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vanlife

creating Europe vanlife

The story of my tattoos

July 30, 2020

Crows now finished. Obrigada Lisandra Siqueira for your beautiful work of art. I knew I had to have this tattooed on my skin the moment Andy returned from Lisandra with new ink. I always said I’d stop having tattoos when I turned 40 because that felt like the time I should start to be more sensible. Ha. Fuck that. Now I’m 44 and working on this leg sleeve. Tattoos are a deeply personal telling of my story and so of…

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creating dailyconnectionwithnature feature minimalism OUTSIDER Patreon chapters vanlife

STEPHEN’S LAST NIGHT IN TOWN (NOT)

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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creating food vanlife

Making it up as I go along

June 15, 2020

The best way I’ve found to move towards #zerofoodwaste in the van kitchen is to work with what’s already in instead of buying new ingredients all the time. I try not to just do the food shopping on the same day each week, instead going once the food has run out (which can be up to 9 days later). This dish of spicy black bean and fresh tomato soup with lemony-herb topping, served with garlic chapati, was inspired by the…

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dailyconnectionwithnature nature vanlife

Barefoot dreams

June 13, 2020

Wore shoes last night for the first time in ages and still walked the 5km home barefoot. I love being in tune with my surroundings, the way my body is fully aware of changes in temperature and texture; feeling the hard, smooth white cobbles give way to soft, damp midnight grasses. These past few years, no longer restricted by ridiculously shaped shoes, my feet have spread, rough callouses have formed along the heels; I can no longer stride with certainty,…

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dailyconnectionwithnature vanlife water

On perseverance

June 6, 2020

There’s something I love about the art of perseverance. Although we’re all born with differing capabilities I truly believe that anybody can get good at any skill with enough time, effort and perseverance. Personally, I prefer taking the longer, more difficult route to learning. When I’ve examined this I realise it’s because my philosophy is that if I can do something in difficult times/under difficult situations then I’ll be really good when the going gets easier. Surfing has been one…

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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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creating Europe minimalism nature vanlife

Mend and make do

April 21, 2020

The birdsong here starts at about 5.30am and continues until dusk, only pausing when the kite makes his twice-daily surveillance swing by. I’ve heard a bird singing at 11pm and have no idea what beautiful creation is spinning such liquid gold out into the night sky. The days flow past with the rainfall and I’m happy to just immerse in this riverbank’s none-silence as I patch blankets, or make vegan food. Occasionally, the ego screams about a lack of productivity…

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family minimalism vanlife

Tiny space living

March 26, 2020

Living together in a small space is something we get asked about a LOT. The solution is being flexible & learning to ask for our space. Andy wants to shave – I’ll sit reading on the bed for longer. If one of us wants to cook, the other plans something that doesn’t interfere with that space. Headphones are the work of angels. All of our early arguments around space grew from a lack of communication. We didn’t tell each other…

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