I am not a hippy. I’m not a crusty. I’m not a gypsy. I work for a living. I pay my taxes and I am a responsible citizen. I believe in recycling. I do not litter. But I want a simple life and so with my husband I’m moving into a van. Maybe we will hate it. Or maybe this is the beginning of a new life.
In search of another life
Monday, 4 October 2010
I'm not looking for anything but a bit of an interesting life, I would think. But this summer has taught me that I was looking for something and I actually think I have found it. What started off as an easy way for us to pay off debt has turned into something else. We thought we would only live in a van for six months, but we have discovered a new way of life.
Next year we have plans. They may be loose but I am certain that we will make some of them happen. They involve buying land, living on the land in trucks, making composting toilets and using wind turbines and solar panels. The route we have chosen is on the way to self sufficiency. Much as I like living on the road (and will always travel) it would be nice to be legal and for the first time ever, I'm not counting down the days until I leave the country but am enjoying every single second of life. I think it's called living in the moment.
So my friends, I must thank you all for coming along with me on my journey and wish you all the very best. I hope those of you who are looking for vans find the right one very soon, and are able to learn from my mistakes. (I won't say I hope you find what you are looking for).
Take care and don't hesitate to keep in touch via the blog. I will check on it from time to time.
Friday, 1 October 2010
“No,” I replied, “I’m a new traveller. We respect the land and don’t leave broken fridges and other bits of litter lying around.”
He nodded and said “so you’re not working then?”
“I work for the council and I’m a writer,” I replied, “and 90% of people who live in vans around here work.”
He took all this quite well, and then I told him that I myself had come into van dwelling with preconceptions. He still looked a bit dazed but he took it in his stride then quickly said goodbye.
I feel as though I may have given him some food for thought. Perhaps next time he sees someone hanging out of their van he won’t be so quick to pass a judgement on them. I don’t blame him for his prejudices though. I think it is a rare person who does not jump to conclusions about van dwellers if he has never considered that way of life as an option. But it’s nice to play a part in the education of others.
Monday, 27 September 2010
While looking for a link to the book I have just found an excellent site called - what else? - Off-Grid. Here you can read the book for FREE as well as meet like-minded people, keep up to date with the latest news stories, buy solar panels and wind turbines and share stories.
Monday, 20 September 2010
But thanks for the interest. To reply to the person who asked me what we will be doing in India, I will be writing, practicing yoga and hopefully meeting more friendly and wonderful people. And looking forward to returning to the UK next spring.
We have found a home for our home throughout the winter. I was all set to look at loads of places but we were lucky enough to find a good one straight away. Because of the age and condition of our poor old lady we need her to be indoors in a dry area. Church Farm in Chichester has a huge space with high celilings that let in the air but not the damp. I won't tell you how much we are going to pay per month, but I was thinking £50 and we got it for much less than that.
We will be looking forward to picking her up next April.
Friday, 17 September 2010
I know countless men and several women who live alone in their vans and the van community here is extremely welcoming to new people who have decided to embark upon this way of life.
We are living out the last of our days of van life - for this year anyway - and I can truly say this has been the best summer I have ever spent in the UK. I will be sad to leave the country, even if I am heading for warmer climes. You may have noticed that my posts have become less, but that is only because I have been having so much fun!
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Now begins the time of year when it’s good to have a burner in your van. We have a gas fire which we can’t really use as our mattress hangs over the edge. We can put a ring on the hob to heat the van, or simply wear more layers. Last night I slept in a hoody and didn’t wake up hot. Luckily the weather is looking good and we will put the van in storage at the end of the month. If we were staying any longer than that we’d have to get rid of the mattress so we could turn on the fire. Let’s hope the rest of the month is as sunny as it was today.
Thursday, 26 August 2010
We got hold of some aluminium tape but could not find a ladder, so after a trip to B & Q, Reg came back laden with tar roof sealant and a cheap ladder. After both spending a lot of time up the wobbly ladder we reckon we’ve cracked it (not literally I hope). We’ve sealed up both sun roofs from the outside, and taped the culprit with sealant tape on the inside. And now we’ve parked up and left Brighton for a few days in the worst rain we’ve had in months, so I really hope we did a good job.