In the last month we have stayed in six different places so far. Sadly, we don’t mean six different locations while living in our wonderful tiny home on wheels, but six different flats and/houses. Every year, September is Mechanic Month for us, and we have to send our old timer into a care home to make sure he can drive on for another year. This year the last big rusty bits are being operated on, which we knew would take time and cost a fair bit. But mechanically, ours is an oldie but goodie and running really well!
We discovered that it can be challenging in these modern times to find a mechanic who is able to work on old machines. Since a typical diagnosis these days involves connecting one’s car to a laptop and letting computers talk to each other, a vehicle that sometimes just requires to be smacked with a hammer in the right place to fix it seems from a different world. In our first attempts to get an MOT, the young mechanic of the Austrian AA (ÖAMTC) looked at it, then immediately made us sign paperwork to agree that our van was Danger of Death On Wheels, suggesting it broke all rules of science to still be running at all. We had to search out someone who was at least the same age as our van (40), if not a little older, who could see that it was indeed a drive-able vehicle and not too tricky to repair after all (hit it with a hammer).
This year, we found an awesome workshop who straightaway shared some nostalgic chuckles when our van made its noisy way into their shop. Rather than shaking their heads and listing all the problems and reasons that it shouldn’t be on the road (which has happened more than once) they had a look, admired how well it has aged and agreed that old cars are the best. So, we are pleased to announce that the baby blue mean machine will be our humble abode for at least another year, though we hope he will go on longer of course.
It is always a strange feeling to be without our house. One of the hardest things is packing. With van life, no matter where we go, whether for one night or two months, we bring or whole house. In our van, we have everything that we need to live a comfortable life, and it all fits so perfectly in the tiny spaces (after some trial and error to figure out the best stacking and packing systems). For the last few weeks, we had to think about what we might need for the coming time and pack accordingly into backpacks. It was tricky, and we ran out of undies pretty quickly. We managed to have some epic holiday times though, despite our poor packing – check out our Instagram for some snowy mountain photos!
With all fingers crossed, we’ll move back into our little home next week and be off to the next work project. We’ll try to do a bit more writing here too, so stay tuned and thanks for reading! Year 3 of van life, here we come!