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Mental Health

feminism Mental Health vanlife

Forging friendships on the road

June 15, 2021

When we first moved into the van nearly four years ago we wanted to get away from everyone and everything for a while, just to reset ourselves and maybe recalibrate our place in the world. As much as I needed those long months of solitude, I’ve emerged from that cave happier, and feeling more confident around people. I’m not sure this is something that’s evident from the outside because I was so good at masking, but now I’m building a…

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creating dailyconnectionwithnature Mental Health nature vanlife

Finding my own successes

June 5, 2021

I’ve been talking a lot about what makes a successful life these past few years. I think this is because I came to realise we have very narrow parameters around what we consider success that often focusses on our earning or networking capacity. I had a very chaotic childhood. I’m not saying this to invite pity, but to offer a brief context. So success to me has been learning about stability, about how relationships work and how to form authentic…

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family Mental Health vanlife

The truth of a successful life

May 4, 2021

We met on MayDay seventeen years ago. It’s the strangest thing, colliding with one person who changes the entire trajectory of your life. These past 3yrs in the van, I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a successful life. Previously, I’d chased all those things I was told would make me successful, while working to help others achieve success. Until I began to ask the question ‘what does success mean?’. Ah. Epiphany. Much of what I learned about success…

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books creating Europe feminism Mental Health poetry

Writing characters I love

April 28, 2021

One of my favourite characters to write in The Madness of Sara Mansfield is Sara’s life-partner, Nneka Adesina. I am in love with Nneka’s brilliance – she has worked her way to the pinnacle of success as a biotech scientist in the sovereign state of Mont Blanc – the world is at her feet, and she knows it.  And yet, beneath the surface of her immensely successful and meticulously shaped Amortal life, difficult questions begin to surface about the true…

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dailyconnectionwithnature feature feminism Mental Health nature Outdoors water

The unnameable essence of being

April 15, 2021

I am so in love with my body right now I want to swim in every glorious moment, feel it visceral and wild against skin. Yesterday I blasted uphill fireroads on the bike, lungs sucking in mouthfuls of spring, forest air. Then long swooping singletrack descents had me stood on pedals until the fronts of thighs burned like crazy, eyes focussed on the trail ahead. Slowly I’m remembering how to ride, the movement of body with bike, muscle memory calling…

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books creating family feature Mental Health vanlife

The Remembering

February 9, 2021

This last week has been emotional. No matter how much work we do on ourselves there’s always the part where we then move back into the world of other people, and it’s daunting.  Vanlife for me has been a huge opportunity to hit the reset button: on how I work, how I live, and how I connect with people. It begins with healing the Self, and as that process deepens it allows us to being the work with those closest…

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Europe feature feminism Mental Health

When I need to be around big things so I can ignore the small…

November 13, 2020

I had a bit of a weird trigger this morning. Usually if I wake early I lie in bed writing a blog or ideas for a poem on my phone as it’s not fun getting up too early in a van when it’s cold, dark and raining outside.Yesterday I posted a lovely chat with Liset who also spends time creating on the road and I was feeling really happy with the way the OUTSIDER blog is evolving. I also sent…

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Mental Health travel vanlife

Autumn musings

October 29, 2020

I had a crisis of confidence on here a while ago… a lot of it was to do with how I’m perceived and the way we live. I was worried that posting about travel during a pandemic might annoy some people, I was worried I post too much for other people, I was worried that I might be misunderstood. Since being back in Wales, still in the van, and in a lockdown I’ve asked myself – what is it that…

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feature feminism Mental Health nature water

Just be yourself

October 25, 2020

Just be yourself.I wish people who said that understood how hard that can be. What is the ‘self’ anyway except a construct? Except a jumbled flood of experiences filtered through our water/flesh sacks and a brain we don’t ever fully understand the functionings of? My ‘self’ is a constantly evolving being. Some of this is almost imperceptible, some of it is conscious choosing – what is ‘organic’ growth and why do we expect it of anyone when the education system…

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creating family Mental Health vanlife

Breaking it down

October 24, 2020

Lazy van mornings. Cooking breakfast for the hounds. Being back in Wales is making lockdown more real, perhaps because we’re more tuned into the cultural thinking here. Half of me feels totally disassociated from it all, the other half feels as if I’m absorbing too much of the worry and the anger and the stress. This can lead to catastrophising about future things I have no control over. When this happens I have a series of questions to ask myself:…

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