Vanlife is super strange and I think it it making us stranger people. Different things are becoming the norms in our lives.
Showers become a reason to stay somewhere for a day or two to have the luxury near by. We have been staying on some beaches just because they have public, cold showers. It’s a bit embarrassing to use soap and shampoo, because it’s a dead giveaway that you don’t have a proper home. You’re homeless. But it’s so nice to get free showers a few days in a row, and to not worry about going for a run and having no shower around. Yuck.
Some days are shit days. I know you won’t believe it but living on the road is still life. We do have magical days where we are on the beach all day and Vigo is a dream baby. Then we have other days when he just hates his car seat and not even the baby hammock or nursing will calm him down at night. Other days we spend 7 hours driving around Barcelona trying to get an adapter or a new gas canister because our German tank just ran out.
Outside is our “other room”. Dom practices guitar and ukelele outside of the van when weather and neighbors permit. When baby Vigo needs to be in the baby carrier to fall asleep, one of us usually goes for a walk wearing him. I often make art outside of the van and have an outdoor studio if we are parked close to a place I can be somewhat solitary and have a bit of ground space.
Water is a luxury. We have two twenty liter water tanks that we fill every week or so. I have been able to wash my hair with 2 cups of water. We cook multiple meals a day in the van so conserving when washing dishes is very important. And we are choosing to have this limit in resources, imagine those who are living in drought and HAVE to collect their water.
Very close quarters. You have to be comfortable peeing in front of one another. Dom and I were talking about this the other day when he was sitting on our little camping toilet. He thinks not all couples could do this, because of how closely you live with one another. You brush teeth together, you dress together, you cook and play together most of the day. If you’re not doing it together you are usually doing it in the space with the other person.
You loose your sense of shame. You forget to close the curtain or door and begin to pee in the toilet enjoying the view, only a few seconds into it someone walks by, sees you, and you smile and nod because that’s all you can do. Or you consciously and voluntarily look like a show off or a crazy by doing yoga on the beach in the morning, or you look like a freak recording a surrealist music video out on a windy beach all alone. Because you needed to get an upside-down close-up of the sand whisping into the water.
You find and use wifi at the strangest places. Last week in Madrid, we found ourselves standing outside of the adidas shop for 5 minutes to write a quick note to family and post a photo on Instagram.
You question whether you are on vacation or actually changing and becoming a drifter, hobo living on the streets. We had to ask an ex-colleague we met in Madrid whether we smelled, because we wondered whether it was one of those, getting used to our own stank situations.
We are a month into our travels through Spain and we are at a point of ultimate relaxation. Embracing this simplistic, nomadic lifestyle.
Thanks for reading lovelies,