Couple quit £150k-a-year jobs to live on a canal boat on £25k with their baby

Plenty of us get to this time of year and dream of nothing less than hopping out of the rat race and into a slower pace of life.

Sadly with the cost-of-living crisis and rent through the roof it’s simply not a viable option for many Brits.

However, one pair of high-flying London professionals decided to do just that – and explained how they snagged their dream life.

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Joanna and Victor Gould, both 34, decided to sack off their stressful lives and move into a narrowboat – now with their baby.

The pair were previously making a huge £150,000 between them – enough for a pretty swanky life.

However, they say they’ve never “been happier” than they are now earning just £25,000 as they can “live life on their own terms”.

Joanna and Victor now live on the slim boat with their one-year-old and earn money by running another vessel as a cafe on the canal.

The duo traded in waking up at 6am to commute for two hours into the office for walking down the canal to set up for the day.

They met eight years ago and were both working 80-hour weeks as freelance TV editors.

But, within the year they’d bought their boat for £30,000 and moved in while paddling to work each day.

In 2019 they decided to ditch their TV jobs and started a YouTube channel about their boat.

Joanna commented: “Now we are open to a more wholesome pace of life.

'Don't get us wrong, we have long days, not only with the café boat but with our little one.

“Don't get us wrong, we have long days, not only with the café boat but with our little one.

“But it just means we are able live life for ourselves, not on the company clock.”

They noted that maintaining the boat and keeping it in shape can be time consuming, but is always worthwhile.

Joanna and Victor now sail between Croydon and Nottinhamshire running their cafe boat from 10am to 3pm.

One parent serves customers while the other entertains their toddler.

While it sounds incredible, there were some sacrifices involved.

Joanna said: “It was really freeing to get rid of things that I didn't need like old clothes I'd forgotten about and household clutter.

“But, it was hard not being able to use my hairdryer.

“I had to shrink my wardrobe down a lot as there's very limited space on a boat.

“I’d been travelling, so was used to living out of a suitcase, but this was a whole new level.”

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Victor had previous experience of narrowboats, but Joanna is now fully a convert.

“Our life now, compared to the city, is so much better,” she added.

The duo now have over 44,000 YouTube subscribers, @hollythecafeboat, and have visited more than 50 locations across the country in their narrowboat.

You can experience life on a narrowboat yourself for a short time with a holiday on the canals where you'll even learn how to sail up and down the UK's waterways.


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