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Sketch of a dog chasing a red squirrel through the woods

A typical day travelling and working in Europe

‘How do you get any work done?’, it’s a question I’m often asked so here’s a quick example of a typical day on the road.

We’ve been wintering in Portugal and I’ve been painting pet portrait commissions, designing greeting cards and working on a new illustration project along the way.

We’re now driving slowly up through France (they cancelled our Ferry from Santander, so France it is!)

Last night we stayed at a woodland Aire by the sea at Biscarosse, France.

My day can’t start without tea, I also dive straight into my phone (I know, I know, I should be meditating, affirming and doing yoga) but I like to know what’s coming at me during the day (like cancelled ferries!) and I quickly jump in and answer any emails or messages, reply to comments on social media (I don’t have the volume of emails or messages that makes this impractical)

On a travel day, we start to ready the motorhome after breakfast (closing cupboards etc) at this point Thomasina can get quite stressed, so I’ll take her off for a walk whilst Mr. Dean readies the van for travel.

When I get back Thomasina gets straight into her travel crate and off we go. She’s not the happiest of travellers but this seems to work for her and we travel in short bursts.

We’re usually on our way by 11am, I’m chief navigator, we use google maps and have to be on high alert for 3.5 ton limitations, low bridges and ridiculously narrow streets that google thinks is the fastest route!

Once we’re on a main road or motorway I’ll dive into any admin tasks, I’ve even done some sketching whilst travelling

Today we needed to stop for supplies, LPG Gas for our gas hob and heating system (its pretty cold at night here!) some shopping and here there was a launderette too.

Thomasina gets a break in our journey and we had some lunch, approx 1 hour later and we’re on our way again

Once we arrive at our next destination, today we drove approx 200 kilometres north, I can get stuck into a good 2 hour block of creative work.

The limitations we have when travelling really force you into short periods of focussed action.

When I only have a few hours here and there it helps me prioritise what I’m working on, today it’s been Mother’s Day cards from the dog - see more here

Mr Dean will often go exploring with the dog while I work and I always try and get another walk in before dinner, if there’s sightseeing to be done I’ll make sure I have my camera with me.

We’ve been eating in a lot this trip, lots of home cooking!

Tonight I’m catching up on a session by The Design Trust, I’m a business club member and their various courses and interviews make sure I’m not missing on any important industry developments.

Sometimes though if I have a deadline I’ll carry on with my project work in an evening and other times we’ll just have an old-fashioned movie night, it’s quite cool linking up to the motorhome sound system for the full cinema experience!

I take the dog out about 9pm for a usually very short and very cold walk!

We’ve been having very early nights too! We’re usually all tucked up in bed by 10pm

If there’s more sights to see or if I need to make more headway on a project we’ll stay put for a couple of nights, we’re here in La Rochelle for 3 nights and I’ve just finished writing this at about 11am, time for a walk into the old town I think!

Any more questions, and if you’d like to see more of these please let me know?


  • Posted by Judith on

    Hi Jo,
    I am a big fan of yours. I have seen a card that says is it too late to be a good boy but can’t find it on your site. Is it for sale or is it just something you have painted?

    Many Thanks

  • Posted by Jo on

    Thank you Jean, the next installment is already in the works!

  • Posted by Jean on

    Absolutely love the diary type notes and sketches. Thoroughly enjoyed reading them. Please send out lots more!

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