Unexpected things I love about living in a van.
I’ve been living in a van for 5 years now, and there are some unexpected things that I’ve come to love about this way of life.
- The smell of the gas hob first thing in the morning. Chris is an early riser, he gets up and lights the stove to boil a kettle. The smell of the burning gas drifts through the camper to me in my cosy bed. It is a subtle yet distinct smell that I totally associate with living in a van. We never had a gas stove when I was growing up; this smell reminds me of family holidays staying in static caravans in Wales: mum cooking breakfast in the tiny kitchen.
- Room with a view. For years I had a postcard framed on my bathroom wall (when I lived in a house): it had this caption and a picture of a 60’s VW campervan. To me, this is the most apt phrase of all for van living: where the view is always changing and there is always something new to gaze at.
- The close proximity to nature. Being able to watch wildlife from the comfort of my home is wonderful, whether it be a tiny wren singing from the hedge we may be parked alongside or watching gannets wheel beyond the cliff.
- Sitting on the step, my hands cupped around a hot mug of coffee, breathing in the new day.
- The sense of community. Van lifers and camper owners of the world unite, and what a friendly bunch we are! Plus, I love to peek in other peoples’ vans because I’m totally nosey, like!
- The joy of listening to the radio. We don’t have a tv and often no internet either, I’ve found great joy in listening to the radio instead. Usually the radio is on in the background while we’re driving, or I’m cooking or blogging. There is also something rather lovely about listening to it to relax, with no other distractions, often while gazing out over a beautiful view.
- The sound of light rain on the roof. Heavy rain can be deafening but light rain fizzles and I find it very soothing.
- Birds tip-tapping on the roof. The avian tap dance on the roof above my bed makes me smile as they go about their business – picking off bugs I presume. Starlings are light on their feet while pigeons are a little less graceful.
- The satisfaction of solar. Whether it’s charging my phone or my laptop, there is something rather satisfying about powering it through the solar panel and not doing it through the national grid!
- I can make it spick and span in moments! Living in a small space, with minimal clutter, makes housework a breeze!
- The crisp sound of morning is always changing. Waking up to the dawn chorus; waves crashing; sheep bleating; rivers babbling; gulls calling. This sure beats waking up to a blaring alarm clock!
- Being Offline. While sometimes it can be really frustrating trying to find wifi or a mobile signal, it is very freeing to be disconnected. It makes you live life in the here and now. I’m old enough to remember travelling before the all-consuming desire to be online 24hrs a day, living nomadically in a van has taken me back to those days and I like it! Sure, I need to get online, I’m a blogger after all, but when I do there is often not time to faff on all the other distractions the internet has to ensnare you. It has made me realise how much time I waste online (for instance, when I’m house sitting), and how easy it is to become addicted to being connected!
Pin it for later:
Try these posts:
Sunday Musings: Snow Vanlife. Brrr, living in a van over the British winter!
Our New Tiny Demountable Camper Home Introducing our Truck camper before we moved into it.
Saying Goodbye to Our Nomadic Home After four years Juan the Transit goes to the scrap-heap in the sky.
Homes With Wheels: My Life In Campervans From vintage VWs to the present day.
Did any of those surprise you?