- We can literally go ANYWHERE!
Of course this is number 1, especially in the middle of a lockdown. The freedom vanlife allows is just unmatched. Go anywhere, see everything – bliss! The things you see when getting off the beaten track, and even on the beaten track it’s pretty damn beautiful. It was often the nights we pulled up somewhere a bit random that lead to the best things. Early morning dolphin sightings, locals selling fresh fruit out the back of their van, singing Wonderwall with a kazoo, 2 germans, an italian and a kiwi on a bench on a beach! Wandering, pootling, driving whatever you want to call it. I love it.
- Simple Living
It starts with the flight over, when you’re packing and trying to fit a year into a duffel bag. Then you unpack into your van and realise WOW there is not a lot of space in here for stuff. You can’t really buy lots of STUFF because you just don’t have the room for it and eventually this gets into your head and you realise you actually don’t need it! Multiple pairs of jeans? HA nope. Plenty of ‘nicer’ outfits? Don’t think so! More than 1 swimsuit? You gotta be kidding.
I hate to sound all spiritual and shit, but when you live in a van, you just realise how little you actually need day to day to keep you going, living and happy. I just found I wore what I had to hand and anything more is just too much. Capsule wardrobes people! And in summer, well essentially every outfit has your togs underneath it for when you jump in the sea/lake/river anyway! Sit back, relax and breathe it all in – you’ve got nothing else to do!
- Never having to pack a bag – because you carry your life around with you!
This I just love, because I’m a big ‘just in case’ kind of person when I pack and boy does it add on the kg’s! With a van it’s just bliss knowing your life is on wheels and you can always grab what you need from the back.
- Done right, vanlife is just so kiwi!
Most NZ-ers are pretty pumped when you tell them what you’re doing – especially if you seem like a nice sort of person. The adventure and freedom aspect of it feel very in tune with that of the country itself, and people just love it when you start saying how much you love their country! Funny eh?
- The Locals
Kiwi’s are unlike anyone I’ve ever met. And it seems to infect you too if you live here long enough (in a nice non-corona-y type of way). The locals are who you want to get to know, because they will be some of the kindest, most generous and helpful people you will ever meet. They are trusting in a way that coming from the UK you just don’t experience, and this makes everyone feel like friends. This would be my one tip if you take nothing else from this blog, make an effort to get to know New Zealanders because you will not regret it. And you’ll probably end up with beer, jobs, fruit, places to stay, helpful tips, breakfast in a hut and so much more.