How living in a campervan for two months changes your perception of life

There are a few things every backpacker will tell you about travelling. Like how you realize laundry and showers aren’t that important. You go without a washer for such a long time that you start wearing your underwear inside out. When things get unbearably smelly, that’s when you decide to find someplace to wash your clothes.

The idea here is that there’s plenty of things we take for granted that we actually don’t need. And you don’t realize it until you’re in a situation without it.

Nothing goes without something else taking its place however. If you don’t have time for that laundry (at least not as often as other people) that time must go somewhere else.

Living in a campervan some household chores become very time consuming. I did everything in my power to simplify them or avoid doing them (turns out there is a staggering amount of healthy food that doesn’t need cooking).

What happened was that ended up with a lot of free time. Time I could spend in the climbing gym, or on the slopes. I never once thought that I should spend more time at home, because I brought my home with me wherever I went. Another effect was that I avoided shopping. It turns out that my will to go shopping is directly proportional to how much space is available to me.

There was of course times when I decided to just sit in my van and read a book (aka chilling out at home). For me I felt very free doing this though. Whatever I did was by my own choice. I’ve never felt so in control of my own time as during this season.

I contribute my sense of control and freedom to simplification, which I will write a bit more about next week, as well as how you can get into park skiing even if you’re terrified of jumps (park was what I ended up doing most of during my season).

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What living in a campervan for a ski season looks like

I’ve just finished my ski season on New Zealand. It’s been great, especially skiing in the terrain park, something I haven’t done much of before. I’ve not been working this season and therefore needed to keep costs low. One of the cost saving solutions I came up with was living in a rebuilt minivan, or mini campervan.

It turns out living in a camper for two months is way easier than I thought. It also chsnges some of your views at life.

So what does a normal day look like in my campervan?

6.50 My alarm goes off. Hopefully, but not always, making me wake up.

7.10 I’ve crawled out of my warm and cozy sleeping bag and into my cold and stiff skiing clothes. This is probably the hardest thing during the day, and the only time when I’m actually cold. Getting a proper winter sleeping bag was a worthwhile investment.

7.20 I’ve driven over to the place of the road where I hitchhike from. Since it’s the cheapest rental can I could get my hands on I’m not allowed to drive it up the mountain. You meet somewhere interesting people hitching. I’ve hitched with the Chilean slopestyle team and some millionaire horsefarmers to name a few.

8.10 I’m up the hill. Head over to the adaptive room where I check what clients I’m volunteering with for the day. I also eat breakfast around this time.

8.40 I go for a few lapses in the terrain park. Somewhere between 9.30-10.30 I usually end up going with an adaptive client or skiing with some mates.

The cycle of volunteering, skiing with mates and doing park lapses continues through the day, usually with lunch and coffee somewhere in there.

16.00-17.00 I’ve hitched down the mountain and feel really hungry. If I’m ambitious I cook food by the lakeside in Wanaka. Otherwise yogurt or some sandwiches from the grocery will suffice.

18.00 I go swimming or rock climbing. Sometimes I go for a run before.

20.30 I end up in a bar/cafe having either tea or sometimes a beer. Sometimes I just go straight back to the campsite and read a book.

22.30 I’m back at the campsite, I’m exhausted and go to sleep within 5 minutes.

There you have it. My last two months is pretty much just a constant repeat of the above. Next post I’ll write about how living in a campervan will change your perception of priorities in life.

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