I left my 9-5 job to live out of car with son, 3, on £50 a week – I let him go hiking by himself & he loves the freedom | The Sun

WE'VE all dreamed of life on the open road, but one brave mum is taking it a step further.

For the last two years, Shoshannah Shand, 24, has been exploring the wilderness with her three-year-old child, Gary* – living first out of the back of their car, then in a customised campervan.


The mum-of-one, from New Zealand, loves to explore the wilderness and even lets her son go climbing and hiking by himself.

Previously a cleaner working in Canada, Shoshannah decided to move back home after falling unexpectedly pregnant in 2018, before setting off on her adventures when lockdown lifted.

She lives off as little as £50 a week and describes herself as a "free range parent" happy to let her tot explore the world with limited supervision.

Shoshannah, a photographer, from Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand, said: “It’s just Gary and I travelling around New Zealand. He’s my travelling buddy.

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“We have to go on at least one walk a day or Gary will go stir crazy.

“It is challenging as a solo parent, but we have amazing adventures together and Gary is already very physically independent.

"I related a lot to how I was brought up so it inspired me to raise Gary this way. I wanted him to discover things for himself."

Shoshannah had always been a keen traveller and had explored New Zealand and Australia with her family growing up.

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When lockdown ended in May 2020, Shoshannah and Gary set out to visit her mum, Raawyn in Dunedin, New Zealand.

After realising it was still possible to travel with a little one, she set out travelling around the rest of the country – living out of her car.

“We car camped around the South Island and occasionally stayed with friends and family or in a hostel,” she said.

“We borrowed a mattress, and I stitched some coach cushions from a recycling centre for our bed in the back of our car.

“Gary got used to the car and the long travels.”


The pair have now upgraded to a motorhome and live out of the van – travelling and parking up to explore an area.

“We’re creating so many memories,” she said.

“I was raised on a farm learning to fish and hunt and camp so that has inspired my parenting.

“I like to be a free-range parent – so I will let him wander around the beach by himself and let him get muddy.

“I’m big on treating him like he’s a human. He can free-range as long as I can see him in my sight.

“He’s very confident and a little wanderer. I make sure he is safe and he feels safe. I will let him fall if it's soft."

Shoshannah spends as little as £50 a week, with fuel being her most expensive outgoing.

“I spend between £50 to 150 a week on fuel and food,” she said.

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“I don’t know how long we’ll keep travelling for, but I love it.

"Gary is growing up surrounded by the outdoors and he's already learning so much."

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