This is day four of my attempt to write something, anything, every day for 365 days in a row.
During this year's season of George Clarke's Amazing Spaces aside from the usual showcasing of inspirational small builds, George and friends are taking an old Ford Transit and turning it into the ultimate luxury small build inspired by Van Life, living.
This season has so far resonated with my Wife and I because we both enjoy watching van life videos on YouTube. You will quite often find us both cuddled up on our sofa watching Van Life videos together on the TV. All the while dreaming about the day when we sell all our unnecessary possessions, buy an old transit van to do up and set off into the sunset to live out the rest of our days travelling Europe and spending an inordinate amount of time living like a Druid in various forests.
Van life isn't glamorous, it's demanding both physically and mentally. It's not compatible with having a traditional stable employment and it will likely be a point of contention with some family and friends.
Yet, still every time we watch a video we collectively romanticise about doing it ourselves before coming to our "senses" and deciding better of it. This quandary has made me wonder:
- Firstly, what is so bad about our lives that the idea of camping in the back of a Ford Transit in the middle of a nature reserve feels better?
- Secondly, what is really holding us back?
We have a lot of answers to the first question and nothing really to counter the second. While watching the latest episode of Amazing Spaces we both agreed that we should look more into how we can get started. If not jumping immediately into the Van Life, life. At least cutting down on all the unnecessary possessions and distractions that have made our home environment feel so claustrophobic that the idea of living in the back of an old van is appealing.
It has made me realise that there is a constant pressure from advertising to fill a void in your life by purchasing things. Or rather, the advertising is selling you the void and showing you how to "fill" it. We have both found that we are at our happiest when out in the New Forrest exploring the woodland, having picnic among the wildlife or enjoying the sea breeze while sat on the beach.
Society seems to have concluded that you can only enjoy these things as leisure activities, reserved only for the weekends and the holidays that everyone looks forward to.
I don't want to be stuck inside a hot, stuffy office when the sun is beaming down outside. I don't want to be chained to this life where we are sold things we don't need to fill a space we spend less than a third of our time inhabiting.
2019 will be a year of positive change.