Europe feature vanlife

In times of crisis

March 25, 2020

I’m not sure I can think of a time in my 44 years on this earth that is parallel to this current turmoil. Or is that myopic & selfish of me? People across the globe have been dealing with the fallout of war, famine, drought, & political unrest for decades. Perhaps it’s just that these events have been something we’ve watched from afar, in 24hr news reels, on the Internet, or through the stories of photojournalist. Speaking with a German vanlifer (16yrs & counting) yesterday we talked about how crisis tends to exaggerate people’s inherent personality traits. And it has highlighted some beautifully creative & generous behaviour, as well as shown us who the true heroes of our society are: the NHS staff, warehouse & shop workers, the emergency services, & anybody who is going out of their way to support others. At the other end of the pendulum are the judgmentntal, angry, aggressive outbursts that occur when people’s egos or different approaches or lifestyles run up against each other. We’ve spent weeks worrying what to do. We know that driving 2500km from Portugal to Wales in an attempt to cross three closed European borders is a ludicrous idea when people are being ordered to stay put to stop Corona virus transmission, still, we remain acutely aware of the fragility of our living situation. We look around us, at the European approach to this pandemic: people are cautious but friendly, nobody is panic buying or threatening to kill people whose lives are transient; there feels a deeper level of empathy or at least ‘live & let live’ mentality here. And I’m reminded of some of the reasons why we always wanted to remain in Europe, why we sold all our possessions & moved into this van in the first place. Britain is a beautiful place but I think there’s so much we can learn from the European approach to life & togetherness because I think this crisis is also highlighting each country’s character traits too, & some of it isn’t so pretty. I wanted to share with you this beautiful sunset from our home. Each evening she makes a promise to rise again the next morning; paints the sky as reminder that the world recreates herself anew for us every day, and with that, so can we.

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