When I imagined van life, I picture myself sitting for hours in quiet contemplation, reading, sketching, buying produce at a local market and hiking or biking to find a scenic spot on a river bank for a picnic and maybe even a swim. And as the weather improves and our travel place slows who is to say that won’t be how van life unfolds but so far this dream scenario has been elusive.
What is van life really like? Up to now it has been mostly cold and wet, the good thing about that is we enjoy the dry sunny days even more. It has also been a lot busier and more active than I imagined, the new and often breathtakingly beautiful places we find ourselves in just beg to be explored and as we don’t have a car, exploration is on foot or by bike. The same goes for running errands like groceries, post office, meeting up with friends or family etc. Even going to the shower or bathroom requires a trip across the campsite or parking place. Then there is the moving day and all that involves.
As well as being physically more active our day to day lives require a lot more mental capacity. We need to plan our next move. Where are we heading to, where will we stay, should we wing it or, in the case of a campsite, book it in advance, if we can’t book it we need to identify an alternate in case our first choice is already full. Once we get there, what is there to see and do in the area, where can we find a supermarket, laundry facilities etc. What might be a good walking route for hubby’s morning walk/trek, usually an hour and a half and can the route take in a stop at a bakery for fresh bread.
In this day and age our choices are made so much easier with modern technology. We have apps and maps and websites which will enlighten and inform on just about any question we might have, but it all takes time, which means that up until now my needlepoint, remains firmly wedged in the back of one of the storage spaces. Don’t get me wrong I love this. I love the adventure and the joy of exploration and anyone who knows me, knows that I love to plan, but it just isn’t quite how I imagined van life, not that it is better or worse, just different.