Sometimes Vanlife is exactly as breezy & beautiful as it looks on Instagram. We arrive at a low-key & lovely VW festival outside of Milan & park with friends under chattering trees laden with ripening scarlet cherries as endless trout bellyflop through the lake’s mirrored surface catching flies. We remain outdoors in the rising heat with cold drinks & vow to wring every last ray of sunshine out of a kaleidoscopic day as rolling green grasses are patchworked over with the bright colours & hum of vintage cars & campervans. People wave & smile. Our hounds tear about. The weekend lounges gloriously before us. I have to remind myself – this is our life now. My life. All the hard work & sacrifice, all the times we were overcome with fear of failure, all the negative people & disapproving advice were worth shouldering for moments like these that you cannot buy with money, only with your life.