Unfortunately, holiday time can’t last forever. We found some lovely spots to stay during the weeks off that we had, and definitely recommend Belgium and Luxemburg for both cheap and free camper van areas. As we mentioned in a previous blog, the addition of solar panels to our van opened up a whole new world for us. As long as we are close to a lake or river to top up our water supplies, we can stay put! Perhaps not in the depths of winter when we want the luxury of our energy-sucking heater, but for the rest of the year we’re pretty well set up. But since other aspects of living, like eating and petrol, still cost money, we had to move on to the next project in the Netherlands.
Here, we are house sitting, dog sitting and room renovating. This means that once again, our version of #vanlife sees us moving out of our van and into a proper house. We’ve already written about things we enjoy about a house after #vanlife, and there are definitely some things we miss about living in our van when step back into #houselife.
Coffee in bed is a big one. Of course, this is possible in a house. It just involves getting out of bed first to make the coffee, which often requires visiting a whole other floor or room in the house! What a journey! This isn’t so when we’re in our van, since by the act of sitting up in bed we are able to reach the cooker and set the coffee. Sometimes, tiny spaces are just the best.
Cleaning is another obvious one, and is a great bonus of a tiny home. When it’s time to clean in the van, we sweep through less than a metre squared of floor space, and wipe down a small stove-top that is the kitchen. Job done, in roughly 15 minutes (if we are really thorough with the kitchen. Otherwise it’s more like 5). Houses take a bit more effort.
This may sound a bit strange, but the routine of normal life is a bit more effort in a van, and this is something that we appreciate. We have to set up and break down the bedroom set up each day, we have to put away everything we use after we’re done with it or we quickly run out of space, storage systems need to be stuck to, water supplies are monitored and the daily weather means a lot. May did not bless us with the loveliest spring weather, and we did occasionally drive a few hours in the hopes of finding clearer skies. All of these things make us live a little more in the moment, and mean that we enjoy the shit out of life’s luxuries when we get them (by luxuries we mean more along the lines of WiFi and an indoor toilet, rather than a butler and a spa).
One of our favourite things about living in the van is getting into bed when the weather is nice enough to leave the back door wide open for a while. Whether we get to watch a wonderful sunset, be nosey neighbours to other campers, spy on busy mice and other wildlife or just listen to our surroundings, it’s a really special time that is hard to replicate in a house. This, alongside the other reasons above, is why we always look forward to making the van a home again, no matter how nice our temporary houses might be!
So anyway, we’re working now in the Netherlands. Check out our Instagram for some updates, and perhaps our next blog will tell a bit more about it.