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water

Europe minimalism poetry slowlivingactivism travel vanlife water

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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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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Surfing in San Sebastián

October 7, 2019

We’ve reached the Atlantic! The pure energy of this unfathomably huge body of water is powering into dreams and I cannot wait to learn to surf her waves this winter. We’re still embracing slow travel, frugal living, & minimalism, so our total spend for a half-day’s surfing for two in San Sebastián is: €3.10 on an all-day carpark ticket, €2.50 on board wax and €1.25 on a loaf of bread. The waves are free! The smiles are free! The beach…

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Skinny dipping at 1850m (Andorra)

September 26, 2019

you have been steadily ascending a hike of the Valle del Madriu Perafita Claror for a few hours. The sun is a peach roasting slowly in azure skies. You stop for a break, rest weary feet; the hounds wade and drink. Deep in your being there is an urge to swim. You ignore it. Drink coffee. Eat cake. Still it is there – the need to feel that glacial-cold water on bare skin. You have no swimming costume or towel…

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