We are the BETTS family, a British family living the Italian dream. We like to think that we are a fairly ‘normal’ family, that mostly do fairly normal things.. but we are also a family that woke up one day, in the beautiful Apennine Mountains of Italy, and collectively decided that, one day very soon, we wanted to live VERY different lives…. before it is just too late!

“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain

So, in the spring 2021, we we sold pretty much everything that wouldn’t fit into a Defender 130, and began this latest chapter of our lives as a family of permanent vehicle dependent overlanders, living in a 1998 Land Rover Defender 130 affectionately called ‘Mandy’.

Yes, you did read that correctly, permanent – it’s an important distinction to make, as we’re not going camping in a car, and this is not a gap year. We plan to live permanently in a Land Rover for as long as we possibly can. No fall back, no house being rented out… true independent world travellers…

The esteemed Mandy , underwent a full transformation from slightly knackered German utility truck to a bulletproof overland powerhouse! Well, maybe not entirely bulletproof, it’s a Land Rover after all… and you can see the compete, warts and all transformation story right here.



“For those that ask the question ‘why?’, it is as well that there are those that feel the answer, and never need to ask the question.” – unknown.

The life that we have dreamt of, is a life without geographic boundaries, without the suffocating structures and strictures of time, space and the normal adult responsibilities of modern life – NO MORE work, eat, sleep, repeat! We live for the moment, pushing round the next corner and not knowing what we will find there – meeting interesting and inspiring people and, most of all, enjoying ALL of the wonderful experiences that this beautiful old ball of rock has to offer us!

We sincerely hope that, through our social media feeds, you will join us for the ride and, just maybe, take some small inspiration from our haphazard meanderings and plot your own epic adventures!

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” – Jack Kerouac

Finally, we have a startlingly simple philosophy – we try to leave everywhere a tiny bit better than how you found it. With that in mind, we are very proud to support and promote the distinguished principles of the Tread Lightly campaign.

Meet the Betts Family

Nigel – a fifty something, unlikely Buddhist, Orangutan of a man, who is far too easily led by a glass of red wine and, who will perform tricks in exchange for any wheat based comestible that you could mention. Fancies himself as Bear Grylls but more likely to be mistaken for a grey bearded Oliver Hardy impersonator… Also believes that he’s in charge of the whole affair… but sadly this is simply yet another symptom of his borderline delusional state.

Linda – the 4′ 11 3/4″ blond powerhouse of the family. Powered by a cocktail of the purest form of raw female energy, salted caramel ice cream and bottles of Sangiovese.. She is able to solve any problem simply by shouting it down into submission before reverting, chameleon like, to a ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ lady..! Has the recorded capability to produce 600 cupcakes in 48 hours, should the situation demand it. Trigger phrase is ‘Calm down’ (stand back and prepare to run…).

Oliver – the ‘yoof’ of the family. Possesses all of the sloth like gumption of the average modern western teenager. Exercise is mostly thumb based – PlayStation 4 that is (I worry about your minds!) and walking to the refrigerator and back to check if the food pixies have magically refilled it in the night. Recently set his heart on a stellar career in international bed testing and, by all accounts, it is going better than he could ever have dreamed of!

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