Back in the van and other news

It’s been a while since the last blog post and since I haven’t been overly active on social media lately either, I thought it’s time for a general update.

The most important thing first: Josie and I are on tour again :) 

 Our spot for the night :) 

Our spot for the night :) 

I’m back in the Van. After 4 weeks of housesitting in the city, I packed up yesterday and started making my way north. I stopped in Waipu Cove last night and then made my way all the way up to Doubtless Bay today. It’s been a great couple of days to get back into the vanlife. It’s been cold but the sun has been shining and I’m loving being out of the city and on the road again. Friends of mine are coming up tomorrow and we’ll be spending the weekend up here – hopefully kitesurfing and surfing every day. We’ve got a holiday house booked so I’ve got the choice to stay in the van or the house if it’s too cold which is nice given the temperatures have been below 10 degrees (Celsius) these last few days. But I’ve decided tonight I’m roughing it. One of my favourite freedom camping spots is up here where you can park right on the beach with amazing views. It being free of course means there is no power which in my case means no heater (I’ve got an electric heater in the van that only works when I’ve got land power). But it’s been such a nice and sunny day and the forecast for tonight isn’t too bad so I think I’ll be fine. And the location is absolutely worth it. Can’t wait to fall asleep to the sound of the waves.

 Beautiful Waipu Cove this morning

Beautiful Waipu Cove this morning

Unfortunately it won’t be a long trip this time and I probably won’t be spending much time in the van over the next few months. Work requires me to be in Auckland quite a bit right now which makes longer trips hard. And I also think living in my van through winter would be a bit too rough even for me. I can of course just stay on campgrounds where I’d have power and could use my heater but that does get expensive quickly and there aren’t really any nice campgrounds in Auckland anyway. So long story short, I’ve decided against trying to rough winter in the van. However, I really didn’t want to set up a permanent home again either. I’ve gotten used to the nomadic, minimalistic lifestyle and love it. I sold all my furniture and stuff when I packed up last year so I would have to start from scratch again and would probably just end up spending heaps of money on things I don’t really need. Instead I’ve found a number of house sitting jobs in and around Auckland. It’s prefect really, I will be close to the city for work if needed, get a place to myself, will be warm and cosy and as an extra bonus there’s usually a cat or a dog to cuddle up with. And it’s free! I’ve got ‘homes’ sorted pretty much all the way through to the end of August with only a few smaller gaps in between. Hopefully by the end of that it will be warm enough to be back in the van full-time.

 This has been my writing spot for the last few weeks

This has been my writing spot for the last few weeks

The past few weeks in the city have been great. I’ve missed being in the van and at first it was really weird to have so much space all the sudden – I didn’t even know where to go or sit. But it’s been awesome to be closer to friends again and spend more time with them. And being ‘settled’ for a few weeks gave me a chance to really get into writing my book. I’ve written over 40,000 words and am really happy with how it’s progressing. Some parts come really easy while others feel like hard work but then it feels great once it’s done. I’m writing about finding happiness with a special focus on our individuality. I read a lot of non-fiction. Books about personal growth, specific skills, the meaning of life and especially happiness. I’ve learnt a lot from all of those books. But the more I read, the more I’ve become frustrated with one issue; how so many of these books suggest one-size-fits-all approaches to improving one’s life. We’re all highly unique individuals with different personalities, values, believes and strengths and weaknesses but hardly any of the books I’ve read take that into account. Instead, they suggest generic steps, processes or tactics. I’m trying to address this by combining two topics I’m really interested: Happiness and Individuality. The goal of my book is to help people learn about themselves, understand what drives and motivates them and what really matters to them and then take that knowledge to look at what we know about happiness and what science suggests may or may not make us happy and identify the aspects that are most relevant to them personally.

That’s the overarching idea. It’s complex and it’s ambitious and I have a lot of work to do. But I feel excited about it and over the last few weeks things have started to come together piece by piece. I think I might actually be able to write something that would be of value to others which is a really inspiring thought. But even if it doesn’t work out in the end, it’s been such an amazing process and challenge that I’m sure I will never regret the time I’ve invested in writing it. My goal is to have a first full scrip by the end of August so this will really be my top priority over winter - unless there is wind, if it’s windy kitesurfing is the top priority ;)

And this is also the reason why I haven’t written as much on this blog lately as I used to. Most of my writing energy goes into my book right now. But there are a few elements of the book I’m looking to turn into blog posts over the next few months so you’ll be able to get a sneak-peek and hopefully I’ll be publishing new stuff more often again.

So that was just my quick update for now. More soon (hopefully).