We have never found our place and balance as much as we have been on the road.
Yet the doubts, the questioning, the uncertainty of the next day accompany us every day.
Living and traveling in a van is exhausting. We are always alert, excited to discover new places and new people but also exhausted by the pace. Where to sleep, think unconsciously or consciously that our things and ourselves are safe, hot, cold, showers not always pleasant, breakdowns ...
It is not easy and yet it is not what we remember and it is not what we always show you.
Because all this is nothing compared to the good that adventure gives us!
It's part of the game and we understood the rules from the beginning.
To leave, to travel, to live in van ... for us it was taking a big breath of fresh air, turning to the positive (trying), focusing on the essentials and learning to listen, to live.
Drizzle, find yourself in the middle of nothing with the engine that makes his, having to do his needs in front of his half, take a shower on a beach in front of strangers in the middle of winter ... It's nothing! Nothing important and insurmountable!
Discover places that are not given to everyone to see, meet people who touch you deep inside you just by their looks, their gestures, learn a new culture, exchange a few moments with a stranger in a parking lot, dive your eyes in those of an animal that could kill you with a snap of your fingers, discover you gently, but really, and share that with the person you love: that's it! This is important, incredible and wonderful!
Since June 2015, we learn about the meaning we want to give to life, to our lives.
We realized that there was only one reality, one way of life ...
How many times have we been told:
"When are you going back to real life? " "The return to reality will be difficult! "
These moments that we live, this life that we try to put in place is just as real!
This is our reality! The one in which we are good and above all we are us, without a mask!
Without this mask that we all wear in a society that imposes rules and ways of thinking for us to exist and supposedly be happy.
So when we put our life in parenthesis, understand by that to leave our little house on wheels "Popo" for a few months, it is a little panic on board!
You know this little depressed post holiday!
You went to a great place to unwind, sunbathe on the beach and drink coconut juice and after a week, you go back to Paris to get back to work and of course it's gray ...
(Sorry for the Parisians, but let's be honest the days of sunshine are less than in the South, haha ...)
Although living and traveling in a van is not a vacation, it's similar feelings, and maybe even more intense after so much time on the road, which we would like to tell you about!
And yes, it's not very fun, and yet it's part of the adventure too!
Our emotions are real roller coasters ...
In November 2016, when we were returning from a year and a half of wandering and almost 80,000 km across Canada and the USA, we returned to France for a few months with the intention, among other things, of going to work in the summer. according to in Spain aboard our Combi Type 2 which remained in France.
The adventure that was a simple road trip on the way out had become a real way of life and we knew then that we would take the road again with our faithful steed "Popo", once our affairs put in order in France and the wallet a little refilled.
After long months away from our families and loved ones, we were excited to see everyone again.
The first times are nice, we see the world, we tell our adventures, we eat cheese, everyone wants to see you and is happy to see you.
Then days pass, your journey loses some interest, you are told: "That's it, you're back! It's over the holidays! Back to reality ! And now that you've had a good time, what are you going to do? ... »
Your journey has totally transformed you, or rather revealed you, and you realize that your surroundings have not really “evolved”. As if everything had remained frozen!
Attention, nothing negative in our remarks, far from it! But just the feeling of being out of step with others. The others you love and understand, but with whom you do not have the same vision.
Everyone in his daily life, his problems, and you feel very far from all that. As if you were a spectator of a play.
The days so different on the road, always full of surprises good or bad, are then very far and the days begin to resemble each other.
The routine is slowly but surely reassembled, the mask reappears.
And all that one has lived, seen, seems almost disappear ... As if all this had been a mirage.
Change of rhythm, loss of reference. The old us, the old life resurfaces ...
We quickly get used to all this and at the same time, aware that something else exists, that another reality in which we bloom is real, we then come into conflict with ourselves.
Lost between his different desires and this feeling of being unable to be understood.
Understanding that we could only find long-term travelers finally, met on the road or oddly on networks ...
We chose to return, certainly to leave, but we never really returned.
The bodies are there, warm in the comfort that our families have set up for us with so much love but our heads are on the road!
And yes, because we had sold everything, we went back to our parents' home. And at 30, in couple for almost 11 years, it is not necessarily easy.
We were only two of us for months in our little cocoon, to change our view every morning and evening, and suddenly, we had to deal with our families and an identical view each morning. Even the hot shower had become too hot for us ...
Said like that, we could be considered ungrateful. But believe us, we know our luck, (because here we can talk about luck) to have a loving family, understanding and especially happy to know us happy and accept our choices.
But the love of loved ones is sometimes not enough to find oneself, and settling down is not for us yet.
