Suddenly it seems, that time really does go quicker as we get older. How can it be that it’s coming to the end of 2019 already? In fact, it seems like only yesterday that we were celebrating the millennium, yet here we are 20 years later-Wow, that is such a scary thought!
For us, it’s been another busy year, filled with a mix of various travels near and far, in between a house renovation and a campervan self-build project on the other side of the world. We can safely say, it’s been a very hands on year if nothing else!
Of course, life as we’ve learnt, is full of surprises and no more so than our unexpected travels to the opposite side of the world, where our son is now living in New Zealand.
When we realised we’d be regular visitor’s to the “land of the long white cloud” , there was only one thing for us to do, and that was to have our own campervan to use around New Zealand. One of the most camper friendly countries we’ve ever visited and also one of the most beautiful.
Luckily, our search for a van to convert, at the start of 2019 was relatively easy, and with lot’s of Kiwi help, Nigel was able to build a cosy, self-contained conversion within a few weeks.
We were soon out on the road, discovering the best of New Zealand life and enjoying the incredible freedom camping facilities that’s on offer in this part of the world. With an outdoor paradise at every corner, it was just our cup of tea!
Even better, when it was time for us to leave, our cosy little home from home on wheels was left back in the perfect hands of our Son. Ideal too, for his own exploring in his free time, and getting to know more of this wonderful country.
When we realised a few years ago that our new career would be to travel (ha ha!), we knew it meant another big change and that was to downsize from the family house.
With the big house-move completed, just a few days before leaving for NZ, our return had us pre-occupied in house renovations. What an ordeal that was, and as usual with these things, they took far longer than expected!
A few months later, we were finished, fully renovated, modernised and transformed into a cosy abode! Wondering why we’d needed all that space in our previous homes, this was a revelation and our new introduction into Tiny space living!
Exciting yet exhausting at the same time, this important next chapter felt so liberating. The freedom of ditching the big house for the tiny base was just the best feeling, and making it our own was just such a lovely part of the next stage of our lives.
It didn’t take long before the itchy feet syndrome set in, and before we knew it, we were catching the Euro Tunnel to France, ready for more adventures.
As usual, we were a little indecisive about where to head for, but finally settled on Italy, with a little bit of France, mainly the Alps, thrown in for starters.
I’m not sure why, but ever since we started our camper travels, we’ve always felt the need to really explore a region before starting on a new destination. In other words, we’ve never been ones to tick box a country or just pass through.
So, when we finally got to do our first tour of Italy last year, concentrating on the Northern regions, it seemed only natural to continue where we left off for our 2nd instalment.
The Central regions of Italy felt a bit disappointing and after a couple of months trying to will it all on to get a bit better, we actually decided we’d seen enough and headed back to some old camper haunts in the South of France.
As the new look Riviera took hold, the realisation dawned that the incredible “wild camping” days along beautiful beaches were now a thing of the past. The French coast had changed beyond all recognition in some places.
As Summer turned to Autumn, the French shut up shop, by Mid-October, it was over. Storm clouds came in, sun loungers were locked away for the Winter and the choppy seas threw a wild mass of debris across the previously bustling Summer sun drenched promenades.
Hanging on in there for a few more weeks was actually not the best idea. Ideally, we should have headed back home before the isolation of an out of season France crept in. Our return tunnel booking for the first week in November was the only reason we stayed.
As we were ready to wave “Au Revoir” for another year, the Winter travellers were descending en-masse to the coast. Breaking up their journeys, with a fleeting stopover on the French Coast, before continuing to their Winter campgrounds across the Spanish Costa’s.
Nothing new there, except for the huge size of the vans coming through this year, carrying with them the most outrageously extravagant additions, many towing cars to add to the already, large length of these beasts of the camper world.
We said goodbye to Europe for another year, put on the Winter coats and headed North.
We Started out in 2019 as we will finish, in the fabulous country that is New Zealand with our nearest and dearest for company.
Over to a Summer down under and re-united both with family and our cosy little self-build camper, located in New Zealand’s North Island.
Where adventures await around every corner, the sky shines the brightest blue, and the warmth of Kiwi spirit flows through the incredible landscapes.
Here’s to the start of yet another decade, may you all have a fabulous touring season in 2020 and a long and happy decade ahead.
Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas, the most amazing camper travels and the happiest of New Year’s for 2020!
Thanks for reading “Another year of camper travels over”!
adventure Aires Alps Annecy Australia Australia Roadtrip Blog Buying a Vehicle Australia Camargue camper conversion Campervan Essentials Europe Explore France Heathrow Airport Italian Cities Italian Riviera Italy Sosta Motorhome Motorhome Sosta New Zealand new zealand road trip New Zealand van New Zealand Walks North Island North Island NZ North Wales Off Grid panel van project vanlife Road Trip Travel Travellers Autobarn travel writing Tuscany Vanlife vanlife blogs Wales Waterfalls Wellington wild camping Winter Travel Writing