A couple who quit their £150,000-a-year job to travel the UK in a narrow boat say they have never been happier
The COUPLE quit their job in London to travel around the UK in a narrow boat and they have ‘never been so happy’.
Joanna and Victor Gould left their corporate jobs in London to travel the length and breadth of the UK by canal boat.
The couple worked as freelance editors for television, and their combined salary was £150,000, but they were fed up with long commutes and long work weeks.
When they met, Victor had previously owned one boat and was building another.
Joanna said: “He was so passionate about life on a narrow boat and I was so intrigued, but I never thought I would also live on a boat.”
After buying their boat in 2015, which they affectionately nicknamed the Zero, the couple spent over a year and £30,000 refurbishing the boat.
After moving to a boat in 2017, they tried to keep their jobs in London, but commuting became unsustainable.
Victor said: “We got up at 6 am for the two-hour drive to work, which consisted of paddling to the river bank from the boat, walking to the train station, and then from the train station to work.”
In 2019, the couple left their corporate roles and began uploading videos of their adventures in the UK to their YouTube channel.
Joanna said: “Our life is much better now compared to the city because now we are open to a healthier pace of life.”
Although the couple still have long days, they prefer to live for themselves rather than work the company’s hours.
She added: “On the boat, we have to make sure the water is topped up and make sure we have diesel for the Aga.”
In April 2021, the couple turned the second boat into a cafe known as Holly The Cafe Boat.
Victor said: “This means we can give back to the communities we travel to through barista coffee and conversations with locals.
“It’s nice when people recognize us on our social networks, because it’s like we already know them.”
The Canal Boat Coffee Shop is open seasonally from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, where the couple take turns serving tea, coffee, and cake to their customers.
Joanna and Victor are also traveling with their one-year-old son William, who remains a favorite among their online fans.
Victor said: “We are so grateful that he has such a childhood and not two parents working around the clock in the city.”
“He loves nature and his first job was duck.
“We can spend a lot of time with family and people who come to the cafe always get a smile from him.”
The family of three uses Cheshire as their main base but spends their time exploring the towns and cities of the UK.
Joanna and Victor have traveled to over 50 UK locations including Coventry, Cheshire, South West London, Macclesfield and Oxford.
Ian and Briony Cameron, a couple from Scotland, gave up their boring lives to sail the Caribbean on a catamaran.
Another couple saved £1,000 a month after switching from their Hertfordshire flat to a boat.