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Europe

dailyconnectionwithnature Europe feature water

My new love

January 18, 2020

After more than a year on a bodyboard and sharing a borrowed surfboard, then picking up a cheap-yet-totally-unsuitable second-hand shortboard purely because it would fit in the van’s ‘garage’, as well as having a go on every other board someone might be mad enough to let me on, and hiring a couple of different sizes and shapes, and bothering everyone I know who surfs about board suitability, I finally settled on this quite lovely Mini Mal. She’s feisty enough that…

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creating Europe feminism politics

Chasing waterfalls

January 13, 2020

I have ambitions to be a great writer. There. I said it. And every single one of those words scares the shit out of me. Where I come from ambition (especially in young women) was celebrated. Because although some of us had big ambitions, maybe a lot of us didn’t; and even if we did, our ambitions were perhaps more relationship focussed than creative. Then I discovered the world of art and literature and for the first time in my…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe nature travel vanlife

When the land calls, take time to listen

December 27, 2019

Living a permanently travelling lifestyle isn’t exhausting as long as you tune into both yourself and the place you’re in. Sometimes we stay just one night and move on, but this is pretty seldom these days unless we’re stuck. In the beginning this need to keep moving was ingrained in us – that desire for progress, to be doing something: miles on the clock, new towns ticked off the list, keep on keeping on. But, as we let go of…

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books creating Europe poetry

The Madness of Sara Mansfield – The End

December 22, 2019

It feels fitting that I’ve just typed these words on the winter solstice. There have been so many synchronicities while writing this book – sections dreamed under the magic of supermoons, wild rivermint conversations, endless west-coast syrupy orange sunsets, and of course our vanlife travels last winter down to Crete, and this year through Spain and France. This isn’t a travel book though, it’s speculative fiction/sci-fi, a bit anarcho-feminist, with myriad elements of the natural world encountered making appearances. So,…

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Europe minimalism vanlife

Yuletide wishes

December 19, 2019

Not huge fan of decorations. Even when the kids were young we waited until around the 15th December to get the last tree in the forest. This year’s minimalist affair feels perfectly suited for celebrating Yuletide in the van. With thanks to the pine trees we’re parked next to for donating a small branch to brighten these shorter, darker days, and for the healing dreams. This year it’ll be just the two of us again and honestly, I feel a…

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Europe feature vanhounds vanlife

Vanhounds for life

December 6, 2019

Cant believe I caught this shot today. Love this pair so much. They make life on the road infinitely more interesting. This basically sums up my year, so I’m gonna leave it here for you all to enjoy. You’re welcome. #vanlife #vanlifeeurope #homeiswhereyouparkit #rescuehounds #adoptdontshop #spain #dogslife #bestfriends #vanhounds #houndsofinstagram …

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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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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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Europe feature travel vanlife

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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