Couple on their boat on the canal Location: Trent& Mersey Canal

Meet Barry and Sandra

"When my daughter flew the nest and embarked on an Australian adventure I decided to take the opportunity to travel myself. New Zealand was somewhere I’d always wanted to go so as well as being closer to her it gave me a chance to find myself. I worked out there as a midwife and took some time out for myself. When I came back to England it wasn’t long before my high-pressure job and stressful commuting took its toll, I was earning lots of money but had no time to live. I decided to return to New Zealand and I loved the place so much I made tracks to emigrate while I was still young enough. It was there that I met Barry.

Barry had visited England as a teenager and the memory of the canals never left him, so much so he insisted that we take a canal holiday when we came back to England to see my family. I thought he was mad, but I agreed. We both loved it. Whilst we were living in New Zealand, we came back to England two years in a row and spent six months on the canals each time. For the first time, I saw England from a different perspective; it was a new way of life.

We’re now living and trading on-board here in the UK. Barry’s been home-brewing for 10 years so we decided to sell home brew kits from the boat. I always wanted to be a life-coach and had the chance to train in New Zealand. So while Barry looks after the brew business, as well as being a children’s face-painter I work as a life-coach. On our travels we’ve met a lot of people who have waited until it was too late to fulfill their dreams. We’ve both been lucky enough to follow our dreams, now I want to help people realise theirs."

Barry & Sandra, Trent & Mersey Canal Middlewich