9. One Year on the Road.
Written by Leslie.
After spending 12 months of my life living in a van (excluding a few trips to Ireland etc) there's far too much to talk about besides saying that leaving to live in a van was the best decision of my life so far. It was a goal of mine since I left secondary school and to finally set out for Europe was an initial mix of anxiety, excitement and fear. That all quickly turned itself into satisfaction and fulfillment once I became more comfortable with an entirely different style of living.
I saw a number of bucket list destinations (Lake Garda, Amalfi Coast, Dolomites, Switzerland, Stromboli Island), spent it with wonderful people, met friends for life and worked on projects with brands that I set out to 12 months ago. This is not to say that every day was exciting, or even enjoyable, but I had to remind myself that even on a day that may have sucked, your day can still stuck in a house.
It taught me to be grateful and open minded, but ultimately there was one main take away point from my time in the van.
Do things that make you happy.
This unbelievably simple concept is so obvious that I feel that it gets overlooked by most of us. Before the van, I was in a heavy 'money making' routine, working a job that I didn't like and not really putting the small amount of free time that I had into anything that made me happy. Laziness and lack of discipline were probably my main reasons, but since coming out to the van, I started to do what makes me happy. Being in nature, travelling, hiking, meeting new people, playing sports and creating projects make me feel fulfilled. To my surprise, I started to feel much better. Who would have thought?
The reason why I'm saying it is because I tricked myself into thinking that I was satisfied in the past. Not to say I was unhappy, but I was just.. comfortable? Since actively thinking about what makes me happy, I realised just how little I did any of those things. I recommend stopping to think what makes you happy and then asking yourself if you do any of those things enough? The answer will probably be no.
I've seen it first hand with myself, but also with friends. My friend Gavin is taking his mountain bike racing seriously again - I've never see him so focused and fulfilled. Another friend, David, found a routine where he can do sea swimming and reading daily. Loved it.
It's unbelievable how simple the concept is and also how non debatable it is, but most of us don't follow up on it. So please, if it's reading, sports, singing, dancing, socialising or whatever else gets you going, then... do it.
Thanks for following along. Hopefully that didn't sound 'Holier than thou'. I actually noted that I still didn't do enough hiking or played enough sport in the past year. I'm going to focus on that this year and see how it can fit into my daily routines.
Not bothered reading, or just adore my voice? Watch below for a slightly more in depth recap.