Updated: Oct 4
People often say to me "Don't you feel lonely being on your own?" Then they add, "Especially at Christmas!"
I can't be the only one who doesn't look forward to Christmas, surely?
Call me weird, but I don't like buying stuff that will be forgotten the very next day. I don't like the gluttous feast that's laid before us on the table - sweets and savouries available 24/7. And I especially don't like the television nor the noise, party games and freely-available alcohol. It's all a bit too much for me.
Years ago, I used to spend that special 'free-time' away from the office, with my dad. But he chose to pop on those clogs and walk through those Pearly Gates and nothing's been the same since.
It was nice, just the two of us. Sitting there in silence, watching all the old films, getting up and eating and drinking when we wanted, without saying a word to each other. Not because we didn't like each other, but because we were comfortable in each other's company.
However, since that shared time became a non-event in my life I've struggled to settle. I haven't been short of invites - family, friends, colleagues - the invitations were there, but after the first couple of times, sharing someone else's routine in someone else's house, surrounded by noisy family, arguing over the TV, crying over neglectful presents received, sulking because the turkey wasn't served just the way they wanted it, it has never felt the same.
So, this year, I'm planning on a Christmas Adventure - on my own! In my campervan.
I have a wonderful trip planned. I'll be visiting some of the pubs and clubs dad used to play darts in (he was that good, he was up against Eric Bristow at one time), I will be visiting my old junior school, seeing all the homes I've ever lived in (and there have been plenty!), as well as one treasured little adventure into the old woods I used to camp in as a kid.
My goal is to follow a kind of Memory Trail
Instead of listening to the raised voices and looking at screwed up red faces and being roped into rows I don't want - and can well do without, I'm going to be using my feet to walk away from it all.
It doesn't matter what I find when I'm there. It will be easy to take photographs of the places I visit. Granted, they will probably have changed as I haven't visited them over forty years!
So when people say to me "Don't you feel lonely being on your own?" then add, "Especially at Christmas!" No, I most certainly do not! Contrary to what people believe, I do love my own company.
I love the silence in nature. I love getting up in the dark at dawn to listen to the birds welcome in the day.
I love cooking my own food on a two ring burner and watching the sun rise over the water or through the trees.
I've found that spending some time on my own is therapeutic. It clears the cobwebs. It allows me to see with fresh eyes and release myself from any anxiety that's been swirling around in my gut.
According to the Caravan and Camping Club, there are plenty of campsites that welcome travellers at this time of year and I've booked a few to make sure I've reserved my spot.
So, bring it on!
All the best,
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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.
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