Perfect time for me to write, while Jim makes dinner on a small gas stove. After a short period of research, we have decided to go on the road and try out some different things.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, the idea for the coming months is to work on a number of ecological farms in Europe. But while discussing the matter, several issues emerged: is the winter really the best time to start this new adventure? How will we be sure we can keep on working and writing while travelling? How will we travel around? What is ecologically acceptable and still sufficiently comfortable for a longer period of time? Train, bus, or our own transport? And then what, a car or camper? Diesel, LPG, electric or petrol? Old or less old? What can and do we want to spend? And where shall we go? To the south, where it’s warmer, but where, Italy, Spain, Portugal or somewhere else? How easy is it to find places where I can work as a volunteer, while Jim can continue with his editing work?
So many questions, so many issues to consider. If we’re not careful, we’ll get stuck in deliberation and not go anywhere. For each option, it is possible to find positive and negative points. Somehow it always ends up a kind of compromise.
For a first orientation, we went to a number of big sales exhibitions – obviously the camping one, but also the one for people over 50. That was quite an experience, walking through the stands being confronted by your future, displaying the increasing need for comfort and all kinds of aids, upcoming health issues, suggestions for leisure, clothes and entertainment. And we looked at websites and planned a trial period. A very safe option, because it means we don’t have to make a definite decision while living pretty much how our coming months might be, if we decide to do this.
So, after less than three weeks, we were able to get organised and go.
And here we are, on the road with Sunny. Experimenting driving a van, camping at campsites and along the road, working, cooking, sleeping, or better, living in the van and visiting possible locations where we could stay for a longer period of time. And first, we’re trying out how it is to live like this in cold and wet weather, just so that we know what to expect in case we are accidently caught up in it. We want to try out the worst case scenario when we’re prepared rather than be surprised later.
Now, still at the start, it’s all very exciting, new, finding our way around, making notes of things we need to take next time, and getting a picture of the possibilities and cost. But how will that be in two weeks’ time?
One thing is sure, even though planning and dreaming about it might be very exciting and can be great fun to do, it’s by deciding to do it that it’s possible to find out whether it is really something for us.
I would say the motto of the company where we hired Sunny sums it up perfectly: Dream & Drive. And especially when we aren’t certain if we want to do this, organising a trial period gives the freedom to experience it and come to the conclusion that even though it all sounded great, maybe it isn’t for us. It’s better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all.
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