Several years ago I had a baby boy and my partner and I built an off-grid campervan and left our London lives, headed East. We wanted to be mobile and self-sufficient; we wanted to free ourselves from paid work; we wanted to bring our son up away from rampant consumerism; and we wanted to be more spiritually connected. That all sounds very easy and romantic and it wasn’t and isn’t, but more about that later. We have been living on the road, on and off, since November 2017. This blog documents my reflections as we travel, and settle, and parent and carry out the work that is surviving. Living on the road, gradually moving further away from ‘the West’ and what it embodies, we are trying to unlearn the things we take for granted as normal, searching for different forms of value.
I don’t want this life-change to be indulgent, not am I separatist in my politics. We don’t want to drop out of society, nor live in a retreat. I seek a better life for everyone. In 1909 E.M Forster wrote a short story called The Machine Stops. Set in a dystopian future where people were ruled by ‘the Machine’, everything in life was automated, artificial and synthesised. Human’s had lost any sense of spirituality or connection with the natural world. Progress had come to mean progress of the machine. Defects began to appear in the machine but still this went unchallenged. Some people dreamed that there was life outside the machine, but they were ridiculed. But one day the machine stopped, and humans had to rebuild civilization, they had to relearn (or unlearn) how to live their lives without the machine. The machine, to me, is western capitalism. I am hoping that tomorrow the machine will stop, but until tomorrow, we just keep moving on. 😉
This is not really a travel blog, and it is more than being about #vanlife. Though both those things are stimuli to open up new perspectives. Through musings, ideas, revelations, troubles, failures and fuck-ups, I want to open up an emotive discussion about what we value in life and how we want to be valued.
What am I writing about? At the moment:
* The complexities of lived capitalism (let’s not beat ourselves up)
* Parenting and unschooling on the road
*Redefining work and labour
* Communal living
Or I might just post photos of our lunch.