Got to admit time doesn’t fly, in fact it goes at such a pleasant and natural state. I don’t wear a watch and rarely follow a schedule, I rise just after dawn that’s if I’ve managed to be in bed before midnight. Cooking most of my meals from scratch and eating when I’m hungry, life really couldn’t be any easier.
I do most of my washing by hand, using the woods to hang to dry or rigging a line to my van.
My expenses include diesel and vignettes (toll stickers), but only if absolutely necessary, food in most of Europe is priced reasonable or better than England. I rarely shop at lidl because unlike England, fruits and vegetables bought locally actually taste brilliant and I don’t need to wait a week for the stuff to ripen, if you use your initiative veggies can be free for a little exchange of work.
Benefits of travelling solo, you meet loads of wonderfully interesting people! And its not impossible to learn languages, so far I’ve acquired the basics of Spanish, Portuguese, a little German, a few words of Arabic and Croatian. With my recent descent into France I’d have to add that my high school French teacher would be very proud of me!
Getting lost is actually fun when you’re alone because you can’t blame anyone but yourself, so you just enjoy the diversion. I’m often lost and rarely bothered.
Travelling solo you actually realise the world is really a safe place, and many of the bad news stories are just that, stories, some true, some exaggerated but nothing should discourage anyone from taking such a journey.
Misadventure can happen anywhere at any time to anyone, but I truly believe if you begin each day with a positive attitude, a smile and and open heart you’re less likely to stumble onto misfortune.
Prior to travelling I had only ever made one 3 wk journey alone, backpacking in India. I read lots of reviews online and discovered that my experience was nothing like that of others.
So with that in mind I did very little research for this trip, I felt that with years of experience, 53, I should be capable of assessing risk and taking care of myself.
And that’s just how it is.
One doesn’t need a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, just a portion of common sense and trust your instincts, remind yourself about the laws of attraction, if you go around fearing everything, that fear or worry will without a doubt find you.
Of course it takes a few restless nights to buy into this concept but trust me…I’ve even found myself leaving my doors open at night not because I’m brave but because there are people all over this world sleeping in tents or hammocks, we’re safer than you think or are lead to believe.
My van- well this is the best part of my story, its been absolutely spot on. Starts every time, only needs a regular check of the oil, its not insulated except for the ceiling but I’m outside most of the time and a winter duvet is plenty if you winter in Spain or Portugal.
I’ve a fridge, but haven’t quite managed to get it to work with the gas, I did smash my newly bought solar panel which ended up draining my leisure battery, but these are my errors not Ziggy, he’s wonderful and I thank him all the time. Love your van cause its your home away from home. Or as in my case, its my only home.
Lighting is always soft and romantic- stock up on tea lights. There’s no better way.
Campsites- almost never, parking lots for campers-never, the occasional parking lot as it serves to access a landmark, in other words one doesn’t have to pay to stay anywhere. If you’re resourceful and sociable like me you’ll find good people who are quite happy to let you park on their properties or they may divulge their favourite secret places.