A couple sold their £150,000 “dream” house to travel around Scotland in a campervan with their dogs.
Victoria MacDonald, 28, and Scott Ross, 32, lived in a large three-bed but found the pressure of their careers was bringing them down.
The detached home, in Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire, had belonged to the Coleman’s mustard dynasty, and they bought it for £100,000 in June 2016.
Victoria, who worked as a purchasing administrator in the oil and gas industry, was suffering from depression, and Scott was working in grounds operation at a heliport company before injuring his back in the workplace in June 2016.
In March this year, they put their house on the market – and it sold within three days, for £146,000.
The couple bought a Citroen Relay 2016 campervan for £13,000 but it needed work doing to it – so they moved into a croft in Muir of Ord, Highlands, for two months.
They installed a kitchen, bedroom area and a solar-powered shower.
Now they run an online marketing travel company and work remotely from some of the most scenic views across the country.
Colle, who is a border collie/Labrador cross, aged eight months, and their seven-year-old Lab, Callie, sleep in the bed with them.
Victoria, from Inverness, has come off anti-depressants after four years, finding the great outdoors makes her high on life, and Scott’s back has improved with more exercise.
Victoria said: “It was a cracker of a house, it was historic.
“It had 12 rooms in total, including a double-roomed basement, and an old ballroom.
“It was too big for us though.
“It was a dream house when we bought it, but we never settled.
“We bought it for £100,000 and sold it for £146,000.
“We both decided to move on from the house as it was too big.
“We didn’t know where we wanted to move to.
“We came up with the idea of moving into a van and taking our work on the road.
“So that’s exactly what we did.
“We put our house on the market in March 2021 and it sold within three days.”
Victoria and Scott, who is from Old Meldrum, Aberdeenshire, have been together for seven years.
Nearly five years ago, the couple were both signed off from work and decided to start a blog about their enthusiasm for travel.
Their hobby turned into a full time occupation, and they now work with VisitScotland to promote tourism – and have never been happier.
Victoria said: “I was ill with depression, so I left my work, and around that same time, Scott injured his back so required to take leave.
“During our time away from work, we came up with the idea for the website and the blog, and just went for it.
“Our friends were not surprised and our family was the same, no one was massively surprised.
“We haven’t done the nine to five life for years now.”
The couple have found sacking off materialism has given them a new lease of life, and describe their nomadic lifestyle as ‘freeing’.
In total they spent £23,000 on their mobile home which they fitted out with specifications such as a Swedish oven.
Victoria said: “We bought an old van, a Citroen Relay 2016, for £13,000.
“It needed a lot of work done, so we moved into a croft in the Highlands while we worked on it.
“We spend £10,000 on the conversion.
“It was horrible. I’ve made no secret of the fact I did not enjoy the conversion process.
“It took a couple of weeks planning, but no matter how much you plan for it, you don’t find out how much is needed to be done until you’re right in the thick of it.
“It has solar panels on the roof, at 320 watts.
“We have a hob, and an Omnia, which is a Swedish oven.
“We have a fridge, and we built a bit for food storage.
“At the minute we have a solar shower, that you can hang outside and it heats water up through solar energy.”
They now spend their time driving around Scotland, visiting new places and writing reviews.
Victoria said: “One of the best things about it is it’s so freeing.
“It’s amazing how much stuff you do not need.
“There’s something about being so ingrained into nature.
“I wake up every day to an unbelievable view out my window.
“I was on antidepressants for four years and now I’ve been off them since we started our new life.
“Scott’s back is getting stronger, due to the amount of exercise he is getting every day.
“The two dogs are loving it as well, although they are constantly knackered since they are outside all the time.
“We have not missed or regretted selling the house since we got on the road.”