Who am I?

Red Square, Moscow


I have a vagabond soul, a restless need to be transient.

The gypsy in me, drives me on, takes me with her, hand-in-hand away to lands far from my native England.

As a little girl I dreamt of a Romany caravan and the open road, the Romany caravan became a VW camper van, then another, then a bigger beast of a van, that was our only home for the past couple of years.

I now live in a 4×4 truck camper, which is mighty cool!

My name is Rachel, I spent a good period in my life working in retail, this took me up to Scotland where I fell in love with the culture, the landscapes and the open spaces, living both on the west coast and the east with my better half, Chris.

In 2007 we sold up everything, bar a few boxes of kitchen ware that I couldn’t bring myself to part with, and spent fourteen months travelling the world on the proceeds, an irresponsible use of our finances maybe, but life is short and memories are there for the taking!

And I wouldn’t swap those memories for anything, not even for a big house, an Aga and some dogs. (Life just isn’t complete without a dog.)

I’ve seen grizzly bears fishing for salmon in Canada, I’ve eaten my way round India, I’ve experienced the hospitality of the Bedouin in Syria, before the country fell into civil war.

I’ve seen Petra, the Hagia Sophia, Tokyo Tower, the Taj Mahal, Halong Bay, Angkor Wat, Borobudur and road-tripped thousands of kilometres around Australia in a clapped out car from the 80’s!

I’ve camper-vanned around New Zealand with a baby sparrow.

Oh, and the people I’ve met!

The Vagabond BakerYes, those are the memories that stay with you forever.

Returning to the UK after that trip was hard, a restless soul finds it hard to settle. Chris and I went back to college and studied photography, a passion we both shared, then bought the beast of a van, Juan the Transit which we lived in for 3 years.

Since then, we’ve been working as house sitters, travelling around the country to idyllic locations to look after dogs, cats, chickens, lizards….

Did I mention I love baking?

After all, the blog is called Vagabond Baker, there must be some mention of cake.

Baking is my sanity, my pleasure and my way to fill a rainy afternoon in a rural location. As a kid, I baked when I was bored, we lived miles from my friends, or a shop for that matter. If I wanted cake then I jolly well had to make one.

Now I bake in kitchens across Britain, the house-sitting takes me to kitchens of all shapes and sizes, one week I may be cooking on an Aga in rural Yorkshire, the next an electric fan oven in Fife. I’ve even baked in a kitchen overlooking the Swiss Alps as snow softly gathered on the window sill outside.

I ‘bake’ in my van too, I may only have a two ring gas hob but I’ve seen kitchens in Asia with less yet they can produce the most amazing food. You don’t need a big kitchen, and lots of fancy equipment, to create wonderful things. My old van had an oven, but things are more streamlined in this truck camper, anyway I can bake all I want when I’m housesitting! 

I don’t profess to be a baking expert, I enjoy trying out recipes, mastering techniques and devising my own.

In October 2013 we took off again, this time fulfilling a lifetime ambition to travel to Asia by train. As a non-ashamed train geek, the idea of over-landing to China and Vietnam by train via Russia and Mongolia seemed like the perfect adventure. It sure lived up to it too, I remember standing on the waterfront in Hong Kong amazed that I had reached this exotic location without ever stepping on an aeroplane.

I solo travelled in the winter of 2014, on a little rail adventure to Northern Europe where I completely fell in love with the Nordic way of life (even deciding to learn Finnish!).




Malham Show

In the summer of 2013 I stood on stage in front of an audience and did a baking demonstration at a country show, that was quite an experience, for a shy gal anyway!

I hope you find something here on the blog to inspire you, whether it be a recipe, an adventure, a holiday destination.

All the recipes are vegetarian, many are vegan and I’ll always highlight recipes that are gluten-free.

**********In 2013 First Choice, the all-inclusive holiday people, named this blog the number 1 Travel Blog to watch out for in 2013, on their own blog. Which I was mighty chuffed with. Thank you First Choice!********** 

By Rachel A Davis   Follow on Bloglovin

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139 Responses

  1. Tony says:

    Great blog. Nice Stories!

  2. Trisha says:

    What a beautiful and interesting blog you have created.

  3. Millie Daly says:

    Your blog is beautiful and your lifestyle is a dream, you are literally living a fairytale!! I haven’t go blog envy quite as bad as I did when I discovered yours. The photos are stunning and your story is wonderful, I hope one day my life will be equally as magical xx

  4. Gerald says:

    I am looking for some one to accompany me to visit the National parks in the USA are you interested I will start my trip in the spring of 2016. The parks are celebrating their 100 year anniversary

  5. LISA USHER says:

    I love this page, I do not remember hearing about the baking demonstration? πŸ™‚

    • Rachel Davis says:

      Haha, thanks Lisa! Really, have I never discussed it with ya? Oh, my life is so crazy sometimes I forget to talk about the interesting stuff, hahaha! Maybe you were in Greece at the time, then I went away, then you were in Greece again…..;)

  6. Katya says:

    I am so glad I’ve discovered your space! Very inspiring and full of energy, I’d say πŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to new posts!


