So to cut a long story short, I have just got back to the UK after working abroad for the last 5 months. The van is not in a ready state to go touring/living in as I have still plenty of jobs left to do with the conversion.
So, where am I at now? Well, I have no fixed address. I have decided there is no point in looking for a flat now, as first of all, I will be leaving in the van for Europe around January 2016, which then will take me back to Spain where I manage a bar there in the summer months. Second, my new job which I start in a week. This is a sales job that consists of staying in hotels 6 days a week traveling up and down the UK, so the 7th night, its in the van!
So, last week, all I had in the van that you could say was close to basic living standards was the woodwork (wardrobes, kitchen area, shower enclosure) and carpet! Sod it, I don’t mind a bit of a ruff night. I have a nice winter sleeping blanket that I new would keep me warm (how I was wrong, I speak about that later).
So, Thursday night I set off, I did not know where I was going to stay, what I was doing, I just got in and drove off. In the back of my head I was trying to think of the best place I could go that would not bring attention to my self when parked up. Living in Blackpool, if you take a short drive up the road you come to a small coastal town called Lytham St Anne’s. Its popular with the more older crowd, and has many good car parks that allow overnight parking for free…location found.
So I found my self a quiet off the road car park that sat on the the edge of the Irish sea. It had a good 200 bays, but no one was there, this will do. I slowly pulled up, in the back end corner of the car park, trying not to be noticed. As I turned off the engine, I kept a lookout to see if anyone was watching. Its funny because, I pay my road tax, I am fully legal to drive, yet parking up on a quiet car park, getting ready to stay the night, you just get the feeling you are being watched and you might look a bit suspicious, after all, I built my van to be more of a stealth camper so it looks more like a work van than a motor home.
So, I put up the curtains, well I say curtains, a couple off sheets draped across the sun visors that works as good as a chocolate fire guard but its all I have got for the time being, so it will have too do! So, set the alarm for 8am, lets see how this goes.
8 hours later, all I can tell you, it was a bloody hard floor and a cold night! The ‘thermal’ sleeping blanket I mentioned before, well, it kept my torso warm, that’s about it. My toes felt like they was about to drop off, I must of woke a good 5+ times in the night freezing my bollocks off, this is not the highlife of #VanLife as I had imagined.
So waking up in the morning, all in all, it was actually not that bad. Yeah, it was a cold night, yes, my bollocks nearly fell off from the crisp winter night, but lying there, in the van, in the middle of nowhere, with no one around, I had an overwhelming sense of freedom, just knowing that in months to come, when the vans in a shape that is more comfortable to live in, with all the necessities I need, everything will be fine.
That is when my adventure truly begins…