unfolded and brought her to where she is today. She tells us how she’s looking forward to embracing the unknown, as her new campervan takes her across the UK and beyond.
A massive thank you to Sue for sharing her story with us and reminding us all to ‘enjoy the sensation of being completely spontaneous’.
Wishing you the most beautiful adventures ahead!
Van Life Tales with Sue Brayne
Hey Sue! Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
For the past thirty years I have been helping people to talk more honestly and openly about end of life and death and dying. My motto is ‘wear your mortality with pride’ because I believe that when we understand how we are just passing through this physical life, we can deepen our relationship with ourselves and discover what we can positively offer to others. This has motivated me to become the podcast host of Embracing Your Mortality where I speak with inspiring people who are happily embracing their own mortality so they can help us all to live more consciously for a better world. I am also in the process of completing a diploma with the Faculty of Astrological Studies and taking great delight in helping clients to understand their astrological chart so they can recognise their potential.
What made you want to get a campervan of your own?
My life shattered when my husband left a month after I turned 60. I had no idea how to recover from the shock and grief of losing my marriage, so I moved onto a narrowboat I named Mystic Moon and spent three and a half years putting myself back together.
There came a point when I realised the next step on my healing journey was to move back on land. So, I sold my beloved Mystic Moon and bought a house where I have been for the past four years. Last year I met Vicki, a woman of my age (I’ve just turned 69) who adores her VW Caddy (another Love Campers conversion triumph) and I knew I wanted a small campervan too (I have plumped for a Nissan NV 200). It’s going to be wonderful to embark on four-wheel adventures without being in a crisis!
Rather, nine years on from utter desolation, I am filled with a sense of freedom and excitement at the prospect of driving to Istanbul next year to -woop woop – celebrate entering my seventies!
What are you most looking forward to about owning a campervan?
This year, I am becoming a senior Festie-Girl in a van! I have already booked into several festivals (music/dance/voice) over the summer and am planning a tour of southern Ireland and possibly the north of Scotland as well. I want to enjoy the sensation of being completely spontaneous.
Only issue is working out how to arrange care for Belle, my cat, and Mabel, Margaret, and Maisy, my three hens, but I am sure things will work out. Things have always worked out in my life, even during the darkest of times. I have no idea how owning a campervan is going to change my life, but I am up for finding out!
Why did you choose Love Campers?
It was through the personal recommendation from Vicki who I met last year. She was so enthusiastic about her experience with Love Campers. When I looked on Love Campers website, I was delighted to see how eco-serious the company is, and I loved the designs of the natural wood interiors.
I could have bought a converted Nissan NV 200 at a lower price through a different company which uses plastic and plywood, but I wanted this special Love Camper quality that is creating a similar cosy feel that compelled me to buy Mystic Moon.
I want to add that until I picked up the van, I had never seen it, nor have I met Clara or anyone from Love Campers. All my correspondence has been via mobile phone and emails. Consequently, this campervan conversion has incorporated a huge dose of faith and trust which says a lot about Clara and the Love Campers team – and Clive Martin from West Sussex Van Centre, Worthing, who I bought my Nissan van from over the phone.
What are your favourite aspects of your new camper?
The poptop roof with its solar panel and the fact I have asked for an inverter to be fitted which means I can go off-grid and still fire up my computer. I learnt the value of an inverter when travelling the canal system on Mystic Moon and can’t imagine trips in my van without one.
Want more empowering van life content?
- Solo Van Life Tales by Stacey Keay
- Diversify Van Life – follow these adventurers
- CBBC’s Annabelle Davis shows off her new van