woman hugging a tree in a forest

A year in a caravan

Lees in het Nederlands

I was an average person once, a person that colors inside the lines. I bought a house with my boyfriend. One with a big garden where we would build a big garage for his hobbies. We both worked hard in our 9 to 5 jobs. If possible we would travel to beautiful places and enjoy the outdoor sports we loved so much. This perfect picture lasted less than a year.

He broke up with me and I lost my job. Now, well over three years later I can hardly imagine that I wanted such a life. I’m single, not by choice, but happy nonetheless. My house only takes up 16 m2 and can be taken anywhere. From time to time I move to a new place that I can explore in my free time. Of that I have a lot with my part time job. Spending a lot of time in a green and quiet surrounding I now feel free and relaxed.

Today I’m sitting down to think about how I’ve experienced the last year of living in a caravan.

-1 Wind

I think the worst week I’ve had was late winter. My caravan was in a site facing the south-west. That week the wind kept on blowing exactly out of that direction. The tent was flapping about even though everything was firmly fastened. Every gust of wind resulted in shaking of the caravan, At some point I was noticing that my stress levels were rising because the shaking just didn’t stop. I tried to flee the house as much as I could.

-2 Cold

This year wasn’t the coldest winter but still it was hard at times when I woke up or came home to a house that was just a few degrees above freezing. Luckily the space is small, but it takes half an hour for sure before temperatures become comfortable. I did get used to it somewhat, waiting in bathrobe or jacket for the place to warm up.

-3 Traveling

Packing and unpacking when going on a trip is the worst. All my belongings are stowed in the very efficient storage spaces in the caravan. Getting them all out means moving a lot of stuff back and forth until it’s finally all out. Before living in a caravan I used to take at least a week to collect everything I need for a longer trip. I’d lay it all out on the floor and see if I have it all. Now I need to collect and pack straight away. When I come home it’s even worse. Moving stuff back and forth for a week until it’s finally all in its rightful place.

+1 Sleeping

Most nights I don’t heat the caravan when I’m sleeping so the temperature in the caravan drops to the outside temperatures. I think I haven’t slept this good in my life. My body is more in sync with the seasons outside. Best of all was last summer when the days were very hot and everything warmed up during the day, I just had to leave the windows open on two sides and the temperature outside would also be inside.

+2 Views

Up until now I’ve been able to enjoy great views from my windows. When beautiful things are happening outside I quickly notice and take some time to really enjoy it. When walking to the shower building I see stunning skies or hear birds chatting away. I see bats when it’s almost dark out.

+3 Environment

I can’t proof this point since I have no idea about the numbers, but I think in the past year I’ve used a lot less gas and electricity. Since my solar panel is also working I think I’m doing even better. Besides less use of resources I’ve also bought a lot less meat than before. This lifestyle has made me even more aware of the impact we have on this planet.

I’m happy with the life I’m living right now and I wouldn’t want to be in a brick building at this time. I have no idea what the future has in store for me, I’m curious to find out. Maybe I’ll be living this life for a few more years or maybe it’s over next month. This life is good to me now so I’m enjoying every moment of it.

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