Yes yes I know, it’s been a while…but I have a legit reason. I had an assessment due, and we had places to be in a very short time. And I will update on all the places we’ve been, but for now I will let you all know what it has been like, truly, living in a van.
Where do I start?
I guess I can only speak for myself because I know what I’m thinking.
I love it.
I love not knowing when we’ll stop, or where, I love seeing all the little towns and shops, and I love all the different sights I get to see each day. I truly do love every little thing about it. I love the small amount of cleaning I have to do each day, I love the simple healthy meals we concoct on the fly based on what we have (well, my amazing husband does, I’m not very creative in the kitchen). I love being able to go to bed when I’m tired and waking up when my body says its ready to. I love this life. I love the beaches and the country and the trees and the sun. I love the cold and snuggling up to hubby to keep warm, and I love sitting outside in the cool breeze under our awning when it’s hot. I love being able to wear my togs all day, washing them at night, and wearing them again the next day, thus reducing my washing amount to zero.
There are bad sides to it.
Like when there is nothing but crappy town after crappy town and we drive for what feels like too long and my tailbone starts to hurt. And I hate it when we find an amazing town with such quirky and awesome clothes that are stupidly, and touristy, expensive. And I hate it when we have to be everywhere else that requires clothing and my washing pile grows and grows and grows, and I can’t wash them until we stop for at least a whole day (or more) in order to dry them, so the pile grows while our clothes cupboards shrink. It’s a major pain in the bum having to cook when its dripping hot outside because that makes the inside temps mental! And then to top it off, that heat usually means a ga-zillion flies so it’s safer to eat indoors which means piling around the slightly too small table and sticking to each other’s arms, making even lifting the fork to your mouth difficult and kinda gross. I hate stopping, telling the kids to pee, which they fervently inform me they don’t need to, only to have to stop 10 min down the road cuz, they have to pee. And it really gets my goat when we stop for breakfast and plan to drive for a few hours to stop at a really cool place with swings or something nice for the kids, but ½ hr into it they are hungry again and complain incessantly in the back. Oh and don’t get me started on the fighting and niggling and…I’m not going to say it, instead I’ll go with cattiness…that girls seem to always involve themselves in. Oh my do I detest those parts! But let’s be honest, no matter where any parent is, home, van, boat, anywhere, I think that is just part of being a parent…isn’t it?
Anyways, so that’s the good and the bad from my part. I don’t mind the close proximity we have to each other inside. The toilet and I have made amends and are getting along nicely. The van is looking schmick, the car has had some expected teething problems because of the turbo, and they too have been sorted. The rain seems to have finally left me alone and it’s nothing but sunshine and rainbows.
So what do I miss you ask? Is it really that good? Should I do it too? Will the kids be ok? Will they like it? Soo many questions.
I think it really is that good, and I think if it’s something you have ever thought about, there are options galore in regards to renting vans and caravans. Give it a try for a while and see how it goes. But be sure to give it some time because there are certainly teething problems at the start! You have to be strong and overcome.
And what do I miss?
I miss having a nice long hot bath or shower, in one big enough to share with hubby. I miss how easy cooking chips are in a house oven. I miss how easy it is to just pop into Coles and grab a few things for dinner when you suddenly realise there is not as much as you thought because someone was a bit hungry and needed a snack. But those are all small things really considering the trade off I think.
The kids are improving in their maths, English still needs more work, and science…it is a fight to the bitter end to get them to write a report, but fight I shall…no matter how bitter! But they are enjoying doing school work all the same. The last report was on oysters because we saw some and they had a whole heap of questions so I decided to turn it into a research project and report. Sometimes Kya gets sad and wants to go home, and sometimes Lily feels like nobody loves her, but they did have the same feelings in the house, only over different things, usually school based, so I’m not sure this is really much different. They meet kids and play with them every time we stop at a park, and Evelyn is really coming out of her shell and initiating the play. She’s confident and happy and loves being in a van the most.
Brendan, well, I can’t really say for sure, but I think he has a love hate relationship with it. He likes the freedom, he likes the sights, he loves the beaches, but he hates the constant little bits of work that needs to be done, he hates my terrible navigating skills, and he hates the constant whining coming from the back seat all day long, followed by the ceaseless chatting that comes with my direct bloodline (I am sorry for that gene my dearest). I think he also misses being able to work out in the comfort of his own home. For some reason or other, a man working out in a park seems to attract attention…and I try to help by working out next to him, but that just makes us look even more strange.
I am not hearing as often “welcome to transport” and the dreaded “more money”; maybe once or so a week now.
Oh and little Minty. Who knows what a dog thinks but she has definitely decided that us and us alone should go near the van or her siblings so she gets extra points for being an awesome mini guard dog. I think she also secretly loves sleeping inside with us all. Brendan wakes up to her in the morning and she forces him to pat her by rubbing her back on his feet when he gets up. He yells at her to get off but I don’t actually see him move his feet out of the way so I think the relationship is mutual.
Uni is hard to do because I don’t want to look at a stupid computer screen when there is soo much more to do with my family, but it’s my turn to work and hubby’s time to rest so I’m happy to do it all the same. One other thing, I miss my friends. I know I never was a visitor much, not my thing, but now I can’t I want to…guess it’s just one of them things. I’d still not take this back though.
Did I mention I love this life?
What’s next? Who knows, maybe a boat. Got any tips or ideas?