As my boyfriend splashes the last of the warm water over my shoulders, I jump for the towel, as the chill hits my wet skin. I’m having an argument in my head. I’m a girl, I love the outdoors, nature, wilderness. I want to be clean, enjoy the sensation of warm water on my clammy skin, smell like sweetly scented soap, and put clean fresh clothes on; which makes me feel good. But this is not really a normal way to do it.
In our society this is surly frowned upon. If someone were to walk around the corner, they certainly wouldn't say “oh good your enjoying having a lovely warm wash.” I can imagine the look of shock on their face would say it all, before they scuttle away. They would confirm my suspicion, that this way of life is not the norm.
For me it is. I live in a van.
I have little money, but a rich life. I treasure experience, over material possessions. Instead of one night in a hotel, I can live happily on that same money for a week. Washing in rivers leaves me fresh, clean and alert. I have to pluck up the courage to jump in, the decoration is beautiful, stone bridges, falling leaves and the sound of flowing water.
I too can rock up well presented to my best friends wedding, feel good at a meeting where first impressions count, or sit down at a dinner party in my evening best. No one there would know that I’ve just scrubbed up in a small flowing stream 10km down the road, but if they did would they think any differently of me?
I never overlooked the luxury of a hot shower, nor heated towel rails. Warm and cosy can describe both a B&B or a well kited out van. Instead of taking for granted, I have the opportunity to really appreciate that fresh clean feeling, and the fundamental need to be healthy and hygienic.
I live wild and free but fundamentally I’m not feral. I live simply and appreciate what I have.
Outdoor Girl and Adventurer. Enjoy stories from her coaching, talking and exploring.