The Beginning…

13 May

You know the type of person who is always going to do something cool, hip and just that little bit pretentious?…but they never seem to get round to actually doing those things? Well that’s me.

In the world of my dreams I can ride a motorcycle, play a guitar (and the piano…oh! and a saxophone), I’ve taken singing lessons and I sing in a blues band, I go for long hikes and take amazing photos with the expensive digital camera that I know how to use after going on a photography course…and I spend the summer at festivals in my VW campervan.

Yes, I know people like me are annoying, because – to be quite frank – I annoy myself. I’m full of these plans and I talk them to death, so I’m pretty sure my friends and workmates must tire of hearing about the life I want but never reach for.

I guess it’s a bit about confidence – or my lack of it. Okay, so I don’t achieve anything, but I don’t have to worry about failure either!…but you don’t get very far in life by hiding from it. I get that now, and my realisation possibly has something to do with the fact that I’ve just turned thirty and I’m single and living at home with my Mom and 21 year old sister. Suddenly, I feel like I’m capable of deciding what’s best for me, and that I deserve to have the things I want in life! The only thing stopping me from achieving things is me…and I’ve wanted a campervan for YEARS. So okay, I might buy a total dog of a van that turns out to be a massive mistake, but on the other hand it might be the best decision I’ve ever made.

I’d already toyed with the idea of buying one when I needed to replace my car back in February. I realised my MOT was due in a few weeks and I knew there was no way my clapped-out Citroen would pass without needing a few hundred pounds worth of work, so on a whim started talking about how I was going to buy a van, and not a car, to be its successor. I think I knew it was a ridiculous time frame when I said it, after all I had to find one, buy it and then get it on the road within about a fortnight. It wasn’t happening, but it took me a few days of chatting about it to realise that I was being totally unrealistic.

So now, two months later and a decade older (sort of), I found myself seriously looking for a camper, and about a week or two after that I found myself looking around the vans for sale at a rental garage in Warwick. Not only that, but I found myself falling in love…and then I found myself putting down a deposit. And that’s how a little decisiveness bought me a 25 year old Volkswagen campervan called Old Red…aka, Ron Burgundy.

My first look at Old Red

That was almost a fortnight ago now, and hopefully it’ll be less than a week before I hear about when I can pick him up. There’ll be more about him once I have him on the driveway and we’re getting ready for our first outing.

I still can’t believe I’ve done it to be honest. It’s a bit unreal, and I’m not totally sure how I’ll feel when it comes to driving him away. I’ve never driven a van before, so that’ll be an adventure in itself!

But I love to travel, camp and hike, and I’ve always wanted to learn vehicle maintenance at the side of the road (ha ha), so I think I’m really going to enjoy going to festivals and on weekends away with Old Red and my friends. Oh! And I mustn’t forget my best friend and furry travelling companion, Fletch.

Fletch on Weston beach 16/4/2012

He’s utterly mental and I haven’t had the joy of taking him camping yet (I fear he’d bust out the side of a tent if he thought there was the chance of meeting another dog) so it’s going to be fun finding out how he’ll behave living in a van! Luckily Red is a two-storey travelling tent and so I can always escape from the dog by sleeping in the roof. Fletch won’t be coming with us on every journey, but I’m really looking forward to taking him to find new places to sniff whenever I can.

I’ll admit, I’m scared…but I’m also really really excited, and I can’t wait for our adventures together to begin!


Posted by on May 13, 2012 in Uncategorized


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3 responses to “The Beginning…

  1. Astrid | Pohutukawa PhotoGraphic

    May 16, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Last year, life gave us lemons, so what did we do? buy a VW campervan of course! We lived in it for just over 3 months in autumn/winter.
    Ours was really similar to yours but white and had the wheezy 1600 air-cooled engine not the diesel that you’ve got (you should get better mpg than we did, and if you’ve got the turbo you’ll actually be able to do a respectable speed!)
    We bought Newt 3 weeks before our trip and like you said, it could have been a massive mistake, or it could have been brilliant – our friends had a sweepstake going on how long it would last before it broke down, but thankfully it never really did. The only hiccup in 6000 miles was a rumbly CV joint (oh and we ran out of gas once, but that was totally our fault not Newt’s) but that was quickly fixed and we were on our way again.

    It was definitely the best decision we ever made. I still haven’t gotten round to putting the story (& pictures) of our travels online, but you’ve inspired me to get my butt into gear and do it.

    Good luck and happy travels!

  2. onegirlandacampervan

    May 17, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Thanks for commenting 🙂 I’d love to read about your travels with Newt! Let me know when you start so I can follow you too 🙂

    It’s really good to hear about other people who’ve taken a leap into vanning and been successful 😀 I’m hoping that my adventures with Red will be as hassle-free as yours have been! Take care and thanks again for sharing x


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