What do you need to live a good life?
Certainly the answer looks a bit different for you than for me. However, I’m more and more convinced that there are very few things you really need.
Three weeks in Norway in the camper van, in a confined space with three people and a dog, have taught me the following:
1. To use every reasonably clean shower to feel refreshed again
For me, hygiene has always been part of the first ritual in the morning and I have hardly ever left the house without a shower. But if the shower in the rolling TinyHouse is so small and tight that you can hardly move, you think about every morning, if it really is so necessary. I then often opted for cat washing. As soon as we hit a campsite again and didn´t camp wild in the middle of nowhere, the shower became a must. And you know what? This wonderful feeling of getting a long hot shower when it is not available every day is pure luxury! Who would have thought that I would be so happy about hot water!
2. To just shut up, if I can not avoid a discussion and totally disagree
We sat in the car for many days and we did not have a chance to be alone. Of course there were discussions or quarrels on such days. But what do you do when you are well charged with anger but can not just leave the room for a few minutes? At home this is not a problem. Since you just go to the fresh air. In a moving campervan this is rather difficult …
Since I usually only can handle quarrels, if I can understand the view and action of the other, I can be very persistent. But I have noticed that in such a situation there must be another solution. So sometimes I just kept my mouth shut and did not go into the topics any further. This usually ended the discussion and it was quiet again. But it still worked inside of me. That’s not the best solution. Knowing that it does not always have to be discussed to the end, is still helpful.
3. It´s most beautiful in the most remote places
Ok, I already knew that one, because these places attract me magically. But this trip has once again confirmed to me that it gives me the most to look at lakes, mountains and forests, nothing that needs to be done, just to be there and to enjoy. And then small miracles happen. Also working in such a place is wonderfully relaxing and stress is not arriving, even if the topic you work on may not be so nice and interesting.
4. Sheep and cows can be run free
Even though I can no longer call myself a vegan, the welfare of the animals and our planet is incredibly dear to my heart. That is why in my everyday life I try to produce less waste and to buy my food where, in my view and as far as I can see, it is produced reasonably and healthy. Since we find mainly caged animals here in Germany, I have really made big eyes when we met free sheep and cows on the roadside. There are even warning signs on the road that sheep could cross. And they do. Some sleep on the tarmac (it must be warm there) and others like the grass right on the roadside better than elsewhere.
In Norway sheep live without any supervision. Their only job is to help protect the landscape. This means they let them eat everywhere, so that the landscape remains open and not completely overgrown.
I was very impressed. Norway, you do a lot of things right. It lets my heart burst.
5. I do not have to cook elaborate dishes to be full and satisfied
The tiresome topic of food and especially cooking. In general, I pay close attention to a healthy and balanced, mainly plant-based diet. However, if you are blessed with a child who hardly likes a variety of vegetables, after 16 years you really have no energy for this anymore. For me, cooking is toilsome in my everyday life. In order to introduce a little more desire, I started to try out new recipes years ago, so at least I have a little fun. And that often ended in long cooking sessions, because the recipes were a little more elaborate.
On our trip we only had three small hot plates and very few pots. I also did not feel like picking out recipes. Therefore, we ate the same very often and above all very fast, simple dishes. And I found out that I can eat and enjoy pasta and tomato sauce very well 3 times a week.
Conclusion: I make my life easier now and cook more uncomplicated!
6. Knitting and writing is the most beautiful in this wonderfully beautiful nature
It´s not that knitting and handlettering, bulletjournaling or simply writing are not always very relaxing and rewarding for me, no: in such an environment it is a great experience. There are so many more elements involved in these activities, creating a great symphony of compassion.
As much as I like to knit on my rocking chair at home in my cozy apartment, enjoy the peace and the time for myself; as much I like to meet knitting-friends in a café for knitting and talking together; it is so much more beautiful outdoors with the view of a turquoise lake, wooded mountains and lush green meadows.
7. Swimming in lakes makes me instantly relax and calm down
In transit in Sweden, but also in Norway, I had the opportunity to swim in the wonderful waters of the local lakes. Since I’m a real frostbite and the water really should not be too cold, it was a big overcoming. But it was worth it. In Sweden, the swimming area was extremely limited, so only a few feet away from the dock for swimmers were available, but in Norway, I could just swim. Always further out. It was wonderful to feel the temperature differences the further I was out. It was so relaxing to look at the horizon and to have your head suddenly emptied.
I’m usually not the swimmer, because chlorinated bath water in the indoor and outdoor pools turns me off very much. Also, I have never learned the crawl so I swim like an old granny. In the long run that is not so nice for the neck and my back.
But I think seriously to research for a lake like this here in my area.
8. I always have the best ideas and the greatest inspiration when traveling
Travel makes my head empty and my heart full. The fact that the usual everyday life with all the many to-do’s, which we usually burden ourselves, is eliminated, there is room in the head – a lot of space! And suddenly, ideas can get space that otherwise have a hard time getting through and being heard. At first, when such an idea comes up, I usually think, “Oh no … way too complicated, that’s not feasible.”
And then the idea matures ….. and reappears. And then it starts to be fun! 🙂
So in these three weeks I have also taken many ideas for my new vocation. Most of the ideas I had during the long car rides through this phenomenal landscape. Plop – and they were there! Slowly these become more concrete and I will deal with it intensively in the coming weeks and see what can be implemented and how.
9. In the future I have to take care that my holidays give me enough time for myself
In the first euphoria for this spontaneous trip, I did not pay enough attention. And missed to consider that we are all three people who regularly need a lot of time for themselves. And that means time without other people in the same room. Quiet. Peace.
This topic fell on our heads when we were able to welcome the group madness after a week. For me, this shows up very quickly in the form of increasing aggressiveness. I then shout at the others for a baseless reason and overreact. My son became more and more silent and sometimes very angry. Integrating this topic when traveling around in a camper van is a challenge. My boyfriend thought at some point, it would be best to rent a apartment for a few days, so everyone has a room in which he can be alone. Since we still had many miles to go, we dropped that idea.
But you never learn! I will definitely not forget this point in the future. Because holidays should be nice and relaxing. And if that’s what it’s all about, then that’s just the way it is.
10. My current place of residence is not the place I wanna stay
It’s no secret that I’m not happy in Wiesbaden. Of course I moved here voluntarily, without knowing the city and the area, but I had my reasons. But I already noticed in the first weeks that I will never really arrive here. It’s hard to find open-minded people here who are interested in talking about something else than the weather and the neighbors. And as you may already know, I would like to cultivate deeper connections to the people around me. But this includes both sides and that does not seem to be such a trend here. 😉
But my son is allowed to complete his school here and then decide for his future life. After so many moves, which he did without complaining, he earned some peace and stability.
Personally, it pulls me out into the world. My dream is a Tiny House like Wohnwagon’s. To live in places that inspire me, where my best friends are scattered and who just do me good. To have the opportunity to move on and take the house with you, if I do not like the place anymore. At the same time, Norway would probably be one of my first destinations, at least in the summer. I doubt I could stand the winter there. But the summer definitely.