Van-living is the amazing. This is just a list of the most common questions i've been asked or comments i was addressed since i started.
Hossegor, 31 August 2016How is it to travel alone and live in a van?
I cannot park anywhere i want, but i get to park wherever i like it best. I don't need to worry about finding a hotel or night accomodation, or getting to the train station in time to catch the last run back to wherever a house is. When i enter a town people yell "JUMBO!!" as a salut, or how the spanish pronounce it "HOLA, YAMBO DE BAN", and they smile and are happy to see us.
Traveling alone is a challenge and also a big chance. I get to know a lot more people, i do what i like without having to compromise with others and i get to know myself in a way i couldn't immagine, becoming my own best friend and getting out of old schemes and bad habits. People stop to talk with me, they open themselves, even if they don't know me, they offer me beers, invite me to parties or home for dinner, and they want to visit Jumbo and ask me questions and questions and questions and i love it and is kinda fun.
So far i would say is awesome!
How is it to travel with a dog?
Margot is the best travel partner ever, she is sweet, very polite, and all she wants is to be loved, fed and pet! She makes more friends than i do for sure, and people love to watch her running on the beach and jump in the ocean.
She enjoys a lot traveling in Jumbo, she puts her chin on my shoulder and sticks her nose out in the wind while i drive. Sometimes she stares for hours out of the window looking at the road, just sitting there, meditating.
In Spain it was a hard time, they have some issues with dogs. Dogs are not allowed anywhere and it made me feel uncomfortable. In 2016 is quite awkward, dogs are not welcome in bars, restaurants, shops, beaches, parks... etc... but in some parts of Italy is still the same. On the contrary France was very welcoming: pets are not allowed on the beach, but as long as they are polite they are tolerated.
Why is it different from a normal vacation?
First of all it's not a time constrained vacation. Is not a vacation at all. I can decide when and where to move based on my daily feelings. I work online so there is no problem about being away as long as i deliver on time.
I get to stop in places where no hotels are or if the do, they are pretty expensive, so i save a lot of money.
I get to cook my own food, that is money saving too, so i can allow myself nice dinners from time to time into the best restaurants around.
Do you use that bike in the back? What is the other red thing?
Yes, a lot, i park the van and move around by bike, the red thing is a trailer cart for Margot.
What is the best food you had so far on this trip?
Raw fish at the fish market of Capbreton and Oysters at the lake of Hossegor (so good!). Yummy.
I am also a very good cook, and i like to experiment new things, in a van is a bit harder, but i am the king of pancakes, avocado salads, hamburgers and more :-)
Especially hot tea with cinnamon biscuits :D
Do you ever get tired of driving?
Sometimes, but in that case i spot a place where to stop and rest. I noticed that i only get tired of driving on highways, when i am on secondary roads i can drive for hours and enjoy the streets, landscapes, colors, scents and stop where i like to visit better the place. My van is a slow traveller, top speed is 110Kmh (downhill, this means 90 on a mostly flat road), so is okay to avoid highways, and is also cheaper since the French Autoroute is pretty expensive, gas too is more accessible. Needless to say that driving slowly you get to visit a lot more places, you can stop to all McDonalds with free WI-FI and save even more money.
Have you ever parked in spooky places?
Almost every night. And i loved it.
Do you ever get scared?
Once, and i ran away from that field, away from that too silent river, those too dark woods... my mind just went wild on me, i started having visions of ghosts and Samara, the black haired girl from the motion picture The Ring. Spooky!
On the summertime is easy, but i bet it gets hot inside and cold in winter.
Nope, i never suffered the heat. However i must say i am in zones of France and Spain where it doesn't get extremely hot at night. But Jumbo is equipped with a very good air circulation system.
In winter it does get Cold, but i have a heater that works perfectly. This piece of jewelry was built in the 80's... it's supposed to last forever!
Yeah okay, but you can't shower...
I do have a shower and 120Liters of water in a tank under the back seats.
Yeah, but is cold water...
Nope, i have a water heater installed in the van, but i seldom use it, since is nice to have cold showers during the summer (the temperature of the water is actually lukewarm on sunny days as the sun heats the tank during day ).
Ok, but if you have to go...
I have a bathroom too!
How do you wash your clothes?
So, is it all roses and violets?
You have to empty the shitter. That is a bit unpleasant, but you get used to it.
Sometimes you park somewhere and go out to have some fun, but you can be worried about the stuff left inside, especially if you are traveling with a laptop, a camera a gopro, a Bose soundlink speaker... etc...
Where is your girlfriend?
Out there somewhere, I don't have one at the moment.
Are you in love with someone?
No one in particular.
Is someone in love with you?
Not that i know.
Do you miss someone?
My mom, very very much.
Where have you been so far? Italy (Dolceacqua), South of France (Cannes, Carcassonne), the Basque Country (San Sebastian, Zarautz, Saint Jean De Luz, Bidart, Guethary, Biarritz, Anglet), Les Landes (Hossegor, Dune du Pilat).
Did you surf? Every day! (well almost)
Time spent on the internet: probably 30minutes per day, of the days i've been connected, but i tend to stay offline the most that i can. Is good for your mind, body and soul to be totally disconnected.
Money spent for internet connection: 3€ in Plage de la Petite Chambre d'Amour (that day i really needed to work).
What's Amazing: Hossegor and Les Landes, i loved it!! Beautiful place, amazing waves, super-nice people, good vibes, and Coolin' a la plage is the best bar with such good live music!! Food in San Sebastian, unbelievable!
Money spent for campings: zero. Free camp, always!
Dinner out? 4 times.
Lunch/dinner at fast foods? 1 (damn you McFlurry!)
Are you superstitious? "To be superstitious is stupid, not to be is bad luck".
Are you religious? Yes, i do belive in myself a lot (this makes me a Buddhist).
Are you gay? Not yet, maybe one day when i become a superstar and get so annoyed of all the girls on the planet that i move on to the next chapter... but i see it a far and unlikely chance.
Do you speak French? Vas te faire encule!
Were you naked on the nudist beach? No, i was surfing.
What is next? Shhh, i cannot say!