  7. Gin says:

    Sounds like you had a fascinating life πŸ™‚ I’m also so admirative of your baking qualities πŸ˜€ I’m not that good at cooking (despite trying), maybe it’s a gift.. you have it or not ! Look forward to read your adventures πŸ™‚

    • Rachel Davis says:

      Thanks Gin, I’ve just popped round to your blog, it looks lovely! You’re moving to our beautiful islands, how wonderful!
      I’m not sure if it’s a gift, more trial and error, and baking often! I’m better at baking than cooking too πŸ˜‰

  8. What great experiences you’ve had. And a great life by the sounds of it. Love the nomadic lifestyle! πŸ™‚

  9. Vaughan & Jayne says:

    Hiya again, Rach. It was such a pleasure to travel with you and Chris for a while in SE Asia. We loved catching up with you again in England. I’m so getting ready to try some of your recipes!

  10. Annick says:

    Hi! Just wanted to let you know that we have received a blogger award and decided to nominate you as well… More on http://ourworldheritagebe.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/our-very-first-blog-award/ πŸ˜‰

  11. Ayla says:

    Hi Rachel! I’ve nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award! πŸ™‚ http://mrsaylasadventures.com/2014/07/15/the-versatile-blogger-award/

  12. Hi Rachel, me again! So, thank you for letting me know you migrated your blog πŸ™‚ Best, Allane

  13. Lovely to have found your blog!! Love what you write, share and photograph! Can’t wait for more πŸ™‚

  14. emmawomble says:

    You have combined two of my favourite things! Unfortunately I’ve had to sacrifice the baking for a year by travelling to live in Hong Kong as our student apartment didn’t come with an oven. I’m about to travel through SE Asia though and I plan to make up for it by participating in a cookery class in each country.

    • Oh no, no oven! I was a bit like that when I ‘moved’ into my little van. It had a microwave, I soon swapped that for a tabletop mini oven. It’s amazing what I can cook in it.
      Have an amazing trip in SEA, I’ve just done that for a second time in my life, currently in Sarawak Malaysia now.
      I’ve only done a cooking course in Thailand, in Chiang Mai, Hoi An is great for them in Viet Nam.

  15. I’m so excited to have just found your blog – you’re doing a pretty similar route that we’re planning to do in reverse this september! Currently living in Hong Kong, but working our way back to England via trains! Off to have a good nosey through your past posts now πŸ™‚ Jennie

    • Amazing! You are going to have a fabulous trip to England then! I’m so jealous, I have to bloody fly back! If only I had the time, and funds, to go back the way I came.
      Enjoy the posts, hope they inspire some fantastic adventures πŸ˜€

  16. Sooo jealous of your nomadic lifestyle. Emma xx

  17. Suze says:

    Your pictures are awesome! When reading your last posts I was wondering if you guys were doing some kind of RTW trip. I’d love to go to Peking on the Transib one day. Living in a van is a little too extreme for me πŸ˜‰ I am very happy I found your guys blog and can’t wait for more adventures to come! Greetings!

    • Hello again! Well, we aren’t on an exact RTW, no circumnavigating this this, more of a loop round Asia to escape the British winter!
      The Transib is a must do, I want to do it over and over again! The world needs more trains like this!
      I’m missing my little van but having a fab time xx

  18. Tourist HQ says:

    Wow! Your van looks really cool! I can’t believe you can bake in such a small space! I would go bananas!

  19. livsusan says:

    Some of my favourite things, food and travel – hurrah! We really should have spent longer chatting in Vilnius… Safe travels xox

  20. sowayfarer says:

    I can imagine having you as a travel companion! Oh I can hear the sounds of crusty breakfasts!!

  21. G says:

    I’m so amazed by seeing the way u live n bake… thou I have not tasted any but I can smell it and see it melting in my mouth… hmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! O woman u are so amazing …

  22. bakeaffairs says:

    Your blog is so inspiring and the pictures are amazing! I’m happy I found you πŸ™‚

  23. well – this is just captivating! Happy to have stumbled across you…

  24. Holly says:

    What a fabulous blog to fall upon! Love it!

  25. Amy says:

    CookieHound.com LOVES your beautiful cookie photos and would be so thrilled if you submitted them to our site. Archived posts are welcome!

