The end of vanlife

As most of you might have guessed by now, we no longer live in the van. Our four months in Wanaka have turned into eleven months and counting, and our van has mainly been collecting spider webs in the driveway apart from the month the parents-in-law took it out for a spin. 

The van enjoying a well-earned holiday with the parents-in-law (photo courtesy of the parents-in-law)

What happened?

Long story short: Thomas prefers being settled to living in a van. His biggest passion (read: obsession) in life at the moment is rock climbing, which we have done heaps while being on the road. But to be able to climb all day, every day, it’s actually easier to be in one place, where you’re familiar with the nearby climbing crags and where you can befriend other climbers so that you’ll always have a belay buddy.

On top of this, he likes his current job and hobbies. Being on the road was hard for him as it meant that he couldn’t do a lot of stuff he likes to do, like woodworking and baking bread. A lot of people probably don’t realise that vanlife means an endless amount of free time, which sounds amazing (and can be amazing), but which can also be exhausting and boring at certain times. Just imagine your current day-to-day life and take away any routines, habits, hobbies, as well as any time that you’re spending with friends and family. On the road, you replace these things with adventuring, exploring and travelling, which are great things to do, but often this only takes up (part of) your day. Which means  that most nights you’re in the van in the middle of nowhere with no cellphone reception and none of your friends around to socialise with.

How Thomas feels about being stuck in the van with me every night

What about me?

Well, I won’t lie, I was pretty sad to say goodbye to vanlife. After leaving our temporary rental house and getting all of our stuff out of storage and moving into a long-term place, I was pretty depressed for a while. It took a long time to get used to feeling of “being stuck” in one place, as well as having wayyy too much stuff around again. But to be honest, there’s good things about being settled too. I have made some amazing friends who love to join me on overnight hikes. I joined two local pest trapping groups which means I regularly head out into the bush (one time even in a helicopter!). We have a group of amazing climbing buddies which makes for some of the best days climbing I’ve had in a long time. And above all, we live in a place from where we can hike, climb, cycle, swim, paddleboard, ski, snowboard, and go mountaineering.

My new hobby: eating cheese and crackers at 1,500m elevation 🙂

What will happen to the blog?

Well, given that this is a vanlife blog and we are not living the vanlife at the moment, the blog will continue to be dormant, in the hope that one day, we will be back in a van, living the dream. Until then, you can continue to follow our other outdoor adventures via my personal Instagram account.

I hope you enjoyed reading about our vanlife adventures, I know I will enjoy being able to read back through all the things we experienced and all the places we rocked up in our year on the road in New Zealand.

Me with coffee, cake and a crossword puzzle in the sun in the van (in our driveway, but that doesn’t matter cause it still made my day)

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