Although we have officially been living in our caravan for a month, we didn't travel very far.
After the sale of our house we moved about 2mins up the road to our local caravan park to 1) spend more time with family & friends because it was almost Christmas and
2) finalise a few things before we set off to explore our beautiful country.
Downsizing our lives, selling our house & preparing for life on the road with our babies was quite stressful and exhausting. So many late nights spent packing the van (because it was easier when the kids were asleep) and early mornings getting the house ready for potential buyers.
Of course, spending that extra time with family was amazing and, but we feel allowing ourselves time to de-stress and better prepare was important to the successful start of our journey.
We were able to take a breath and process what had just happened, rather than just jumping in the car, heading to the first stop and being thrown straight into the travelling life. We aren't new to the travelling lifestyle, but it was nice to take a moment and really celebrate this next chapter in our story.
We also had time to finalise those last few items like household bills (electricity disconnection etc.), finish updating our new address and put a few more things in storage that we were using in the house up to the last day but didn’t actually need in the van.
Then we gave the caravan a thorough clean-out. We unpacked the house/packed the caravan rather quickly and we lost track of what was already in the van. After a few days we started noticing double-ups (like utensils because we always kept a set in the van so ended up with 2 spatulas, 2 wooden spoons etc.)
Although it’s good to have spares of some things, minimal living is key to our happy van-life, so we got rid of what we didn’t need as well as purchased a few things we realised we did.
Most importantly, it allowed us all to re-adjust back into van-life and find our rhythm again, before the added challenges of travelling.
Although our Cubs love camping and had spent a lot of their lives on the road, they had just spent 3months back in a house and in their own space.
We had decided to upgrade the girls from their cots into modified-beds. Having this extra time to make the transition and allow Keira to get used to the twins waking during the night was a bit of a challenge with bedtime routines all over the place.
Every time a twin would wake and cry, Keira would wake too. Around the 4th or 5th night, Keira started sleeping through the crying again, phew!
We know this isn't the end of routine changes, leap weeks and chaos, but I am glad we made the first transition without the worry of driving, finding camp spots, setting up, entertaining our Cubs, making the most out of our town visits, packing up and going again.
Yes, we had the itch to start our adventure and couldn’t have said the words “can’t wait to take off” enough, but we are really glad we gave ourselves that extra time to transition from house-life to van-life.
(We wouldn’t change it for anything but if you are planning a transition period; depending on your setup and how organised you are, 1week should be a nice timeframe.)