• Emily Cohen Vanhoof

15. Girl Power ! (EN)

Mis à jour : 28 avr. 2020

After several thousands of miles in the van, I realize that being a woman on the road intrigues the curious. Indeed, I am often asked about my new habits and the difficulty they represent. Certainly, one might think that it is difficult for a woman to live in a tight space, without a shower, toilet, shampoo, but above all, without her famous "big" wardrobe. However, traveling with my husband was one of my aspirations, and one of the wishes I had been thinking about for a long time. But, I admit, Vanlife for a woman is not only about mental strength ...

Personally, I find that the lack of comfort, as a woman, has more impact than for a man. Especially with regard to hygiene, which occupies a large part of our daily routine. In fact, sorting out all of my stuff to select only the main ones was not an easy task. Besides, I took much more than what was strictly necessary for the clothes, enough to last about a month with one outfit per day!

Preparing my toiletry bag was a real challenge. My routine in terms of face care and makeup has been drastically reduced. Finally, I had to restrict my consumption of shampoo and dry shampoo became the new element of my kit. Having parents who work in the hairdressing world, this change had a significant impact for me. On one hand my mother, who very quickly introduced me to the pleasures of care and massages, and, on the other, my father, who always gave me the best hair products. Taking care of myself was therefore a long-standing habit of my life, perhaps even a trademark for some, since I was often offered beauty products as a gift.

And how is my Vanlife going? At first, I didn't really realize the change since I was in the euphoria of starting this new life. But, gradually, I noticed the drastic change that happened. Now, I sometimes wake up with bags under my eyes, lack of sleep and a slightly dull complexion. This new life brings with it a new reality, so what? Nothing serious to all that when you think about it, and especially since we won't go back to our old habits just yet so, let's accept them!

Another revisited new habit: the shower! Usually, taking a shower symbolizes a moment of rest that one takes during the day, now it has become a real expedition. Before even leaving the Eurovan, you need your soap, towel, flipflop, and clean clothes. Hoping that you haven't forgotten anything behind... But I keep a positive image of all this, all these little annoyances are far from surpassing the unique experience that Vanlife offers.

All these daily “trials” that we live in spite of everything contribute to our overall happiness. Especially when, in the middle of the week, when everyone is working, we go to discover new landscapes and use this time as we wish. Afterwards, don't believe that Vanlife silences laziness, sometimes we just decide to give ourselves quieter days too.

However, after a few weeks on the road, I want to confirm this hypothesis: you have to get out of your comfort zone. This choice, or rather the risk, may seem frightening, but it is worth it! Let’s not exaggerate, we have not become minimalists either. On the other hand, choosing Vanlife helped us to remove some unnecessary luxuries. In addition, we also crossed out all superfluous things in order to focus on the essentials.

In conlusion, it is (almost) possible to live just on love and fresh water.

Blog dedicated to Charlotte Gelin and Caroline Cogels

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Steven est né au cap de Bonne-Espérance en Afrique du Sud. Cette étape n’est que la première d’un long en voyage. Après une jeunesse passée...


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