Big news…..

Our plans when we first set out in Bessie, almost 2 years ago now, was to head for the sun and enjoy a simpler way of life.

We have certainly achieved that and there is no way you would get me to give up caravan living now. But as with all things they grow and evolve as time goes on and we now find ourselves planning for the next stage in our journey.

This will see us return to the UK for 6 – 12 months. Partly this is to plan out where we want to go next – Spain and Portugal have been fun but we both want to go further afield and see some more of Europe but are not sure how this will work yet.

Also living in Bessie for 2 years has been great but there are some alterations that we want to do to her in order to make living in her even better and it will actually be easier (and cheaper) to do these back in Blighty.

Then of course I have my runs next year back home and so it seems that the UK is calling us to be the next stop off on our trip.

So, we head back at the start of September, winding our way back up through Spain and then France. A day trip to Madrid beckons on route and we hope to hit the channel tunnel (not literally) sometime in the second week of September.

Many people have asked if we are still going to be living in Bessie when we get back and the answer is a resounding YES. As I said I can’t imagine living anywhere else now which is a massive surprise to me I can tell you.

It will certainly be a daunting task surviving an English winter in a caravan but I am actually looking forward to it – I know too much Spanish sunshine has addled my brain.

Seriously though, living this way feels very authentic to me, having to survive with limited mod cons almost feels as if I am living the way my ancient ancestors would have.

When you take away all the trappings of material life, of which there are many, you are left with the real fabric of what it is to exist.

The last two years have been the most real of my life and I feel I have found the true essence of myself along the way. Stripping our lives back to the very minimum that we need has been one of the most therapeutic and liberating experiences I have ever had and I am not going to trade that in for anything……

Mind you….ask me that again in the middle of a Norfolk winter when there is snow outside!!

Long overdue update…

Wow, a whole month has passed since I last did a post and life has been very busy.

Radio interviews, ultra-marathon training, yoga, a trip back to the UK, running my first retreat and now the last few days packing up to leave Spain for the heady plains of Portugal once again.

It is hard to believe that 6 months is up already and that we will be back on the road tomorrow heading up for Seville and an overnight stop before traveling into Portugal on Saturday.

But, we are ready to move on and get a change of scenery and a different pace over the summer. More time to spend on the online portion of my business together with more time for yoga and shifting up a gear with my ultra-marathon training.

I have to say that this time around has been the smoothest in terms of packing everything away which must been we are getting used to it – or maybe it means that I threw a lot more of our ‘stuff’ away in the time that we have been here!

Even the cats seem less phased by the idea that we are moving on again and are contentedly snoozing or sitting in the car trying it out for the off tomorrow – lol.

So, as we complete our third 6 month stint since leaving the UK I am happy to announce that this lifestyle is still as appealing as it was when we first got here. I love the fact that everything that we own can be fitted into the back of a car (albeit a rather large Ford Galaxy!) and that we are masters of our own destinies in terms of where we go and for how long. Life rocks!! 🙂

I’ll take some photo’s on route and promise to post again once we arrive.

 

Life in Bessie – an update

It will be 12 weeks this Friday since we hitched Bessie onto the back of our car and gave up living in a brick-built house in favour of the delights of living in a ‘tin can’, so I thought I’d update you on how things are going.

I am happy to report that life in a caravan seems to be going remarkably well. I keep expecting to wake up and be hit with sudden pangs of regret and nostalgia about living somewhere that involves opening doors to get into separate rooms – but it hasn’t happened (yet!!)

It has certainly taken some getting used to trading in life in a two bed-roomed, two bath-roomed, detached bungalow with heating and insulation and toilets that don’t need emptying every other day (thankfully not my job!!) but I think we are doing ok. Here is a little run down of some of the problems that we have overcome (or are still getting used too!!!)

One of the best things that we have done is to separate our sleeping area off from the cats at night (with curtains) Now the bed is no longer used as a trampoline with the cats bouncing over it at all hours. They are happy in their bed and we get a peaceful night’s sleep in ours.

The weather here is great but the down side for such lovely sunshine in the depths of winter is that when it rains you sure know about it!! No little drizzly showers here, the rain could break open a coconut it is that hard and furious. Trying to sleep in a tin can when it was raining therefore was a definite no-no even with ear plugs until we  found some new super Spanish ones that have obviously been manufactured with the weather in mind! These little beauties really do the job; probably a bit too well actually because world war three could break out in the shower block next to us and we wouldn’t know about it – we’d get a good nights sleep though!!

Ear plugs will also come in useful over the coming months when things begin to get a bit busier. We are lucky at the moment that we have the site pretty much to ourselves but once the holiday season gets in full swing then we are conscious that things will be a little different. I’m all for having a good time but we also have to work still as well so getting a good night’s sleep is kinda vital to our well-being. I think these ear plugs would drown out an AC/DC concert though so we should be ok – wish I’d had them when I went to said AC/DC concert many moons ago – might have enjoyed it more if I had!!!

One of the things I was a little worried about getting used to was using shower blocks all the time. We do have a shower in the caravan but as you can imagine it isn’t exactly very big and for some reason showering in something the size of a broom cupboard isn’t overly appealing – call me strange. So we have to rely on the site facilities for our washing.  Again we are lucky at the moment to have them pretty much to ourselves and for the most part they are good. I’ve definitely seen worse, been in worse and declined to step foot in worse! I have gotten used to trundling out into the early morning for my daily ablusions and since hubby made his patented shower device that means that we now get continuous water it makes for a more pleasant experience. I was in his bad books for a day or two though when I left mine in the shower and it disappeared. So I shared his for a while until I lost that one too and he made me make my own!! which I went and lost again and had to secretly make another!! Whoops…….I know but in my defense I am blonde!!

The other thing we were a little worried about was that it would get cold overnight during the winter months. December and January are typically the worst two months for the weather here and the coldest and we seem to have fared surprisingly well. We haven’t felt cold overnight yet and only need to use the heater first thing but it has only really felt chilly on a few occasions. The caravan is well insulated but I suspect if we were anywhere colder then it would be a different story. There were a few occasions traveling down through Northern France when I felt cold and had to put my woolly hat on overnight – poor hubby, although after 21 years together I suspect he has given up on the idea of me looking glamorous and reclining in bed in a silk negligee – its pj’s and socks for me!!

The kitchen area is the area that has taken the most getting used to and probably where I have lost it the most as it is the size of a postage stamp! With me and hubby eating completely different diets each meal time becomes a finely practiced drill in disaster management.  Anyone who knows me will vouch for how clumsy I can be so juggling pots, pans, ingredients, utensils etc in a very small area can be a tricky business. It’s best to stand clear, give me space and wear the ear plugs!!

Friday night back home was always ‘film’ night for us where we would open a bottle of something nice, stick a film in the DVD player and snuggle down with the cats for a few hours of escapism. We still have our film nights although now our TV is no longer of monster proportions (it’s the laptop) and if it is raining you can’t hear much but it’s a nice end to the week none the less and some habits are hard to break.

So, all in all living in Bessie is proving to be great fun and I am really enjoying it. Granted it wouldn’t suit everyone and I guess it helps that I am ‘low maintenance and enjoy the outdoor life’  (read can’t be arsed with makeup and am happiest in flip-flops!!) but then I guess if I  wasn’t then I wouldn’t be here would I………