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The Road to Simple Living: Living Full Time in Our Vintage Caravan
NOTE: This article was originally published over on “Simply Julie Ann” in 2021, and has been revised for my Substack community.
The end of the year finally arrived and as always our home was filled with love, laughter and music shared with family and friends. Our tree glistened, surrounded by gifts and the smell of home-cooked food mixed well with the ocean breeze. It was hard to believe that within a matter of weeks we would be swapping all of this to live full time on the road in our 16ft Millard Caravan. It was even harder to believe that our caravan renovation was now complete! But she was, and she turned out just as we imagined she would.
Our little island cottage on the water had been our home for 2 years and within that time we were accepted into a beautiful community. We made long-lasting friendships and these beautiful people would be hard to say goodbye to. There was a sadness about leaving, even though we planned to write and keep in touch, a part of me knew that we may never cross paths again. I can’t tell you how many times I second-guessed our decision, but, with a blink of an eye the last box was packed and a new chapter had begun. We were finally on the road.
There are many reasons why people chose lives of sufficiency and voluntary simplicity. For us, we chose this path to have more time. Time is something you can never get back. Every moment is precious and we want to spend it doing things we love, embracing our creativity and learning about things that matter to us. I believe when we aren’t tied to stuff we have freedom. We make better decisions and can live the life we truly want. We are free to be exactly who we are.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." - Henry David Thoreau
Even after such a short time, I am already starting to feel a shift. We no longer watch TV and have cancelled all of our subscriptions like Netflix. We rely on the sun for power, we cook outside over a small gas stove or open fire and we are limited to a small 80-litre water tank. The only time we spend in the caravan is when we sleep. My senses are opening and I now connect with the beauty all around me on a much deeper level. This connection can only grow stronger as my body adapts to more natural rhythms.
I wonder if perhaps we prefer natural spaces because, originally, they provided us with everything we needed to prosper and evolve as a species? I do know one thing for sure, that living in tune with nature, and within natural resource limits, is a gift, not a cost, and it seems clear that the environment we live in plays an important role in our emotional state and overall level of happiness.
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I hope this article has inspired you. As always I would love to hear your thoughts so please consider posting in the comments section below.