TRAVEL: My space...
When I’m counselling or coaching people, one of the first questions I ask them, is…
“Why have you decided you want counselling, JD?”
It’s a pretty standard question in counselling circles and, from their answers I can usually tell what they want from me.
Therefore, if I apply that to the situation I’m in right now (i.e. doing the daft thing of contemplating buying a campervan and entering the #vanlife fray), I should reframe the question and ask myself:
“Why do you want a campervan, Kaye?”
Well, I have a pretty straight answer and it goes something like this…
“Because I want to!”
Seriously though, there are other reasons, practical as well as social reasons. Like, my employers are forcing me into moving into a one roomed space, even though we are officially entitled to more. And I’ve been suffering this over ten years of employment with them – tasting the delights of being allocated my own space only twice during that decade. So, if I were to ‘live in a van’ so to speak, I would at least have my own privacy.
My own space to work, rest and play.
Added to this, I constantly find myself moving around the country, exploring and seeking new adventures. I love this country that I live in and was born in and I want to learn as much about it as I possibly can. Doing that requires travelling long distances and staying overnight in a B&B or a hotel. These are getting more expensive by the year.
In the 1980s, you could go away for the weekend and spend £25 on a brilliant homely B&B for one night – which included the second B (breakfast) of the title at no extra cost. Now, however, the vast majority of places charge four times this amount – for what is effectively a rental of one bed for one night.
In addition to this, being a singleton – I get penalised on price too.
If it wasn't for those bleedin' supplements for a single room (because they aren’t able to make money on the second person that should have come with you), then I would have gone on more holidays than I have done in the past two decades.
I really begrudge all that. Particularly when families are able to get children in for free – plus they get free meals! Is my single supplement paying for that? Terribly unfair, I say! Perhaps I ought to start a petition, when you consider that most people nowadays are single!
All that aside, I find myself constantly moving around from location to location.
Don't get me wrong, I work for the same company, but they want me to move to different locations around the world. Nice life if you can get it, eh? No. Not really.
This kind of lifestyle means constantly packing and unpacking and getting to know new people, adjusting to the way others work and being at others’ beck and call all the time. Plus, not only do you have to be satisfied with the accommodation they allocate to you (more often than not, its abysmal!), you may have built-up a stirling reputation at one place, then you've got to start all over again!
Fine if you have no other life to live. But I have loads of things I want to do, be and see!
For me, a campervan would solve all of those issues in one fell swoop.
My sister, bless her, says she will disown me (well, perhaps not entirely), if I buy a van. She says "It’s a foolish thing to do!" She can’t imagine me living a life in a vehicle. “That would be a waste of your money!” she says constantly.
I know, I know. But it’s my money! I should be able to do what I want with it, shouldn’t I?
I can understand her dilemma though. She cares and bricks and mortar are solid and safe and can’t be ‘stolen’ and driven off as you nip into the shops for a pinta or a loaf. A house is
on firm ground
in a trusty location
there's a key to the door that you can shut on the rest of the world
there are fixed services like broadband and electricity and heating and cooking
it’s nice to trundle up the stairs to snuggle up in a bed that’s already made and firm and clean and not damp
blah, blah, blah...
Well, I propose to get a van that can do and provide all that and more.
It’s not so hard with the internet anymore. I have a roaming EE and Vodafone mobile packages, I can ‘tether’ my laptop to them. In my mind, inside the van will be warm, as I’ll search for one that has solar panels on top to give me enough power to for heating and cooking and dehumidifying – all provided free by the sunshine.
Of course, there will be insurance and tax and MOT and servicing and maintenance.
I would have to do without it for a while if it went in for a couple of days to be fixed. That’s where my job comes in. I have the option of that roof too – which I would be paying for anyway. So, when all is considered, I cannot for the life of me see where the problems are.
Blue skies and apple pies and lots of fun and adventure along the way.
So, herein, I begin my search for the perfect vehicle.
Kaye is a freelance publisher, author and certified psychotherapist with over three decades of experience. She is also a writer for various blogs about writing, publishing, travelling and health care.
Feel free to visit her BewleyBooks.com site, where you can sign-up to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube.