Vanlife Diaries

I wake up to Dan siting up in bed, holding the surfboard above his head with two hands and yelling at me. “Ains! Look outside! I can’t see where I’m going!” Here we go again I laugh to myself. Another one of Dan’s sleeping adventures. “Dan,..you’re ok..you’re safe..we’re in the car..” “Damnit just look outside would you!! I have to break!” his eyes are wide and worried. He’s kicking the back door, seriously stressed out. Then he let’s the surfboard go, rips open the curtains and looks around furiously. Then he calms down and starts to laugh “Fuck I’m doing it again aren’t I?”

We wake up with a council warning shoved under our windscreen wipers. Risking a $200 fine by sleeping in a non-self-contained van. Ok, time to find a new sleeping spot. I’m just happy they didn’t wake us up and asked us to move, we both needed the sleep after the vivid dreams Dan has. We read through it briefly, shrug and drive off to brush our teeth in a nearby bathroom.

Being homeless is starting to grow on me. In daytime it’s a small living-space we have learnt the hard way to utilize. I now have a toothbrush and deodorant in ever bag and Dan’s surfboard now functions as extra storage space above our heads. At night it’s our own little fluffy cubby hole, we could be anywhere in the world, wouldn’t matter, that bed is damn comfy.

Just the mornings can be a little challenging. We are travelling with not only 2 bags and a surfboard, but two more backpacks, a guitar and a wetsuit. It’s usually all piled up on the front seats at night. Most mornings we wade our way through it all and drive to the nearest public toilet to get ready for work. But on the weekends I leave Dan be and sit amongst all the stuff eating my cereal or doing my make up in the rearview mirror.

As we don’t always use the allocated spaces and out van is no way near self-contained, we have to be a bit more sneaky about it. I push my alarm to silent as fast as I can. Just in case someone outside would hear it. Roll from the bed onto the front chairs so I don’t have to attract noise by slamming doors. And when having breakfast and someone walks past, I pretend to be casually waiting on someone while I pause chewing.

I can’t even imagine living in a house anymore. And what’s wrong with washing myself in public toilets anyway? Right? 🙂

I’m walking down the beach swapping long audio messages with Charlotte who now resides in Sri Lanka for the moment. She’s explaining to me how to not wash your hair for a week and still smell pretty. I have to, as showers are now a luxury, thank the lord for dry shampoo. And when I run into Hector (one of the chef’s at my work who also lives in his van) we always keep each other up to date on new shower/sleep spots we’ve come across.

I feel like I’m more aware of real important things…and not telling myself all the time I need this or that in order to get through life or to be happy. I’m definitely enjoying my surroundings more. And wherever I go, my home comes with me. Turns out, adventure comes in confined spaces too.

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