So we bought a campervan. Or as Pete says “we invested in one”. We’ve had a busy year of city living. It’s also been a year of perspective. We’ve watched friends lose loved ones to suicide and others who are battling cancer. It’s brought home the importance of living every moment and looking after your mind as much as your body. Our campervan will be our investment in wellness and fun, and a capsule for storing family experiences.
We hit the ground running. We signed the registration papers and set off that winter evening, trialling a stay in a regional park on the Whangaparoa Peninsula. We walked at sunset, spotted fairy ferns and oyster catchers at the waterline, and developed an appreciation for the van’s chemical toilet. We noticed how quickly our children accepted the absence of a screen. They started to climb trees.
The wild west coast was next on our itinerary. Desperate to get black sand between our winter toes we discarded out shoes climbed Lion Rock / Te Piha. We abandoned stovetop cooking for tea at the Piha Bowling club. One of the delights of a home on wheels is it puts you in places you’d usually never go with the kids on a winter Saturday eve. We survived an electric storm. The girls sleeping up top didn’t stir. Then we rounded off our night with a walk along the magnificent Kitekite Falls track. A jewel in the crown of the Waitakere Ranges and one of few open after the discovery of Kauri Dieback disease.
We’ve had other one night experiences in camping grounds since. And we’re readying ourselves for a Far North adventure this summer. We’ve made no plans. Booked nothing. With our self-contained sticker we’re free. We want to lose ourselves in the remote parts of our small island country. Wake to the call of the kiwi and chase spirits around the tip of the north. Spend quality time with our rapidly growing daughters before we’ve missed that bus. We’ll gaze out at beautiful horseshoe bays of the winterless north and remember what life is about.