Having lived in a campervan for the past year and a half our van is our house, we have two upstairs double bedrooms, a sitting room with a fold out bed, a bathroom, a kitchen, even a roof terrace and front porch. We are a family of four and have just enough space for everything we need.
We own an actual house as well, a big one with five bedrooms, two bathrooms with views of the oldest intact lighthouse in the world and the Celtic sea. It is located near Slade harbour on the Hook peninsula in the south east of Ireland and the light from the lighthouse flashes in our windows every night. Privileged or what?!
I’m not going to pretend that everyone can do this, we are in a very privileged position to have the option to choose this lifestyle. Our house is our main source of income as it is in a very air bnb’able location but unfortunately it’s also seasonal so apart from summer the bookings are few and far between. Still we have managed to live off the income topped up with some savings while we follow the sun around mainland Europe.
As long as we are travelling in our van we must travel back to Ireland every year to carry out the road worthy test and also to do some maintenance on the house. This is very expensive, Ireland is not cheap and as our savings will inevitably dwindle we must look at other ways to earn. We earn a little bit here and there, we get an extra couple of euros through ads on this blog and through air bnb referrals…by the way if you’re not signed up you can use this link to host or this link to sign up as a guest and earn yourself some air bnb credit and us some cash. We are making crochet, jewelry and other things to sell on the road, at the odd few markets and through our website. We teach yoga & breathwork at campsites and beaches along the way and we hope to do more with our youtube channel on this trip. Many van lifers are digital nomads and write content for various companies which I am curious about but I’m not entirely sure how it works.
Being at our house in Ireland, we weren’t even tempted to sleep in it, actually since we moved into the camper the only times we slept out of it was on the ferries to and from France. Ellen’s favourite thing about van life is waking up to a different view every day, she’s 7 years old. Alex’s favourite thing about it is finding new beaches and being able to play outside all day, he’s 6. Liam & I love being together all the time, spending time making things, playing and learning about the world.
I believe humans are nomadic by nature yet most of us choose to live a rather sedentary domestic life while conforming to the rest of society. Life is easier that way. Its feels safe and more comfortable. Isn’t life scary though. We are literally living on a floating rock spinning around a sun which has created everything we have….food, air, animals, water, clothes, gadgets, everything and that sun is only one of billions more in the vastness of space. Getting kind of deep here but the Earth is around 4.6 billion years old. There’s been mass extinctions, meteorite explosions and if you compress that 4.6 billion years into one day, humans only arrived on the last few seconds of that day. It’s mind blowing really how the stars aligned to create the random yet perfect conditions for us humans to have the privilege of being here and I really hope we don’t fuck it up. If you haven’t watched “Cosmos” on Netflix, you must, it’s the most inspiring series we’ve ever seen.
We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically. – Neil deGrasse Tyson
Life is scary and it’s also hard. It can be really tough at times and it can be stressful to live in a community that demands contribution and conformity to fit in. We’re very complex earthlings aren’t we. Life is short, everybody says time goes by so quickly but time doesn’t go by quickly at all, time stays, we go.
Now, as we are back on the road again following the sun to an unknown place, new communities, customs and languages to navigate and learn from. With a healthy body and mind, itchy feet and an open attitude towards change, the nomadic life is calling us.