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travel

dailyconnectionwithnature Europe feature nature photography travel

travelling from your sofa in times of quarantine

April 3, 2020

If you’re fed up with the four walls this weekend, I’ve removed the paywall on two beautiful photodiaries by Andy Garside of some of our travels in autumn last year. I know we can’t get out much or travel just now but I’m finding the nature photos and blogs online a great source of inspiration and a reminder of just how wild and beautiful this planet is. I love Andy’s take on the world, the way he focusses on the…

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dailyconnectionwithnature nature travel vanlife

The sun continues to set

March 5, 2020

Just a sunset. Just because life is so beautiful. The sun sets. And then rises again every morning. This simple truth is something I hold to in times of acute grief at the state of the world. I haven’t immersed in as many sunsets in my life as I have these past two+ years in the van. I believe this is what imbues this life more and more with a deep sense of peace. Nature evolves. Whether we choose to…

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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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photography travel vanhounds vanlife

Lessons from our hounds

December 24, 2019

I have to share this story of these two: ever since we adopted Bonnie (the black whippetx) 4yrs ago (at just under 1yr old) she’s been terrified of dogs she doesn’t know. This manifests in her shouting at them Very Loudly when on walks and if she’s off the lead she does a sort of fly-by shouting a them At Great Speed. We’ve tried everything, taken various advice from trainers, even a muzzle (which we all hated so that didn’t…

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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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dailyconnectionwithnature feature feminism slowlivingactivism travel vanlife

Managing your moon

November 28, 2019

I feel there’s not enough easily accessible information about being in the outdoors and women’s periods/moons/cycles. A recent exchange made me realise that instead of expecting male writers to include words detailing it, outdoor women could write more openly about it all. I was inspired to write this after reading an article ‘How To Shit in the Woods’ on the Gather Outdoors website, which I highly recommend for its practical, environmental approach to, well, shitting in the woods. If you…

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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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Sometimes heaven doesn’t look like heaven (even when it really is)

November 14, 2019

Life in the van is a dream. It allows the space to connect with nature, and myself, and to write. It’s all I want. It’s definitely not the life for everybody because there’s the less-luxurious, nomadic side to this minimalist lifestyle that wouldn’t suit a lot of people. But for me, this way of living is perfect, and yet still, sometimes accepting this is harder than it sounds. The ego wants to get in the way: now I have the…

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