So week one of caravanning has been an interesting and somewhat time consuming experience. In the past week I’ve needed to sort out the usual bits and pieces: internet, school places for the kids (as we plan on being in the UK for at least a year), library cards (no space to keep books in the caravan), registering at doctors and dentists-to name but a few. Not the most pleasant of tasks but not usually all that difficult…that is, unless you don’t have a fixed address.
I have seen looks of bewilderment, confusion and pity and have realised that there aren’t any systems in place for people who don’t conform to the norm. The librarian handling our application called her manager and asked if she should list us as homeless….we might not have a postbox but we are hardly homeless. In order to receive internet I had to register at my previous address and was then advised to go online and change the details-the only way to get around the system. As far as school places….The council instructed me to list our caravan site as our address despite the fact that you are only able to spend a maximum of 28 days at any one site.
As soon as I told each of the people I dealt with we were living in a caravan their first question was, ‘For how long?’ And as soon as I mentioned it would be our home for the foreseeable future you could almost see what they were thinking- ‘They don’t fit the usual traveller bill’, ‘ Why would they choose to live like this?’ However, after explaining that we have chosen to sell all but the essentials, to stay in a caravan for 18 months in order to support ourselves while we travel the world in a motor home, volunteering along the way, meeting new people and learning about different cultures their whole demeanour starts to change, there’s a sparkle in their eyes, they get excited…maybe a little envious. They want to know how, when, where and why and that reinforces my belief that we are making the right decision.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail-Ralph Waldo Emerson
So until next time…