So it has been a whole week since we packed up our lives into our little van and set off on a huge adventure. Its already had ups and downs and so I thought I would write a piece about how we have coped, what we think are useful tips and what to expect if you are planning on doing something like this yourself.
The Expectation – Super glamorous waking up by rivers and feeling fresh all the time from an amazing night sleep raring to go.
The Reality – You haven’t washed properly in three days and you’re groggy after being woke up by the local youths on the nearby skatepark with a crick in your neck.
The Expectation – Your shower will be warm, powerful and you always feel refreshed with zero sweatiness. Your clothes are always fresh, without creases and you can lay your perfectly picked outfit out ready for the next day, accessories and all.
The Reality – We tried out our shower without turning the heater on and it honestly took my breath away. All the effort of emptying out the shower cubicle made us realise we need to only use that in an emergency or if we are staying one place for a long period of time. Hopefully I can start classing going in the sea as a shower soon! My clothes are packed tightly in packing cubes which although means we can unpack a specific piece of clothing but they tend to be extremely creased. We have a little travel ironing kit which so far hasn’t seen any action. Also there is no laying out of outfits like I used to at home, its a whack on the front seat jobbie and my little pack of accessories is yet to leave the cupboard, maybe I am feeling inspired by the minimal European style or maybe I am feeling lazy, who knows, who cares.
The Expectation – You’re totally in love and you’ll only see each other at their best and some things are good to keep private right?
The Reality – We have to have the toilet door open when using the loo…enough said.
The Expectation – Everything is easy and relaxing, you have no timescales so why worry.
The Reality – We need water but don’t want pay. We argue about what to do and where to head but its all healthy we are with each other 24 hours a day and have strong personalities. We always discuss and come to a perfect solution because the expectation is right we have no timescales so why worry.
The Expectation – Indulging in the local cuisine for three meals a day plus snacks or cooking amazing meals on the bbq from fresh produce. Cockatils coming out of our ears and never going hungry.
The Reality – We love tryingly the local produce but because this is a long trip we can’t be as frivolous with money as we would on a normal holiday. We definitely enjoy our food and cocktails just maybe not quite as much as usual but that doesn’t mean have less fun. We love cooking in our little van especially if we rock up to a new place very late and most restaurants are closed so instead of wasting cash on somewhere not on our hit list for eating (yes I am one of those weirdos who looks up places before she goes) we cook up a storm and cosy in for the evening with a gin & tonic in hand.
The Expectation – you will have a different outfit for every day and clothes for all occasions, dressing up no problem you have that stunning maxi dress and heels.
The Reality – space is tight in a van so think about packing super versatile clothes, I absolutely adore holiday clothes and it was heartbreaking (don’t judge me) to choose what to take but basics are best and can be dressed up or down. I think I might do a full breakdown on what I have chosen to take if that helps anyone because I spent so long researching, a lot longer than Joshua who seems very unprepared!
The Expectation – The roads are scary, the van is huge and I am going to crash.
The Reality – Apart form the obvious driving on the right it isn’t all that different. The motorways aren’t crazy so I feel more comfortable driving on those and I leave the parking to Joshua who is a pro. We try to keep the driving balanced but he does offer to do more which free me up to do things like write this and plan where we are going at our destination.
Yes its not as glamorous as you think but I like to think I am low maintenance and I don’t care about the negatives because I spend each day exploring a brand new city, feeling free as a bird and enjoying my life with the person I love. It doesn’t matter than I haven’t washed, my hair is coated in dry shampoo, my back aches slightly and my thighs are killing from cycling because I couldn’t honestly be happier.