Pam The Van or how to leave everything and travel the world with your dog in a van
Is this another girl story that leaves everything to travel the world? Yes and no. Or not exactly. Because just as no two people are the same, no two identical trips, Y that of Marina and Odie has interesting nuances For example, that, being a girl - there are not so many doing it - Marina has not had a problem in buy a van and camperize it completely (alone and without experience of any kind). Or that this time - and that's the most peculiar thing - the road is nothing more than a means of learning to achieve a better life: "This project has no end date, so I'm not just accumulating photos of beautiful sites; I really want to learn to live a simpler and happier existence"he tells us.
Pam and Odie on the cliffs of Dover © Image courtesy of Pamthevan.com for Traveler.es
The road has not been easy, of course. Ldoubts assaulted her even when choosing which vehicle acquire. She, who had not bought a car, was suddenly with a myriad of vans available Among those who could not distinguish any characteristic. One thing was clear: it had to cost less than 800 pounds. In the end, after many months of searching, he decided to go see one, and with that he stayed, following his instinct. It was worth it.
Less than a year later, the tiny back space of a Renault Kangoo second-hand has definitely become at home and in your dog's Odie, a labrador crossing with tender curly hair that accompanies it everywhere. They have already traveled United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy, and this summer they plan to go through Spain and Portugal. The hits of your trip are the lakes: "Me encaaaaaantanThese are my favorite stops: run or walk in the morning, take a bath in one of them and picnic on the coast. The paradise! "he exclaims. And he recommends that of Slaugham, in the South of England ("it is ten minutes from the local church, it is small but very beautiful," says Marina). That of Xonrupt-Longemer in Northern France ("surrounded by pine trees and popular in triathlon competitions") and that of Santa Croce, in Northern Italy ("which is super crowded in summer but deserted in winter, and where you can see, on a clear day, the dolomites mountains reflected in the waters").
However, despite pulling memories to recommend your favorite places, the nomenclature barely counts for this adventurer: "For me, the trip has nothing to do with seeing as many places as possible, but with stop where I feel comfortable. "
The caravan family © Image courtesy of Pamthevan.com for Traveler.es
But what happened in Marina's life so she wanted change the comfort of a sedentary lifestyle for a life on the road? Simply that he had achieved everything that most people of his age dream of having: "I lived alone with Odie in a house too big for me, ten minutes from Durham, in the North of England. I had lots of material things and a fantastic job in an amazing company. I was also studying to get my degree in environmental sciences. The perfect life, right? "He asks while smiling.
However, it seems that it wasn't so perfect for her. "One day I thought:" I am too comfortable. If I still live here, I will wake up one day in a house with children and a great career regretting not having lived the life I really wanted. "The accepted social dogma of"you need to work all your life to make as much money as you can, be better than your neighbor and buying the latest iPhone "was not for me. I really needed to see if a different way of living, less consumerist and more in tune with nature, it was possible. Traveling is not the goal itself, it is just a way to get more knowledge of our precious planet! "he explains in a mantra that he will repeat several times in the conversation.
Of course, when he decided to leave his comfortable routine to fit all his belongings in a van, both his family and his friends They thought I was crazy ("Probably keep thinking and just be being educated"he jokes)." It was understandable that they were worried thinking he was committing A serious mistake leaving everything. Some of my friends supported the project, they seemed curious, while others saw in it confirmation that she was an idealist I had lost my mind, "recalls Marina.
Colmar in France © Image courtesy of Pamthevan.com for Traveler.es
It was at that time when began to transform the Renault to build in it a small kitchen, a bed and storage space enough, a complex process that he talks about extensively in his blog. "I've always loved it use your hands I make my own jewelry and make some of my clothes. I'm not particularly good at anything, but I can do many things. However, the ones I used to enjoy the most were "of women": I had never used a circular saw. At first, I worried, but I was also excited with the perspective of learning to use nnew cool toolsWell, it's a great way to expand your skills. There are no limits to creativity, "he explains.
So, could any of us do it? Could we have our own mobile home for less than a new car is worth? "I think anyone can do it, since I trust that everyone can be and do what they want If you insist on it. The human brain is completely trainable. However, if you are one of those people who gets frustrated easily or that leaves when small challenges appear, then you will have to work on yourself at the beginning, since you will need a giant dose of ability to solve problems. If you are a woman telling yourself that you cannot do it, then you cannot. There is only one obstacle in the process: tell yourself that you are not capable!"exclaims, convinced, the traveler.
It is said by someone who, while carrying out the transformation of the vehicle, had to move in and sell all your belongings. "It was a very stressful moment," he confesses. Still, as you can see in the photos, the Kangoo has been really cozy. "The thing really presented great challenges, but what cost me the most Build was the kitchen. I had never built anything before and had no idea how to stick things to the ground or how connect pieces of wood. In the end, the kitchen looked good, but if you look closely you will see that the walls are not straight. Now, my mantra is "measure twice and cut a", account.
Laghetto di Ponte Subiolo © Image courtesy of Pamthevan.com for Traveler.es
Is life on the road easier or harder than building a kitchen? It depends on yourself, of course. "Being alone is not easy. We fear being alone with our thoughts, we seek distractions in the social networks, going out at night, in friends and in relationships that don't do us any good for fear of Listen to our heart. But to dig really deep and find your truth, I think one must learn to be happy alone. I think it's the only way you can thoroughly appreciate people that comes into your life, and to make more conscious decisions regarding your future. "
Is that, and not the be a girl traveling with a dog, what has cost more fit. "There have been a couple of rare situations, but I've never felt truly threatened, rather annoying, "he explains about his mishaps along the way."The people are curious, so I try not to attract attention, "explains Marina (who has a very complete post shelling the pros and cons of moving with your best friend).
In fact, one very curious thing that she has learned in this adventure - and that she considers the best of her trip - has been to "break the barriers you normally have when you live in a house and reconnect with public spaces. When I lived in my home, I only felt really safe once inside; putting one foot outside the door meant leave my comfort, and I couldn't wait to go back inside again. Now i feel that The whole world is my house which is quite amazing. "
"And the worst?", We ask. "Uncertainty. I am quite disorganized and I have trouble planning things. When I had a "normal" life, I knew, more or less, What would happen next week. Now not so much! Although getting carried away by the wind can be super exciting, it can also be quite stressful not having any certainty regarding the future, "this explorer tells us, constantly looking for her own path.
Newbridge © Image courtesy of Pamthevan.com for Traveler.es
Nancy, in France © Image courtesy of Pamthevan.com for Traveler.es
Pam and Odie in Venice © Image courtesy of Pamthevan.com for Traveler.es
Valle Santa Felicita in Romano D'ezzelino © Image courtesy of Pamthevan.com for Traveler.es
Col du Petit St. Bernard © Image courtesy of Pamthevan.com for Traveler.es
Bamburgh © Image courtesy of Pamthevan.com for Traveler.es
Reims © Image courtesy of Pamthevan.com for Traveler.es