ROAD TRIP : Crossing the line

There are always questions that we ask ourselves before leaving, that's why planning is an important step. When to leave, with whom, in which region, how many kilometers? Who hasn't already asked this question? So today, as the long spring weekends are coming up and the summer vacations are already in sight, we are going to explore all this.


All travelers say it, there is a form of excitement before the departure. Picking up your van and discovering it is already part of the trip. We marvel at the ingenuity that has been deployed to fit so many things into such a small cabin. Whether it is for Eva or Christophe, the first night in the van is memorable. Christophe says that for the first night, the spot doesn't really matter. It is rather the fact of sleeping in a fitted out vehicle which takes the lead. To have a mini-room, a mini-kitchen and to manage to live there. The same goes for a trip in a car and a roof tent, the magic of the departure is an incredible feeling of freedom.

Simon, a traveler who tried the adventure, had not booked anything for his first off-season road trip in a roof tent. In total, 10 days of feeling by looking for spots on the ground because there was not even a network. A nice adventure to start with, which fortunately went well. But experiences can be different. "In my first road trip," says Olivier, " we had to make a change of program and we found ourselves a bit baffled to find a place to sleep, trying several spots that didn't work out (barrier on the road, party in a campsite, etc.) We ended up sleeping on the side of the road and it was clearly not a great experience." But fortunately, the feeling of freedom only gets stronger when you settle down on a spot in the wilderness, having your meal or a small aperitif with a view of a sunset over the reliefs.


The main difficulty for the van lifers and especially the beginners, is to find a nice spot to sleep. Christophe was reassured for example to leave with people who had already spent nights in a van and who knew the discreet and quiet spots. For him, it was great to wake up in the morning and discover the surroundings. As for many van lifers, the arrival is often at night and it is always the discovery the next morning. But the experience can vary depending on the month! Simon left in August and it was not the same story! Black of world on the beaches of Brittany. Without booking spots in advance, it would have been almost impossible to find something in these conditions.

Especially since vans are sometimes frowned upon at this time because they tend to get stuck everywhere as there are no nice places for them. Here the preparation of the trip is key! Even if in any organization, we try to keep a little flexibility for the unforeseen and the beautiful surprises. With the time, we become more and more demanding on the quality of the spot. At first we are satisfied with a quiet place, where nobody will come to disturb us. Then, we try spots with a view (sunrise or sea in the distance). Then, we get closer and closer to the sea. And, when we passed by all that, we want to be to 50 cm of the water.


In terms of equipment, the first road trip is often a crash test. Too much luggage, equipment not always adapted, during this road trip we identify a little more what are our needs in terms of equipment which were not always adequate. A kind of test and learn finally. Because yes, in road trip often, the level of learning is high.

The essentials for a first trip:
- Sleeping bag, pillow, blanket
- Wipes
- Paper towels and toilet paper
- Garbage bags
- Broom
- Sponge and dish towel Stainless steel canteen
- Coffee, tea, milk and cereals Water
- Condiments
- Some prepared meals
- LED headlamp
- Books, games


Learning to let go, learning to trust and be trusted, learning to compromise, learning that you don't need so much water on a daily basis, learning that you can enjoy waking up to birdsong... the list goes on. "What struck me the most on my side," reports Olivier, " is this disconnection from time and geography. This impression of leaving very far away while we went to a few tens of kilometers, this relationship with time, this step back on our classic life and realize that we don't need much to live. And of course the magnificent surprises! Like the day we discovered Eva's beach, which has since become one of our exceptional spots. An almost personal beach in a place worthy of the most beautiful landscapes of Brittany."


So how do you live this when you don't have a van? First of all, there are some van rental solutions between individuals like Yescapa, or professional renters like Blacksheep or even roof tents, Horizon tents for those who have a smaller budget. Nothing prevents you from leaving with your tent in your car or on your bike and to start your itinerary in this way. Some people will prefer the all comfort with solar shower or even integrated shower, while others will want to test the life in van, minimalist side. It's up to you to choose your essential criteria.

Namely, all travelers will tell you not to forget a garbage bag and a dish towel! It may seem strange and we don't think about it at all but in a van, there is no place to let the dishes drip! Yes, in roaming, we learn to be minimalist on everything. Living 6 days with 4 people in a very small space, it changes everything when you come back. You also become more conscious.

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