family travel vanhounds vanlife

Leaving the garden behind

July 15, 2019

After two stationary weeks we leave this house later today. I feel a deep sense of gratitude that we have family who can let us stay for a fortnight so that we could empty the van and give her a deep-clean along with some essential maintenance and some aesthetic additions. For two weeks we’ve had hot water on tap, I’ve taken fresh mint from the garden for morning tea & dried bunches of garden rosemary. This sleepy village is quite idyllic, saddled next to a bird-song-filled river-woven woodland; in this old stone cottage we’ve had separate rooms to sit in, to eat in, to sleep in… and yet… something is missing. There is something addictive about life on the road – even in the depths of winter without a heater, even when the Slovenian police knock on the van door when you’re parked alone early on a Sunday, even when you’ve driven kilometres across Italy in search of a water tap only to find it switched off. As I’ve said before, vanlife is a beautiful but fragile existence, one that is challenging and difficult and unforgiving – you cannot bring your old ways of living, of thinking, of being on the road. But beneath these obstacles & frustrations something quite magical can happen (if you’re willing to let it), a new way of being in the world surfaces that doesn’t need to be surrounded by stuff, that can let go of the ego & create for simple artistic joy, a way of being that is slow & supportive, generous & inspiring, that demands everything from you but gifts an infinity of beauty in return. (Also Kit’s getting a bit stir-crazy in a house 🤣).

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