    Cheers and thank you!


  26. Carl says:

    Hey. I just got round to checking out your site. I’ll have to show it to my girlfriend as she loves her baking. I’m sure she’ll get some great ideas from you. Keep up the great work πŸ™‚

  27. Hi there,
    We have nominated you for a Liebster Award, which honors blogs with under 200 followers. If you are interested & qualified for excepting this award, Please visit: http://sweetsixteenscountrykitchen.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/liebster-award/ To view the rules & accept the award! πŸ™‚

  28. ExplatLondon says:

    Love, love, love what you’re doing. A true baker at heart can create anywhere, and it looks like you do! One of my favorite parts of housesitting is cooking in a kitchen that is always nicer than my own. I’ve had more than a few disasters in a boat kitchen, tho. Hehe. <3

    • Thank you! We’re housesitting today! I baked some cookies in a lovely kitchen, overlooked by a sweet, old dog and a couple of gorgeous kitties. The kitchens and the pets are my favourite parts of housesitting. Thank you for having a look round my blog xxx

  29. Irene says:

    Your blog is amazing! And the goodies came from this tiny kitchen is unbelievable. Looking forward to hear stories from the road and more baking goods.

  30. Lance says:

    Thanks for finding us on the Twitter chat yesterday. Love your blog. I’ve noted a couple of the recipes. Although too many of those and I’d end up weighing a 100kg!

  31. Starr says:

    Hi, just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. You can read my post here http://themisfitbaker.com/2013/01/30/the-versatile-blogger-award-2/…. Have a wonderful day! πŸ™‚

  32. Modigliianni says:

    You are simply amazing. You just make my day. And i wonder…

  33. evanstang says:

    It’s inspiring to see you living your desired lifestyle:)

  34. mmmarzipan says:

    Hi! Me again! Just stopping by to say I really enjoyed following you in 2012 and have nominated you for a Super Sweet Blogging Award (I see you already have a nomination, but it doesn’t surprise me!). If you’re interested in accepting, pop by http://missmarzipan.com/2012/12/31/100th-post-today-with-belated-yet-grateful-responses-to-18-award-nominations/ for more details. If not, no worries :)- I gave you a nice shout-out in any case… and I wish you a very happy 2013! xx

  35. Hello!

    Just wanted to let you know I nominated you for the Super Sweet Blogging Award =)


    Love your blog!

  36. starkholborn says:

    Wow, your decorating work looks absolutely pristine! I never manage such perfect results… even in a permanent kitchen! I suppose I’ll have to practise more!

  37. mollisia says:

    hi! thank you very much for this nice comment you left on my blog! πŸ™‚ I am sure I’ll use your sweet recipe one day. perhaps organizing a party πŸ˜‰

  38. Wow – you really are living the dream! How exciting πŸ™‚

  39. Alicia Marie says:

    “I don’t profess to be a baking expert, or even a baking goddess”…please, your recipes look glorious! Can’t wait to try some out πŸ™‚

  40. mmmarzipan says:

    Awesome! Definitely following your lovely blog! πŸ™‚

  41. LornaLove says:

    How cool is that?!! Livin the dream…livin the dream!

  42. Happy cook says:

    How great that you cook in a campervan! Do you ever think you would prefer to settle down?I certainly dream of your lifestyle sometimes. I thought I would miss my kitchen though, but you seem to manage perfectly! When you housesit, do you leave baked goodies at the end?! Maybe that is why you get asked so much!

    • Hello! Yes, I do bake in my camper van but not all the time. We have been so busy housesitting this summer much of my baking has been done in proper kitchens. The great thing about having the van though is that I have all by baking equipment with me so I don’t have to rely on well equipped kitchens {unless we’re abroad and without the van!}.
      I do often leave baked treats when we leave, yes it probably has a lot to do with the repeat house sit requests! oh, and the fact that they come back to happy, well adored pets. I especially like to do it if I’ve used some of their produce, such as rhubarb from the garden.
      I’d like a little base of our own at some point, somewhere to keep all of our stuff rather than in boxes in attics across the UK! But never proper settle!
      Thank you for visiting Lucy xxx

  43. I nominated you for an award! If you don’t feel like passing along or posting it on your page (no pressure! LOL) just letting you know you can “accept” it by commenting and/or posting 7 things about yourself! πŸ™‚ It’s the One Lovely Blog Award because you and your blog are so lovely! πŸ™‚ I really do love your blog and your life seems so awesome! πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

  44. What an incredibly mesmerizing story!! And respect for everything you can do in that little mobile kitchen, it’s unbelievable!

