The following statement may make us traitors to the hashtag-vanlife purists: so far, in 2019 we have not been living in our van. Instead, we have been watching the winter weather from inside a 600 year old thatched cottage, sitting on a huge sofa with a radiator at our backs. We could park our van inside the bedroom, and we have the option of a shower or a bath in the bathroom. It is a temporary home of course, and only living somewhere for a few weeks at a time wouldn’t suit everyone, but for us it is one of the things that makes our van life so enjoyable!We are once again working and living on the holiday cottage farm in Devon, England. We spent a couple of months over winter here last year, and were really pleased when the owners asked us to come back for some more work projects this year. When we were first talking about hitting the road in 2017 and trying to get jobs as we go, we knew that the most important thing for us have a chance at success would be to build a reputation and hope for a bit of word-of-mouth momentum to ensure the next job and keep us afloat. We also knew this would take time to develop, so it was an awesome moment for us to get a repeat booking after just a year on the road. And what a place to be able to return to!
The work for us here this year is mostly rennovation. There are 7 holiday cottages here, all needing a fair amount of upkeep and attention, so we arrived to quite a long list of projects and the list keeps growing. We have been re-painting houses, refurbishing doors and windows, upgrading chicken enclosures, beautifying sheds, chatting with guests, walking dogs and more.
We have a few more weeks here and will make the most of the treats that living in a house allow. Here are a few that we still don’t take for granted:
- Having an indoor toilet that we can quickly walk to for a midnight pee. Perhaps we should one day film the clumsy, disastrous debacle that one of us goes through to climb out of the van door to squat outside for a midnight pee. Honestly, having a toilet just around the corner is great.
- When we are wet from rain or filty dirty from work, having plenty of appropriate places to put clothes without worrying about what else is getting wet or dirty.
- Having a machine wash our dishes. It feels like putting a robot-servant to work every time.
- Having an oven – baking cakes, roasting potatoes, pizzas, cheesey bakes… mmmmm.
- Having pets. This is something that we have seen a lot of vanlife folks enjoying on the road too, but our van is just a bit too small to comfortably accommodate extra companions. Here, we often have a resident cat, and a couple of awesome dogs. We love that.
- The simple pleasure of sitting on the sofa watching TV.The rest of the year is looking pretty busy at the moment. We will keep you posted with our next plans when we hit the road again! For now, follow our Instagram and we will share more photos of course.