As most of you will already know, Emma and I moved into our small campervan permanently on New Year’s Day. We both agree it’s the easiest way to explore Australia but, for me at least, there’s something more to it.
If you’ve been on Instagram this last hour, you’ve probably seen a million and one posts promoting #vanlife with those picture perfect scenes. A loved-up couple, bokeh-ed fairylights, mountains and a sunset. It seems every man and his dog are selling their belongings in search of a lifestyle that may or may not exist.
For me, those pictures were the icing on the cake. How could you say no to endless summer road trips and waking up to the waves crashing on the shoreline. Whilst we haven’t spent too much time by the coast, we’ve seen enough to know that it’s not exactly like those pictures make out. The campervan is often far too hot to be comfortable in, sleeping areas are more rest stops with truckers than beaches with dolphins and, yes, you’ll be sharing the van with a lot of weird bugs. Then there’s the endless amount of washing up and dirt which gets everywhere. If you’re doing it just for the insta-worthy moments, why?
The concept of living in a campervan, being a nomad, is one that resonates with me. As I said in this blog’s first ever post, I grew up in a forces family which meant packing up and moving on to the next town/country at a drop of a hat. I guess I didn’t realise until now but this so-called vanlife is one which I’ve been waiting for. I read a status from an older lady who grew up in a forces family the other day which said that ‘although we have the most amazing memories of our childhoods – we are all looking for a sense of belonging…we are also looking for our roots…we belonged everywhere, we did our best to fit in wherever we were.’
Nowadays we are always on the move, keen to explore the next city, the next beach or the next mountain. We’ve already travelled over 4,000km in just four weeks. It’s taken us to some beautiful places already and there’s still 30,000km left. For now at least, my life isn’t meant to be lived in one place.
Living in a campervan means much more to me than capturing those pictures everyone wants to see. We don’t own a lot, everything we do own fits into the small space we call our home. I love minimalism but I’m all too willing to accept that small confined spaces do not make the ideal living environment.
However, life is much more simple and we are all about experiences rather than possessions. Away from social media and technology, we are able to connect more with each other on what seems to be a much deeper level.
This lifestyle, whilst it might not last too long, is liberating. Gone are the mind-numbing days of staring at a computer logging units and updating spreadsheets. Life is moving forward at a much slower pace with no set routine. I am so much better off.
As Jay from the Inbetweeners once said, it’s a sense of freedom you don’t get with other holidays. Not quite like Will’s response that it’s a sense of sh*tting in a bucket in a cupboard. It’s more of a great big hole in the ground.
I’ll see you on the road!