A need moreover stronger than anything, that's all!
The wait for a new start becomes almost unbearable and the reunion with “the van of freedom” (of oneself) so desired!
Then we leave, we find this piece of metal mounted on wheels that is part of us, our identity. This van which symbolizes so many things.
You will find that ridiculous but leaving it and finding it always pulls a few tears, especially to me, Joana.
Life seems so different to him.
More than words ...
I who tries to understand life, to understand me, with this van things make sense.
Strange, we know it, but it does not really explain ... It feels!
And then despite everything, we feel guilty too ... Not being present for our families and friends, missing important moments, nephews and little cousins grow up and parents and brothers get older ...
Always this conflict of feelings, this question of choice!
Sometimes thinking is a real ordeal, no?
Route66, Mexico, Central America. Meetings, Landscapes, Memories.
After a new year on the road and another 45,000km, we decided to take a little break to carry out projects that we could not manage while still moving and trying to make our life on the road sustainable. .
And as you know it's in Canada, in Quebec specifically in an Airstream in the middle of winter we are hibernating a few months since September 2018.
A different environment, atypical, and a break "away" from Popo once again wanted.
The day we changed direction, left Guatemala for the North and no longer for the South, was a real inner battle between heart and reason.
A choice !
These last weeks, we try to juggle between our different projects, to walk and to visit the region of Quebec and to prepare our van for the next big departure ...
A balance not easy to manage.
The change of pace is definitely something we still can not control when we leave Popo.
A daily, a routine settled even here, in our aluminum box.
The adventure is incredible of course, we realize that, but it seems that we are addicted to movement. A need to be constantly surprised and above all to be outdoors most of the time.
Need to breathe, breathe, sweat, discover, feel!
Looking out the window is not enough unless the landscape scrolls, the horizon calls us.
Is this the illness of travelers? An insatiability of discoveries and experiences. A rage to live and accumulate moments.
We are not afraid of tomorrow but afraid of what will happen or rather will not happen between today and tomorrow.
The trip has awakened us, these breaks are like stills where the sound continues to scroll.
Aware that time is running out and not waiting for us.
A feeling of living half the present and waiting for the future while thinking about the past.
If only consciousness could be put on pause too ...
It does a lot of good to read you… It's true that some feelings cannot be understood by those close to us… Fortunately, you are surrounded by a new family, that of the vanlifers..?
We have to live as we want, do what we like, we only have one life?
Yes, difficult to understand when you have not had “the same experience”. The family of the road is more capable, that's for sure...
Looking forward to meeting each other and sharing our adventures 🙂
Article that touches me enormously, we have been on the road for about three weeks to visit Europe (especially northern Europe) in 8 months, and I already recognize myself in certain comments, the goal is basically not to really make a living but as I sometimes already felt this discrepancy that you describe with relatives even before this experience, I may find that the return to this “classic” reality is trying. Maybe the start of new life choices at that time... For now, let's enjoy every moment, encounters and new views through the window 😀
Thank you for sharing all this anyway! And have a good trip with Popo 😀
The road tends to reveal to us and make us aware of many things, in particular of ourselves and the choices that we want for us and of life in general... It must be said that long distances give food for thought. , we quickly get lost (or find) in our thoughts 😉
But as you say, enjoy the moment!
You must enjoy, there is so much to discover in Europe.
Good road to you!
Yesssss, Joana and Eric we so much recognize ourselves in this!! (Freek & Inge from Little Big Bus Adventure 😉 ) All these words are exactly how we feel at the moment! We are 'back home' for 3 months now after our 9 month journey through South America. The first moments were actually very nice, being reunited with family and friends, being back in our home town where everything feels so familiar, not worrying anymore where to shower and how to solve break downs. But at the same time it is all so weird, like if our journey never happened, like time was frozen and our journey was just one big dream. And slowly routine is sneaking into our lives since we started to work again and everything inside is screaming 'this can not be real life!'. Last weekend we went on a little adventure with our van Epic Eddie and damn, a massive wave of homesickness to the adventures of the road came over us. We are trying to get back into this 'normal real life' but is seems impossible from time to time. How to deal with it? We haven't figured out yet how to find our way in this….
But it is comforting to know that there are others out there that have the same feelings!
We imagine so well. We have followed your amazing adventure and the wheels of your little yellow van must miss the road.
Difficult after such an experience to follow a model that now seems not for oneself.
It was difficult for us too, but by chance, the traveling community is there to understand and listen. And new projects are a good way to keep feeling alive!
We really hope you find your balance Amigos.