Just back from our year-end trip which we were waiting to take for a long time after a series of cancelled plans and roadblocks. The thing which was different about this trip and which was the essence of this trip is that we were travelling in a motorhome.
Firstly I understood the basic difference between a motorhome, caravan, campervan and the different types of it- An info which anyone can get on Google so I won’t deep dive into it.
The first and my biggest concern with motorhome was using toilets. All the waste goes into a toilet cassette which you then need to empty at a dump station in a caravan park. You really need to have a strong stomach (and nose) for this. You then put some toilet chemicals into it and lo you are ready! This being the first time in the Outback, I really didn't know if we would have enough public toilets on the way, the state of caravan parks and challenges we would face with this. Other things which we had to take care of were things like cooking, cleaning, laundry etc. Doable and prepared for it.
We had little challenges but nothing which could not be sorted. We had the cosiest trip and we came back yesterday with our hearts filled with joy and memories, learnings and experience which we never had before.
In that motorhome, I felt we had everything we needed to survive. We don’t need more. None of us do. We have sufficient, and where we don’t, we can always work around it. We can be whatever we want and play different roles as required, just like a board in our motorhome which can either become your table or a plank for your cosy bed. The fact is- you don’t need a lot in life to be content and happy. Life is simple and is to be enjoyed. Lets not complicate it. Remember that most of your problems are in your head or are insignificant in this big beautiful world! As long as you have good health, food to eat and your basic needs are met, you are sorted! Go spend the rest of your resources and energies on beautiful things and feelings this world has to offer as life is too short and there is a lot to see and do.
I came back and found even my tiny apartment to be extremely big. I just stayed in my room for most of the day. It’s funny- Human beings have big homes, sometimes so big that happiness is lost somewhere in it. With an abundance of everything and constant greed to have more, we have also bought bigger headaches for ourselves. I know I will soon get sucked into this rat race again and lose this perspective of an outside observer, but I hope to preserve this pure and beautiful part of my journey and implement these learnings.
Contentment is also a funny thing. Few might argue that the human race wouldn’t have made the progress it did if it was always happy and content. True. But I feel contentment is definitely not the death of ambition. You just need to choose which areas of your life you need to be happy and content with, so that you can focus and put your energies on things that really matter to derive the true meaning of life.
The entire motorhome experience was like life in itself. It kind of represents your journey through it. We are not going to take anything past our journey here. So don’t get stuck in this race and lose the essence of life somewhere through it. Just take in as much as you get and see as much as you can. Make it beautiful while you are here and make it a journey worth taking.
Thoughts about Motherland-
When on trips, I invariably end up thinking about India because we have such extraordinary and diverse landscapes, food and culture that it’s a dreamland for any traveller. The campervan way of life may be a niche experience in India but it’s so common to Aussies and the rest of the developed world. They come with such elaborate plans and setups that it blows my mind! With kayaks, boats, ATVs, cycles for the entire family attached to the campervan and elaborate dinner and entertainment setups, it’s like people truly carry their homes around. While camping is not new to India, campervan life is difficult to adapt to with most of us slogging in nine-to-five jobs (working even beyond that) just to be able to afford a rare vacation which goes through a thousand approvals months ahead; and your boss and colleagues giving you a hard time for the remaining part of the year, reminding you of how they supported you during your One vacation. WFH is now making things possible but until Covid, WFH was considered a holiday or was not even a possibility for many job-goers. Not having powered sites, the state of public toilets, the high costs involved in this seemingly nomadic lifestyle are few of the many factors which makes it difficult. Also, the areas which are less crowded are not very easily accessible. Areas deeper in the woods pose the danger of wild animals. Areas which are isolated pose the danger of criminal activities. I would say I’m proud that the new generation still ventures out despite all the bottlenecks to live out their best life because that is what Van life is all about!