Europe minimalism poetry slowlivingactivism travel vanlife water

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 graphic designer & photographer), and our two rescue hounds. We’re currently exploring the south of Spain and Portugal as we’ve discovered a newfound love for surfing. We’re slow-travelling minimalist enthusiasts who’re working towards a less wasteful way of life. This isn’t just about minimising clutter, it’s about stripping all aspects of our lives back to bare essentials so we can fill our time with experiences, not stuff. This account is a way of documenting these work/life travels in real(ish) time. It’s made up of fragments of poems, insights & photographs gifted by the ocean and the land. 

My poetry books are available through the shop on the website, and I’ve also been using this time and space to dream the first speculative fiction novel into being. The Madness of Sara Mansfield, is as inspired by our travels and the landscapes encountered as the non-fiction and poetry. This book has been a loooong slog to create because I’ve had to keep working to be the person who could get this book written, but I feel it’s finally getting there. 

I also post additional words, photos (usually by Andy) and recipes from the road twice monthly (14th & 28th) over on OUTSIDER exclusively for Patreons – link in biog for details if you’d like something extra and more in-depth to enrich your month. Otherwise thanks again for stopping by and I hope to see you on the road sometime!

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