How is it to live on a trip?
That was the question I asked myself while planning this trip. How will it be? Can I make it?
Now, after three weeks on the road I have something to say. Although it's far from the end, I have some first impressions. This most basic impression is that it's different than I thought. Well, maybe I'll start from what I had imagined.
On the European part of the trip I expected it to be as on campsites I know from Polish spot - Hel. When it’s windy we go crazy on water. When it’s not, we gather by the base, chill, talk, try trickboard. And obviously there are girls.
I have’t found such a spot, yet. On most of them there were no stationary kiteschools. So after kiting, most people just drove away. Garda Lake was the only place, till now, where there was school on spot. But when 6 p.m. stroke, everybody was off for home.
My basic requirement is a parking place and a place to put up a tent. Preferably for free. And so far it has worked like that. Just one time, in Italy, we went on a campsite. The reason was that the water tank was empty and not connected. Leaving the campsite I connected it and filled it with water.
In Italy there was a problem with camping in general. Wherever we went, we were warned or threatened that someone calls the police and it’s not allowed to camp there. In France, it was much better. Wherever we went, there was some bird sanctuary and actually you can camp and even make a campfire there. So with sleeping or putting up a tent 5 meters from the water there is no problem. The only problem is when wind strikes. When the tent starts to wobble it’s hard to sleep.
Spots keep surprising me. They are nicer and nicer and more beautiful. From rocky cliffs of Garda, parking lot in Cannes to Lagunes de Beouduc, situated in the middle of nowhere.
In Italy we didn’t specially brag about the trip, maybe once or twice. In France, people used to come close by themselves asking what are our plans, what is it. When I started talking about plans there were just two kinds of expressions on their faces. Either it’s a big smile or mouth opening wider and wider. There are sometimes problems with communication, as the French usually don’t speak English. But when you combine English, German and some body language it works just fine.
To be honest, I don’t think I had a night that I haven’t met and talk to any new people. It’s always better to meet someone new, then sit alone.
As you can probably presume, wind and urge to jump into water on every windy occasion doesn’t help to concentrate on office work, but till now I make it just fine. I try to spend time working when it’s not blowing or a little kitesurfing, then break for some work and some more in the evening. All the time I try to minimise time I need for day-to-day activities so I have more time for work and kiting.
The car was prepared in such a way as to use any possible space. Things that I use rather rarely I put to places that are harder to reach. And things I use most often, are easily accessible. As temperatures are quite high I spend most of the time outside. Sometimes when I need more peaceful environment for work, I sit in the passenger seat in the car. Right now, for example, I’m sitting outside on a deckchair with extension, having wonderful view on all the lake and the mountains.
A very good decision was mounting solar panels. I don’t know how I would make it without them. Charging battery with 4.2 litre turbocharged power generator, called car’s engine, is not cheap, so the panels work great and I have environmentally- friendly, free power.
Handling and packing all that kiting & traveling stuff is not a small task. It can take even up to 5 hours. Boards, kites, tent and mobile shower, deckchairs have to be put back into the car again. At the beginning, every day we were in a different place, it was a hard core. I had Dominika to help me, but still. Packing, driving and unpacking again, time was passing by crazy fast. Now, I try to stay in one place for a couple of days, so I have time to work, kiting and traveling.
A pearl is for the end. Thing is quite basic. You have to have a place for little privacy. It’s correct, it’s easier for a man than a woman, but still some things just require a little more time. In France, you usually have toilettes on beach. So the problem disappears. But what if there is none? I have a bio toilette. But I can’t just take it out of the car and sit. If I can put up a tent, there is no problem, cause I can put it inside. If not... let’s just say coffee, legume crops, pulses, and spicy food can’t be served.
After the first days of euphoria “hell yeah, I’m going on a trip - finally”, there was a time of “wtf am I doing”. But a human is a strange creature. We can adjust to almost any conditions. So now it’s time to enjoy every day in a new spot, meet new people and have new excitements.