A Simple Life
7:30am - Wake up via sunlight and waves
8:00am - Boil water for coffee and baileys with the occasional chai or hot chocolate substitute
9:00am - Drink coffee, listen to music and walk the beach
10:00am - Make a vague plan for the day (exploring, crafting, diving for abalone, surfing or some other variation of those things)
1:00pm - Make lunch and have a beer…or 3
3:00pm - Go for a run or do some beachfront bootcamp
5:00pm - Go fishing
7:00pm - Make dinner (usually a veg stir fry with some fresh seafood)
8:00pm - Drink alot of wine with the occasional whiskey or tequila substitute
8:30pm - Play cards/battleship or have a dance party which normally means we have gotten into the Tequila
9:30pm - Watch the sunset and look for penguins (It is light outside until 10:30pm)
10:30-11:00pm - Fall asleep on another beautiful beach
While some days are bogged down with grocery shopping and driving around looking for petrol and water stations, the majority of our days are right on par with the above. No plans, no schedule, and barely any agenda other than enjoy the day and hope its sunny outside. Someone asked me what my favorite part of living in a van was and it took me awhile to think of a truly accurate response - mainly because there are so many.
I enjoy having all that I own in one place that is with me at all times. It reduces the hassle of having to plan or pack before going on spontaneous adventures and I never realize that I forgot my sunglasses halfway to the beach. I enjoy owning less and spending more time outside. I enjoy limiting what I purchase to only that which can fit into our mini fridge because I waste far less food than ever before. I enjoy cooking meals that highlight the local fruits and vegetables based on the growing season. And above all else, I enjoy waking up in a new parking spot with gorgeous untouched coastline on either side of me.
While I knew this trip would have its perception shifting moments and “life lessons”, I didn't expect the changes within myself to happen so quickly. Living in this van with little stimulation other than music and each other has made meditation come naturally to me for the first time in my life. I am able to think more clearly and let myself just be here, now, in this moment which has been extremely enlightening.
Since my last post, Josh and I spent about 10 days in Dunedin, a small town along the east coast of the south island which is known for its rainy days, reliable surf, beautiful beaches and world class scones. While we did experience plenty of rain and the occasional surf spot, we were most taken by the friendly locals and wide open landscapes. Once we felt a tad familiar with the area, we decided it was time to pack up and move on...naturally.
It is now December 23rd and we have wrapped our gifts, decorated holiday cookies (compliments of my amazing mother who shipped me a box of Christmas goodies), purchased eggnog supplies and stocked up on wine. We even splurged on some jumbo prawns and smoked salmon thanks to Linda, the other amazing mom in our lives sending us some Christmas cheer from across the world. We spent the majority of the day yesterday scouting out the best place to park up for the weekend and taking a Christmas photo that WILL NOT disappoint come the 25th so...keep an eye on your emails.
Luckily, I was able to take a shower before our Christmas photo shoot but it was so fucking cold that I swore my hair was going to freeze before I finished washing out my conditioner. The more remote we get the more sparse the showers and water stations become. This morning, I gathered my shower caddy and $2 coin as I usually do and headed towards the shower. I now know that I need to hang everything up, prep my shampoo and conditioner and undress fully before inserting my money into the machine because there are no start buttons here. The minute you insert your coin the timer starts beeping rather aggressively which somehow makes undressing way more challenging. But today, I had it all down. My face wash and shampoo were on the closest shelf and I was working on my pitch for those morning shower ballads. Half way through my rendition of deck the halls and my shampoo session, which I am now certain takes 1 minute and 15 seconds from the start of my shower, the machine made its final beep and the water turned glacial. While annoyed that I didn't get my full 5 minutes of paid hot water, this is something that I have become used to living in the van. The days of carefully shaving my legs have come and gone and I sincerely apologize to those in the shower stalls next to me who have to listen to my already bad voice belt Christmas tunes while shivering.
A few other things I have learned while living here in New Zealand and in Lucy:
1: The sushi here is terrible and should not even be called sushi. It is rare to find any fresh fish in your rolls because the fan favorite is fried chicken...Yes - fried chicken sushi rolls smothered in some gross mayo spread. Shame.
2: There is no such thing as a normal walk. Every path leads to a vertical incline through fields of sheep and their shit which is totally worth it from the top.
3: Those amazing van life pictures that you see on Instagram are 100% staged. We have SO much loose shit just floating around this thing waiting to fall off the shelf at every turn. It takes us about 10 minutes just to prep the car for motion which still leads to bags of wine and dishes flying all over the back once we take off. Josh likes to call it a yard sale which is actually pretty fitting haha.
4: Sand flies might be the most annoying insects on the planet and their bites really hurt.
5: Josh's health food kick is a facade and you have never seen someone eat a whole bag of chips as fast as he can.
6: There are so many amazing places to see in this life and I look forward to each new adventure.
Again, keep an eye out for our Christmas card and I will be sure to include the bloopers from our shoot in my next post as those are much better than the finished product.