To celebrate two months on the road, we took a four-person helicopter flight over NZ’s glacier country. This included viewing the Franz Josef glacier, the Fox Glacier, and Mount Tasman and Aoraki the Great from a bird’s eye view; however, if we are getting technical, we also celebrated by using a smelly drop toilet (fancy for outhouse), swatting away swarms of black flies (NZ’s Dracula), grocery shopping, and roaming the streets of a small kiwi-town searching for free Wi-Fi!
So, where are we going with this post? Well, we know we’ve been rubbing it in posting blog after blog and photo after photo of beautiful scenery – us WOLOing on mountaintops, playing with star fish and fur seals, and simply just living the “free” life (free like wherever the wind blows us kind of free), so we thought for our two month celebratory blog post, we’d let you in on some of the downsides (if there can really be any) to living in paradise!
- You rarely wake up to a hot shower. This means washing hair and shaving using a bucket of water is a must (preferably on those rare warm and sunny days)!
- When you live in a van, sunset = lights out! Therefore, writing notes, brainstorming for blog posts, and drawing is often done by candlelight.
- Your most prized possession is your limited supply of ‘Aveeno Anti-Itch Lotion’ for all your black fly bites.
- All of your food is located in a bin (approx. 1ft x 2ft x 1ft) that fits under the bed. Note: Ant colonies like to travel by campervan, too! Who knew?!
- Petrol (gasoline) is WICKED expensive ($2.11-$2.46 per liter/$8.00-$9.30 per gallon) especially when you travel via a 1996 mini-van! Luckily, NZ is small-ish.
- There is no such thing as “refrigerated” food. The chilly bin (aka cooler powered by the van’s AC adapter) keeps the beer, butter, cheese, and meat a nice luke-warm temperature.
- A water supply of the drinkable kind can be hard to come across. This means you must be constantly water-supply aware!
- Contrary to popular belief, sleeping on a thin mattress that rests on a piece of plywood is NOT comfortable, but you get used to the uncomfortableness.
- You wear your clothes over and over and over AND over again (in streams, on long hikes, in the rain, to bed) and laundering rarely occurs. I think you get the picture!
- Grocery stores package everything in the metric system – grams and milliliters are unfamiliar measurements when it comes to food. So you either take what you get or do math conversions as you walk the aisles!
We also thought we’d throw in a few random facts incase you’re inclined to hop a plane to NZ and WOLO in a campervan, too! These stats are based on roughly 2 months on the road:
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches consumed: 29 per person (58 total)
- Free camping areas: 22
- Hot showers taken: 14 each (28 total)/Cold showers taken: 3 each (6 total)
- # of kilometers/miles travelled: 6,995 km/4,347 mi
- Visits to petrol/gas stations: 18
- $ spent at gas stations: We’d better not tell you this one b/c it’s all worth it!