If the definition of a holiday is an escape from your everyday life, then campervanning is certainly that. But not in the way you may think…
At home I have a dishwasher, a permanent bed that is constantly made up (note I said made up, not made…I’m sometimes a sloven!), a microwave, a 4 ring hob, oven and a shower and toilet that I only share with my husband.
When campervanning we have to put the bed down each night and put it back up the next day (it’s a pull out sofa bed). I have a 2 ring gas burner for cooking. I carry the washing up in a bowl to a communal washing up area and showers are in a standalone block which you have to walk to.
Doesn’t sound very appealing does it? And it’s all the things I expected to hate about van life.
Weirdly though, it’s that part of being different to my everyday life that makes it fun. It’s like an adventure. Something different to anything I’ve ever done. I feel like I’m experiencing a whole new way of holidaying.
Sleeping on a fold up bed that’s smaller than the one we have at home feels cosy and snug, and we both sleep ridiculously well. Waking up literally surrounded by grass and nature is such a novelty. Waiting for the whistling kettle to boil on the gas burner (which takes way longer than an electric kettle) doesn’t matter, because the pace of van life is slow. Nothing to rush for.
I don’t crave luxury
I’ve never been one for fancy 5 star hotels, spas and massages. It’s not my style. Nor am I a back to basics camper, lying on the floor in a sleeping bag covered only by canvas. I’ve always been a middle of the road holidayer – somewhere nice, in a good location for getting around, seeing things, and eating local cuisine. I don’t need someone to carry my luggage, but I do need enough space to take luggage and not live out of a backpack!
Inside the van is always warm and dry. We have a drinks cupboard (always well stocked), we bring our own pillows, and have a gorgeously thick mattress topper and cosy duvet. We have plenty of space thanks to the awning which houses all of our crap. I travel with a small suitcase (leopard print, of course). On our last trip I took 5 pairs of shoes. We cook full English breakfast if we want to (even cooking is a novelty), or eat out if we want to – breakfast, lunch and dinner if we choose. None of it is a compromise.
Have you ever been staying in a hotel or B&B and housekeeping turns up? You generally feel awkward and leave the room, just wandering around aimlessly until you can get back in. There’s none of that on a van holiday (unless you count the husband kicking me out so he can brush the grass off the floor).
Or when the weather’s bad and you’re stuck in your room sitting on the bed because there’s nothing else to do?
Staying in the van isn’t a means to an end – it’s an end in itself. There’s something den-like and exciting about hunkering down, fairy lights on, music playing and listening to the rain on the roof, or watching it through the windows. You don’t feel cheated in the same way you do being stuck in a room on holiday.
I can’t explain it
I’m writing this post and I’m laughing to myself, because none of what I’m saying in anyway answers the question in the title. Why do I love it? I don’t know. That’s the truth! I don’t honestly know.
I just do!
For more of an insight into our campervan life you may enjoy this post about What I’ve Learnt So Far
Have you ever stayed in a campervan? Does the lifestyle appeal to you? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks, as always, for reading. x