    • Thank you! Not everything is baked in my little kitchen as we house sit a lot but I love baking in it when I can. Some houses I wish I was baking in my van as my oven is very reliable and I know it, if you know what I mean! I’ve had to invest in an oven thermometer to get to grips with a few of them!

  45. Beautiful blog! Kudos to you for leaving behind the 9-5 job and doing what you love (and doing it well!). Very much looking forward to reading more about your adventures πŸ™‚

  46. Sophie33 says:

    You have a very cool blog & I love your tasty recipes a lot! πŸ˜‰
    That’s so cool for you travelling the world & cooking & baking even more! You rock!
    Sunny greetings from a foodie from Belgium! πŸ™‚

  47. koko says:

    In love with your blog! An avid baker and photographer I can totally relate to you. I have to admit that I’m a little jealous of your lifestyle! Leaving my homeland in Scotland and now living in a very crowded London makes me want to pack it all up and travel the world!

    My blog is about my miserable commute, but I’ve tried to inject a bit of humour to keep me from going insane!



    • Thank you Koko, I’m going to have a nosey at your blog in a mo!
      Go for it, just pack them bags!
      Commuting is the evil of all evils! Most of my jobs, pre the nomadic life, were within walking distance from my home, that is the key to a sane and relaxed life I reckon. I did have a 12 minute bus journey over the river Tay for a while when working in Dundee but that didn’t really count!
      London has so much going for it though to make up for the commute maybe? There is always something to see/do/experience and you can get on a plane to anywhere or the train to Europe in a stones throw.
      Baking keeps me sane, I can just shut myself in the kitchen forget everything, even vagabonding has its stresses sometimes! xxxxx

  48. Hello Friend,

    I just wanted to say that I really love the idea and concept behind your blog so I nominated you for ‘The Lovely Blog Award’, check it out on my blog!


    Have a great great day and keep up the awesomeness!!


  49. You know I love it here (your vagabond blog, I mean) so I recommended you (of course!) in a blogger-awarded blog award. Feel free to put it on, or quietly accept my honest appreciation :)!

  50. laurenlisang says:

    What an amazing, inspiring life you’ve made for yourself! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. : )

  51. …love what you are up to… looking forward to sharing your adventures!!!! …thanks for visiting my blog… if you ever get that van of yours down under, make sure you swing by Byron Bay!!!! g*

  52. Jorie says:

    Hi there!

    Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for β€œOne Lovely Blog” award. You can see the award here: http://themidwestmaven.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/one-lovely-blog-award/

    No pressure to participate! I know it’s a bit “chain letter-y” but I just wanted to pass along some recognition because I think your blog is fantastic πŸ™‚

  53. I’m speechless – what a cool lifestyle. And it looks so cozy and delicious!

  54. Thank you for stopping by my blog – had to take a look at yours and so glad I did! Fabulous baking ideas and so impressed with the limited resources! Look forward to reading more posts (think I’m going to try out the blue meringues in the meantime, since blue is my favourite colour).!

  55. Jorie says:

    Oh my goodness, I think I just fell in love with this blog! What an amazing concept. As someone who loves to bake AND loves to camp, you are an inspiration to me. I would love to hit the road full-time. Keep on being your adventurous self, and thanks for sharing along the way!

  56. Looks like you’ve been flooded with award nominations but surely you can never have too many? Here’s another one – I’ve nominated you for the Food Stories Award for Excellence in Storytelling. You can see the post here: http://morethangreens.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/bloggiversaries-and-award-nominations/


  57. I’ve nominated you and your lovely blog for the Inspiring Blogger Award! Check it out here: http://burlesquebaker.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/its-a-small-press-life-the-inspiring-blogger-award/

  58. Very nice to “meet” you! What a beautiful “about me” and blog you have. Such a pleasure to have come upon it.

  59. brookenado says:

    Wow, traveling around the world must have been great! You have some amazing looking recipes on here, great photos, and it’s inspiring to see your creations are made while living such a modest lifestyle. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  60. Hello Vagabond Baker!
    I enjoy your blog a lot so have nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award: http://conkerandindigo.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/the-versatile-blogger-award-toot-toot/
    Looking forward to the next good looking cakes!
    Camilla xox

  61. I was impressed by the pictures of your delicious cookies, but now seeing your kitchen makes me think you are AMAZING.

  62. Em Eason says:

    Living in a stinky city trying to pursue a dream job, giving it all up ad travelling round the world is still VERY tempting! More pics of the places and wonderful kitchen van views πŸ™‚

  63. C :) says:

    Well it’s not a book!!!! But well it’s good enough (and then some Mrs) for me! πŸ™‚ x

  1. November 16, 2012

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  3. December 30, 2012

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