I didn’t grow up hearing much about travel, but life has its unexpected ways to reveal what’s out there if only you know were to look. Very early in my childhood, I made the most significant discovery in life by walking into my local library.
Most of the books I read back then shaped my life’s choices and the majority of them fueled my healthy obsession with exploring foreign lands by shining a light on places I longed to see with my own eyes.
My first ever encounter with London city was trough books following fiction character Sherlock Holmes and his abilities to solve severe cases. I was introduced to a whole new world of secret societies, slums, rules of etiquette and horse-drawn carriages.
I had a glimpse into the richness and savageness of Yukon by reading The Call of the Wild and stumbling upon The Last of the Mohicans in the school library only added more fuel to my already boiling soul and fed my growing appetite for more spine-tingling tales.
Monday Mantra to live by: Choose your own family adventures
I can’t even remember how many times I re-read all the classic adventures books, but I can recall intensity, joy, and the rush of adrenaline those stories gave me.
But it was much more than just about trilling events taking place deep in the forests of an unexplored corner of the World that caught my attention.
Flipping through pages, I learned that standing alone and pawing my path in life will only strengthen my character. I learned about love, honour and I was forever haunted by never-ending possibilities in life.
Just like my adventure book heroes, I wanted to see and taste the world! I wanted to ride camels into the colourful sunset in Morocco and take in the views from the snowcapped mountaintops.
I wanted to relax underneath the palm trees on a lazy morning only to hike up the volcano in the afternoon. I desired to cross the ocean, and I longed the excitement.
Fast forward many years and I was faced with real-life and real-life challenges. Instead of reading and daydreaming, I was old enough to make my own decisions, and I had no intention to worry about missed opportunities.
I didn’t want to dream, I desired to make my life count by following my heart and by shooting for the stars.
When it comes to travel, there are lots of different ways to see the world. You can take inspiration from people who sell their stuff, leave their jobs and buy a one-way plane ticket across the globe.
You can also spend the summer months exploring Europe by train, or you can even choose to go on a mission to uncover beauty in your backyard.
In short, there is no right or wrong way to do it, the perks of being struck by wanderlust are that your options are limitless. And it doesn’t have to involve deep jungles, 18-hour plane rides, a death wish or fights with abnormal midgets.
We were encouraged by those who found solitude in a gipsy style movement and travelled the world in a campervan. Who am I kidding? We were completely and utterly obsessed with the idea of having our own campervan we can load with surfboards, hiking gear and be free to go wherever the wild Atlantic wind takes us!
It was more than just a dream because as much as we love exploring the world and frantically plan trips to new destinations, we don’t want those 4 weeks a year that our jobs allowed us to take to be our only source of excitement and happiness.
We craved to go on a family adventure every weekend, and since the road trip around Portugal a few years ago, where we rented a campervan to travel the whole length of its beautiful coast, we instantly knew van life is for us. We knew that that’s the answer to fulfil our thirsty souls.
We longed to chase the sunsets and sleep next to meadows thick with wildflowers, and we wanted more surf, and we wanted to create memorable family adventures. We wanted unforgettable experiences, and we wanted to travel around Ireland to capture real moments in life.
We could talk for hours and openly fantasise about it in bright daylight. We would exchange inspiring travel routes, have discussions about the best make and model(and colour!) And don’t even get me started on the interior.
Let’s face it, driving without restricted itineraries is very appealing and we believe that by stripping away everyday comforts, we enrich our lives and can more concentrate on topics that are fundamental for our well being.
There’s nothing more convenient than being able to pull over on the side of the road to make a cup of tea or to park near the park in order to get an early start the next morning, and there’s nothing more critical than redirecting our focus to where we are now and where we are going. Life is happening fast and what we do and think matters.
Finding the right size campervan that would comply with our needs and budget, sorting out the paperwork and fixing the few faulty parts was a rigorous process that required more time and recourses than we anticipated. I am not a tiny bit embarrassed to admit that we kind of nearly gave up a few times(I’m going to California for a month instead).
But, going on that very first road trip made every unexpected resistance worthwhile, and we were reminded that arriving at your destination isn’t always the prize. For us, it is the journey to, from and in-between that matter most as well as knowing what it took to accomplish it that it makes it so rewarding.
We grew to love flexibility, simplicity and inspiration that new places and new people gave us. We mastered to cook delicious and healthy meals by using a two-burner stove and a pot of boiling water. We learned to read instead of scroll, and we started to write our adventures in ink. And, most importantly – we didn’t wake up on Sundays dreading for Mondays to come.
When I look back on the adventures we had last summer, I can’t help but be happy and content with everything we have seen. Spending long weekends in a campervan has exceeded our expectations but its been by no means easy.
I can say with confidence that travelling around Ireland in a campervan destroyed the limits we had and was crucial to understanding who I am as a person. I acknowledged my shortcomings, made friends with myself, learned about where my weaknesses and strength are.
We also learned to see mistakes as valuable lessons, and most importantly, we learned to swallow the fear.
The weekend’s in a campervan made me think quite a lot about fear and the unknown. What if we break down in the middle of nowhere or what if a spider crawls in and hides between the sheets? While the growth through fear can be painstakingly challenging, I’ll take it without even blinking.
”In any given moment we have two options: To step forward into growth or step back into the safety” Abraham Maslow
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Now, over to you!
Have you ever been on a road trip with a campervan? Let us know in the comments!
Let us know if you are plotting a road trip and have travel-related questions!