A Week With Vanessa
It seems like a curse when I embark on a new adventure; the incidents, accidents, and complications I encounter. Like the time we flew to Hong Kong and the flaps on the left wing stopped working, forcing us to turn around and land in a glittering sea of sirens and strobe lights. Or the end of that same trip when the elevator doors opened to the view of an airplane landing in a typhoon, crashing and sliding as a ball of fire toward the big glass terminal. Or the time I went traveling solo, only to be robbed of all my camera gear on day two. Or the fractured skull, the shattered ankle, the ribs and wrists. These little incidents make a day more challenging, and add a twist and level of excitement. After all, it's the element of surprise- the unexpected, which makes a story worth telling.
When I was planning our week of living in a van, I figured I could plan for costs, choose a direction, and let the rest sort itself as we rolled down the coast. We chose South as a direction, and opted for coastal roads.
Our van, later christened "Vanessa", was delivered to us the night before our departure by Hugo, the wonderfully friendly and helpful owner of IndieCampers.com. He briefed me on the ins and outs of the van and wished us a fun and pleasant journey. Little did he know we would meet again the next morning. Just a few hundred meters from home we pulled over to check a clickity clackaty sound from the wheel, which turned out to be a giant bolt-screw in the back tire. Hugo came and got it fixed and we were finally on the road to the South. After a few hours of driving and a number of beaches visited, we finally decided to find a spot to spend the night.
When you can technically live anywhere that is flat and not in the way of others, you begin to get picky about the surrounding 'amenities'. The ocean view isn't as good, the grass isn't as green, the stars aren't as bright; you constantly look for a spot that is better than the last spectacular spot you considered. We got better at finding suitable spots as the week went on, and we got more efficient at solving the problems we ran into.
From bolts in tires to bumps on the road, fevers in the morning and strange noises in the night - they might put bags under my eyes the next day, but they will put a smile on my face for a week thereafter.
Here is the artsy side of our surf van trip. A B-reel will likely follow. Stay tuned.