Meeting Tilly from @travelwithtilly was a breath of fresh air as not only does she have wonderful travel experience but she also lives on a cool houseboat at Eastney, in the kind of place we can only dream of. Loving small escapes whether that be a cabin or a shepherd's hut, I am drawn to the lifestyle that a small dwelling brings with the peace and quiet alongside the natural hustle and bustle that a marina area would have. Think birds, wildlife, catching up with other houseboat owners, and don't forget the view looking across the horizon, a chance to see the sunrise or sunset in a little place like that really is a lovely fairytale of life, isn't it?
Having lived on the boat for 6 months this project of refurbishing it is nearly complete along with having a baby called Olive, a partner and jackapoo mean they are quite settled amongst the skyline at the east end of the island. Embracing a mum who is so creative and spent a long time working in interiors has had an influence on Tilly, she said her mum gave her the best advice “to open my eyes, look up and around, to take it all in.”
I asked Tilly to describe what it feels like living on a houseboat and she said “On a beautiful morning the sea is like a mirror glistening with the sun bouncing off the water. The sounds of the wind slowly passing through the sails of the boats make it a calm and peaceful way of life. Watching the wildlife as the swans and their babies come up to the boat for a handful of swan food makes you smile. On calm days we suit up, pop on our life jackets and go out on our little raft to enjoy the waves and the tranquil sand island that sits in the middle of the sea. When it is low tide we enjoy the feeling that no one is around and it feels like we are abroad on our own beautiful island!”
Travel became a real love when growing up. Receiving a passport as a birthday present from her mum and stepdad opened a world of travel possibilities for Tilly. Setting off with her partner she explored islands in Bali, temples in Thailand, and even went clubbing in Mexico. At this stage, the pair decided to buy their first van together which they fitted out and travelled around the UK at the weekends. Selling the van then upgrading it to a bigger option and totally kitting it out to include a separate bathroom plus a standing room was a great next step. Having a plan in place to visit as many remote and beautiful spots as they could and also stay in quirky accommodation meant Tilly really picked up on tips of exciting and remote places that can be achieved on a certain budget. Staying in brilliant places from huts to buses made the duo come up with a rule that if they needed to book anything on their journey it couldn’t be a run-of-the-mill place. Looking for remote and enticing places led them to stay in a houseboat that stole their hearts, speaking of this time Tilly said “we didn’t want to be tied up with a mortgage but we did need a base, especially as we were expecting our first baby. So we sold the camper van and decided to buy our own boat which luckily was already in Eastney. We completely ripped everything apart and have renovated the whole boat. Which we will eventually sell for something bigger!”
Chatting with Tilly about the travel opportunities she said “This year, 2021 started with a high giving birth to my beautiful daughter and then went into a low with redundancy which left me in a position of wondering what on earth am I going to do for work with a newborn. My love of travel came into the forefront of my mind and I contacted a lady who had approached me last year to become an independent travel agent and I thought why not? I have just completed my training and am raring to go once restrictions have been lifted on overseas travel. Finding amazing places for staycations is at the top of my list as well as tours abroad and in the UK, helping with car, van, and camper van hire, cruises and any kind of holiday or activities that you wish to explore. Because of how I can put packages together it can work out a lot cheaper than if you would go online and book yourself through a bigger company. I'm very passionate about getting the perfect place for clients as I know how important it is to come home and have incredible memories once their holiday or staycation is over. When we are allowed to travel abroad I'll be booking a few places in Europe to get Olive used to being on a plane then eventually taking her further afield and travel more of the world!”
What I love about the idea of booking with Tilly is that she has frequented these fab little places herself and knows what people might be looking for. Her attention to detail means she really tries to get to know her clients and what they are interested in so will work hard to achieve a great holiday for them. If you would like to speak to Tilly or book a little vacation then please contact her below.