Sometime in the early nineties, on one of the many European adventures my parents took my sister and I on, we parked our campervan up late on a Parisian street. We rolled out the beds, fell to sleep immediately and woke a few hours later with the sunrise rising over the grandeur of the Palace of Versailles. No jokes. My folks had plopped our friendly little VW camper right on that royal porch. We rubbed the sleep out of our eyes and patted down our bed hair and walked straight into this majestic scene. (That is what you call glamping.)
The Palace of Versailles when we took Ramona a couple of years ago
It is partly these kind of memories that have inspired our own trip over to Europe this summer. Tim and I want to embrace all the jolly japes and high jinks that buzzing around Europe in a campervan can offer. We are leaving on August the 1st in Betty our VW Westfalia with our two girls, returning to the UK 3 months later. We were originally going to try and take in every part of Europe possible but have reined in our plans a little. We totted up the miles of our original route and found it came to 9000 which is a bit bonkers! Although this is a once in a life time opportunity we wanted to avoid any feeling of being rushed and harried of not being rushed and getting to know places a little bit.
We’re still going to delve in to a fair few countries though:
Wild swimming in France (and cheese eating)
Forest walks in the Black Forest
Hot Pooling In Hungary
Exploring little folky villages in the Czech Republic
Ocean swimming in Croatia (this is our main destination and where we want to spend the most time – it was voted most beautiful country in the world by National Geographic – who’d a thought?)
Pizza eating and soaking up the October warmth in Italy on the way home
We don’t know how long we will spend in each spot, we are going to just roll with it and if we don’t get to them all then it isn’t a big deal. We want to see how driving with the little ladies goes- if they struggle we’ll simple strip back our itinerary even more. We are aiming for the idle, agendaless existence not three months of ticking off countries.
I can’t wait for the simple living that van life will offer us (I’m just a little bit nervous about having only TWO pairs of shoes available) and the chance to get much better at being “present”; savouring inconsequential moments. We are stoked to be getting this much time together as a family of four and no work to get up for. (Sometimes it is okay to want to be a bit lazy eh?)
Maybe I do have a bit of an agenda though- ‘cos if we don’t get to park our camper on the driveway of at least one regal establishment I’ll be WELL MAD.