Bec Cannon’s first taste of nomadic life was escaping the north-western suburbs of Melbourne for an idyllic coastal life in St Andrews Beach after she graduated uni. A decade on she hasn’t looked back.
The 29-year-old was working in the Mornington Peninsula tourism industry when the idea to create a travelling gypsy wagon first came about. She sketched up a design but it wasn’t until years (and a day job or two) later that her dream was realised. Initially intended to be the mobile shopfront for her jewellery business, she decided to rent the wagon out to fund the build, boosted by a stint working for Ninch-based glamping business, Happy Glampers.
Bec built her first wagon with the help of her dad, and for the second (coined Sea Gypsy) she sought-out neighbour and local furniture maker, Tim Sky. Sourcing recycled timber flooring from Peninsula Recycled Timber, the wagon’s boho-inspired interior was all Bec’s handwork, and she spent hours tracking down bespoke chandeliers, tap fixtures and door handles.
Since launching this year, the Gypsy Wagon has been booked solid every weekend, glamping its way along the length of the Mornington Peninsula, standing out among the homogenous white caravans dotted along the coast. So far it’s played host to anniversary stays, kids’ sleepovers, birthdays and even a proposal. Bec’s boss at the The Enchanted Adventure Garden, where she still works as a high ropes instructor, was the first to book it.
“Most people's faces light up when they see it,” Bec says. “When I've been setting it up people stop and come over, and ask to see inside."
“I've had some funny expressions when I drive it down the road. One person chased me down the road with their phone out trying to get a photo.”
Bec’s obession with gypsy wagons can be traced back to her English grandad, who would build tiny versions of the wagons for his children — including one Bec’s mum inherited.
A self-confessed tiny house fan, Bec has grand plans to build her own tiny home, once she gets the gypsy wagon bug out of her system.
“My dream is to have land, a tiny home, and a shed to build and create my wagons, set-up for guests to stay,” she says.
For now she’s happy to help customers experience the gypsy lifestyle, if only for a night or two.
“People love it for its uniqueness,” Bec says. “Guest can walk out of the wagon and on to the beach. They really get to experience what it’s like on the Peninsula.”