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travel

dailyconnectionwithnature Europe nature poetry travel vanlife

Advent calendar

December 2, 2019

// parked between the sun and a new moon the world has shifted within / days are not counted like beans / time is not spent like money / energy roils from the Atlantic into my heart where dreams of adventure are beginning to take shape in the pale grey formlessness / imaginings are fishes flashing in depths / I cast no nets / will not catch them so young / instead, I will gift them to the dolphins //…

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Managing your moon

November 28, 2019

I feel there’s not enough easily accessible information about being in the outdoors and women’s periods/moons/cycles. A recent exchange made me realise that instead of expecting male writers to include words detailing it, outdoor women could write more openly about it all. I was inspired to write this after reading an article ‘How To Shit in the Woods’ on the Gather Outdoors website, which I highly recommend for its practical, environmental approach to, well, shitting in the woods. If you…

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the blue whale is the water’s auteur

November 26, 2019

I wanted to say hello to all the new people who’ve followed this account on the blog, email and Instagram recently. Instagram is a place I love for its sharing, creative community so I’m grateful that you’ve decided to join this OUTSIDER journey. My name’s Sophie McKeand, an award-winning poet, and nature writer from north Wales. For the past two years I’ve been slow-travelling across Europe in a self-converted Mercedes Sprinter hi-top LWB van with my partner @andyrgarside (a freelance…

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Two year vanniversary

November 23, 2019

Two year vanniversary!! Two years ago on Nov 23rd @andyrgarside and I gave the keys back to our rented home in Wrexham and set off on what can only be described as The Adventure of a Lifetime. We had, simultaneously, epic plans and also no idea what the future held. It’s been a white-knuckle-ride through: healing relationship trauma, questioning everything we thought we wanted, navigating a new and completely different physical and emotional space, coming to terms with having the…

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Europe travel vanlife

Embracing JOMO

November 21, 2019

Living with less isn’t less fun (or at least it’s not meant to be). It’s more of a return to embracing the contradictions of a slower life. We don’t go out every weekend like we used to, and don’t really drink these days, but still I love the occasional mojito-fuelled blast around old European towns. We travel slowly to see the world, driving our home-on-wheels in giant arching European loops but can no longer afford long-haul flights; do we want…

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Minimalism isn’t purgatory

November 7, 2019

The weather is fierce here today; black clouds and thick sea fog are taking it in turns to obscure the wild ocean view. Earlier we were battered by hailstones; the van occasionally rocks as if being pushed by a mob outside; the hounds only got a short run on the beach before we were harried indoors – they beat me to the van door to get in. After two winters with no heating, fitting the diesel heater this summer was…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe nature travel vanlife water

Learning to read the ocean

October 22, 2019

We’ve travelled through Catalunya and The Basque Country, and now we’re in Asturias – perhaps the most biodiverse region of Spain. This coastline reminds me the most of our home country of Cymru with its wide windy beaches, rocky cliffs and dramatic outcrops. There’s something about the light here too – or perhaps that’s because autumn feels as if it tumbled into us overnight. Yesterday’s attempt at surfing saw us pummelled into the sand (hence the wet hair in this…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe travel vanlife water

On saltwater silhouettes & sunsets

October 14, 2019

On saltwater silhouettes & sunsets: you spend the morning surfing, although you haven’t yet mastered the standing up part; in the afternoon, hiding in the van from 28°C heat with all doors flung open, you write beneath a pile of snoozing, damp hounds. In the evening you hike down the cliffs to watch the silhouettes of surfers & paragliders in the saltwater sunset. Around you people carry on with their day: children shimmer in white-frothed waves, the thud thud as…

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