I realized this morning that it has already been 1 year since I bought my van (technically a year + a few days – I kind of missed the actual anniversary day…) Crazy how fast time flies. It has been such an amazing year and I've loved every minute of it. Buying Josie the van was a bit scary at the time, mainly because I know nothing about cars or campervans and I had never before spent that much money on one thing. But looking back now, it was absolutely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
As I was thinking about the past year this morning, I remembered some of the highlights and lowlights. There definitely were some funny, scary, proud and beautiful moments and places. So I thought I'd share them with you. Here we go:
Favorite place: The East Cape – I went for the first time in February and absolutely loved it. Read more about my East Cape trip here.
Place most visited: It would probably be a tie between Muriwai and Orewa. Those two are my favorite places close to Auckland so I tend to stay there whenever I have to be close to town.
Biggest oops! moment: When I got stuck in the wet grass and had to find a local farmer to pull me out. Or maybe the time I went to see a mechanic because my fan was so loud all the sudden and it turned out I had accidently switched on the air con.
Favorite thing in my van: All the little decorations I've added like my sand collection from beaches I've stayed at and the way I've decorated the cupboard doors with photos and kids jandals.
Scariest moment: The night it was so windy that I actually found myself googling in the middle of the night what kind of wind strengths could throw over a campervan.
Biggest WTF moment: The time I woke up in the morning to find someone had thrown an egg at my van.
Favorite paid campground: Muriwai Beach – best showers ever! And I just love Muriwai.
Favorite free parking spot: The freedom camping site at Tokerau Beach. It’s big and spacious, right by a beautiful surfing and kiting beach and it hardly ever gets busy.
Proudest moment: When I did some rust removal work on my van all by myself last week (let’s see how long it lasts…)
Most breathtaking moment: Running into wild horses during a hike at Spirits Bay
Biggest unexpected expense: Replacing all the shampoo I’ve been forgetting in showers all over the country.
Favorite moment: A few days that I spent at Hamilton’s Gap, a remote little beach without cell phone reception or any other signs of civilization. It was such a relaxing few days and it was here that the idea for my book took shape in my head to the point where I could start picturing it and working on it.
Best thing about Vanlife: You don’t have to get up again when you realize you forgot something in the kitchen just after you got comfortable on the couch – everything is always within reach :)