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minimalism slowlivingactivism vanlife

The process of changing my hair

June 15, 2021

The first time I came across the word ‘autodidact’ was in Sartre’s Nausea. I fell in love with this word because it explained how I prefer to exist in the world. What I remember of this novel (last read about fifteen years ago so forgive me), is that this was a way of creating meaning in an otherwise chaotic and absurd world and oh! That sang to my heart. Any way of existing taken to the extreme is likely to…

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feminism minimalism slowlivingactivism vanlife

Low-wash hair

January 31, 2021

I really wanted to do a post today about my low-wash hair, I spent ages taking different selfies and hated all of them: my face is too round, I have lines and wrinkles, my skin isn’t smooth, blah blah blah… and then I remembered that I turn 45 in just over a week and live the life of my dreams. I reminded myself that this body can surf waves, hike & bike mountains, write poems; this person has worked hard…

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Mend minimalism vanlife

What I wear with a tiny wardrobe

January 13, 2021

I enjoy blogging about my day-to-day life in this tiny-home-on-wheels, about how we navigate living in a tiny space and the ways in which we’re trying to live a more authentic life that fits with our ethics. It a space where I share my mistakes and failures as much as the successes and dreams because this is all just part of life.Recently I’ve been writing about clothing which has generated some lovely conversations so I thought I’d share some of…

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food minimalism vanlife

Warming autumn brews

November 2, 2020

Our battered old kettle has survived a few tumbles from the kitchen top over the years. The hard lesson learned (and still occasionally forgotten) is to always clear the decks before driving. After one such event the handle had to be welded back on. But I love the stories this kettle could tell, its insistent whistle in the morning and then making a steaming-hot brew. Unfortunately all that remains of our beautiful orange ceramic teapot is this basket which is…

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food minimalism vanlife

Slow Sunday’s

October 18, 2020

Lazy Sundays. Experimenting with hot turmeric coconut drinks (with heaps of maple syrup ??). Watching the downhill mountainbike racing at Maribor, Slovenia and remembering being there to see it live last May when the world was a very different place. Tiny living isn’t a hardship once I was prepared to let go of all the stuff I really didn’t need. It also allows for a slow, simplicity of life that I’d never dreamed possible in our culture that pathologically values…

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family feature minimalism slowlivingactivism vanlife

Hibernation time

October 16, 2020

Here we are stationary after managing to avoid the worst of lockdown or restrictions all year. It’s been a strange six weeks with two of them in quarantine in a house (house life is NOT for me anymore no matter how beautiful) and then a week stationary in the van as she failed the MOT. One of the things vanlife teaches is how to let go of expectation, that as soon as we begin to make Big Plans the universe…

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creating dailyconnectionwithnature feature minimalism OUTSIDER Patreon chapters vanlife


June 24, 2020

I’m not doing a ‘Stephen’s Last Night In Town’,* promise ?. But just to say that on this OUTSIDER blog I’ve opened up all the additional paid-for content so that it’s free. In the right-hand column there’s a category ‘OUTSIDER Patreon Chapters’ click on that and you’ll find additional recipes, poetry, photography and some longer essays. My hope for this online project was to illustrate that living slowly with less doesn’t have to be purgatory, in fact it can be…

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books creating Europe feature minimalism slowlivingactivism

Some thoughts on change

June 22, 2020

I haven’t been posting on here so much lately, & it feels as if I’ll be posting less now as the months roll on. Originally I set up this account, and the OUTSIDER Instagram to document our shift from a settled life stuffed full of overwork & fast-paced living, to a more minimalist, slow, migratory way of living. That was thirty months ago. I cannot believe how quickly the time has flowed around us & we have felt like a…

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Europe minimalism vanlife

Live authentic

May 17, 2020

People have such varied ideas about vanlife. Some give the impression that we’re all driving around searching for the perfect nature photo opportunity, that we do 100,000km a year, and that we’re all social butterflies flowing effortlessly into new situations with grace and ease. I think there are definitely people out there who do that. It’s just not us. One of the things I promised myself I’d do with this account and the OUTSIDER blog was to honestly reflect the…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe minimalism nature vanlife

This slow travelling life

April 25, 2020

There are an infinite number of contradictory reasons why people decide to move into vans, and the vanlife community is as diverse as any you’ll meet. Digging down deep into our reasons, we find they’ve changed in these two-and-a-half years on the road. At first we wanted to simply travel, to see all the world and have new experiences. I suppose this is still true to a certain extent, but as we’ve slowed down, let go of expectation, and allowed…

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