two months on the road
the beautiful Lake Somerset after the storm
I’m writing this from Lake Somerset where a huge storm blew through yesterday, completely unannounced.
I was just settling Marigold when Che ran in to tell me that the awning was flapping about. Awnings tend to do that when the wind picks up, hence getting it rolled up and secured is an absolute priority if you don’t want it to blow off completely.
Daniel and I managed to get it relatively secure while Che went inside the van with Percy and Marigold. I watched my sunglasses and the pram and Poet’s school work fly off onto the road while Daniel put the shoes and the scooters and the chairs under the van. Poor Poet was alone in the amenities block so Daniel went to get her while I secured the van.
And once we were all safe inside, we watched the rain and the wind and looked closely at the weather satellite, grateful for our sturdy van and its functioning kettle.
This is the second big storm we’ve experienced in as many weeks. Queensland storms are impressive and they roll in with very little warning. One night we got 100mm of rain within a few hours and had water covering the step of the caravan, threatening to come inside.
I’m not embarrassed to admit that this side of #vanlife isn’t one I really considered. I didn’t think we would be getting up in the middle of the night to close the vents and bring chairs inside when it rains. I didn’t think about the 4am wake-up call when the wind picks up and the awning needs to be rolled away. And I definitely didn’t wonder what it would be like to spend a whole day in a 24ft van with four children and a heap of wet clothes and towels.
But this is part of it – a big part of it – and it’s not all bad. If anything we’re getting more adept at knowing what needs to happen when a storm arrives and, more importantly, how to get it done efficiently.
Storms aside, we feel like we’re really finding our caravan feet. Although I say that very lightly as it still feels like we’re making this up as we go along.
Perhaps what has surprised me most about this new way of living is just how full our days are regardless of how much we have simplified. There’s significantly less housework, washing and dishes and yet they still have to get done (in much smaller, less efficient spaces). There’s school work, too (and encouraging distracted children to do said schoolwork) and there’s emails and editing and organising as well as car and caravan maintenance and care.
We’re still decluttering the van and donating things that we haven’t used and don’t really need. There’s not one thing I wished I had brought with me, nothing I feel like I’m missing. Perhaps this realisation is one of my favourites so far; we’re living with so little and we’re fine, thriving even.
By choice we’ve adopted a slower pace but sometimes there’s still this niggling thought that perhaps we should be doing and seeing more.
Isn’t that fascinating?! We’re travelling to new places each week and while we’re there I wonder if we should be spending more time exploring and discovering. And yet that concept of constantly moving and seeing and doing is in stark contrast to our intentions which are to slow down, reconnect and live simply.
Essentially we make very little plans and instead we wake up, see how we’re all feeling, and do what feels right. We have a few days a week where we stay close to the caravan, catch up on work, school work and chores, and just enjoy being where we are. And to be honest with you, those days are probably our favourite.