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Just a little awkward

Sometimes I get the urge to write, usually it starts in my head, some sort of monologue and then it occurs to me that maybe I should write it down. But I usually get distracted or realise I’m supposed to be doing something else, and decide not to procrastinate by writing. This year, I’ve made a list of short term and long term goals. One of my short term goals is to try to write something, anything, at least once week. So here I am, two weeks into 2019, (I know - not quite on top of my goals) but deciding not to feel like a failure and embracing todays urge to write something. 

For the past week we’ve been travelling and have arrived in Portugal in our van. I’ve been looking forward to this trip; the space, peace, surf, inspiration, nature, time, all of it. Also we received lots of items for Christmas to use in our van home and I have been enjoying every minute of using them. The bees wax food wraps, pans, travel shower, mugs … I’d have cringed 10 years ago if you told me these things would excite me but apparently thats called ageing. 

A few of my most recent essentials

A few of my most recent essentials

So, the trip so far has been great! BUT, it’s also been really flipping awkward. Firstly, I came on my period and spent the first two days in a lot of pain, if you’re a woman I’m sure you know what I mean … it’s a pretty standard monthly occurrence that we’re supposed to just function through. And usually I would, except I’ve started using a menstrual cup as a way of producing less waste and saving money (click for a little info if you’re curious.) But I hadn’t quite thought through the logistics of using this whilst living in a van, parking at random spots where so far, there are no toilets…AT ALL. It’s been a steep learning curve and having a tilted cervix certainly doesn’t seem to have helped. I’ve had to work extra hard to find privacy and have started to master removal and insertion in the dark, at 4am, in the cold. Not fun. 

Secondly, I’ve got a cold. Not just a little sniffle but a red raw, face full of cold. After days of using Lidls cheapest toilet rolls to blow my nose, today we went shopping and I bought some lovely Kleenex soft tissues to soothe my raw, raw skin! 

Lastly, I managed to burn my finger on the stove, it’s been playing up a bit and let out a lot of fire (don’t stress - I’ve got it covered) but a throbbing blister, which literally just burst on my finger, is not what I wanted.

So, I shared all my negative honesty to squash any assumption that it’s all bliss when living in a van, (I’m aware that some of you will never have assumed such a thing and perhaps think living in a van is a terrible idea) but social media often tells the loveliest version of stories so I figured I’d share some of the shit. Also so that I could let you know what I’ve done to overcome the underlying ‘down ness’ (probably not a word) that I’ve been feeling. 

Matthew has just gone surfing, we’ve parked up somewhere nice with a view of greenery and the sound of the waves. I decided to have a shower, not just a rinse but a full on shower with soap and everything (using our lovely Christmas gift!!). I washed my hair, shaved my legs, painted my toe nails and plucked my eyebrows. Pretty simple things that have helped me to feel myself again. Not a sniffling, greasy, tired version but a clean, fresh and positive version of me. 

I mean I’m still sniffling, maybe even a little more than before, because I don’t have a hair dryer and the sun is going down BUT I feel better in myself. Which is what was bothering me most anyways. 

Rhosanna Lowe