“I’m off to the toilet”, I tell Thomas, while I put on my shoes and jacket. I step out of the van and cross the car park towards the toilet. On my way back, I look at the stars, the city lights forming Auckland’s skyline in the distance and the light spilling from the windows of our van. That’s my home, I think, and the thought makes me smile.

We landed at 4 o’clock this morning, after a pretty uneventful but still 30+ hour trip. We were lucky enough to have a friend who made it sound like picking us up at 5.30 am was no big deal. It was great to be reunited with the van after such a long time, I just had to do the old opening-every-cupboard-to-look-at-my-things-I-hadn’t-seen-for-so-long 🙂 We put our bags on the front seats, made the bed and tried to get some sleep for a few hours.

Happy to be home after a very long flight

Waking up at 2 pm, we felt more exhausted than before our little nap. After some coffee we decided we were awake enough to drive to a nice spot while getting some groceries on our way. This shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes, so surely we would be able to stay awake for another hour, right?

Well, I’d like to think that our van decided to show us that he did NOT appreciate being left alone, and that we shouldn’t dare try to leave him again in the future. We drove the van out of the shed, where it was stored while we were away, and filled up the water tank. And then the van wouldn’t start. Not a beep or a click or anything! Even though we literally just drove it out of the shed! Thomas had a look under the hood, found a loose battery cable which he tightened up and the van was fine. Well, that was easy.

We were quiet on our way to the supermarket, more tired than we were ready to admit. Which is probably why it took us a few moments to respond to the noise coming from underneath the van all of a sudden. Our first thought was that the water tank had come off, but it turned out to be a flat tyre. Or actually, a shredded-to-pieces tyre.

Bad timing for a flat tyre (not sure when it’s good timing though..)

It was a relatively easy job to change the tyre, but this was not the uneventful 45-minute trip we had in mind. So yeah, some tough love from our van. We got the message, Maxi, and we will never abandon you again. Until we sell you.

After finally arriving at our spot for the night, we discovered the fridge wasn’t working. We also realised we had bought mushrooms and cream, but no onions, garlic or stock to make actual soup. We found a ready-to-eat curry in the cupboard which turned out to be expired and disgusting after we prepared it, so we threw it out instead of eating it.

But none of this mattered. Because we had also bought bananas and chips. Because the fridge plug which runs awkwardly behind our kitchen wasn’t plugged in. Because we could see stars and city lights and we were home.


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