• Lara Flanagan

Day 15 - 360 days

Day 15 – Monday 18th January 2021

Non-essential purchases: none

Weight: 66.8 kg– 4kg lost in 15 days though I forgot to weigh myself this morning and won’t have access to scales until we return to Tenterfield!

Calories: Today is the first day in 15 days when I was not under 1200 calories. Probably hovering around 2000 calories. Over the next few days, it is not something I am going to worry about too much as the kids and I are on holiday!

Alcohol: none (day 15 of 15 – not giving myself a break when it comes to alcohol, even though I am having a mini holiday!)

Exercise: 30-minute walk. 30-minute walk.

Archie, Rissie, and I have had the loveliest day today and everything about Tiney-Boppa; our little vintage van feels like the most magical blessing. Our trip down was uneventful and we managed to stop at Raspberry Lookout, a place I have wanted to visit for some time. Kevin and Rosie behaved and there were no mishaps. We set up Tiney-Boppa in record time, went for a wander, and then had one of our favourite lunches of the most divine plant-based sausages and fresh bread. We spent the afternoon on the beach only returning when the rain started rolling in. Back to the van for snacks (snacks included peanuts and chips thus the high-calorie count) and a game of canasta. Now the kids and dogs are sound asleep, it is raining heavily and I am feeling so grateful for my lovely little life.

The magic lessons of less from backpacking and caravanning.

A 360-days musing......

In 2016, Archie, Rissie, and I headed off on what was to be a 12-month adventure around the world. 3 months in the USA, 3 months in Costa Rica, 3 months in Italy, and then 3 months in Thailand. We had a backpack and a day pack each and we managed to pack for an entire year, catering to completely different seasons. What amazed me, even with the little we packed, is that we packed too much. I discarded several items of clothes in Italy as I had never worn them, and I wanted a lighter pack. In Costa Rica, when we stayed in Cabuya and Esterillos Oeste, I wore the same black t-shirt dress every day over togs for almost six weeks. Some nights I even fell asleep in the same outfit.

Now with Tiney-Boppa our vintage van, I am once again amazed at how little we need with which to live. Our van is set up so we don’t need to pack much. We have a small oven and a fridge, cutlery, and crockery for 4. Each of our beds has sheets, pillows, and a doona. We have two saucepans, a kettle, a frying pan, and towels. The van has a small outdoor table and three chairs, an umbrella, and a shade tent. All of the above stays in the van permanently. When we go away on a trip we just need to pack clothes, food, toiletries, and in my case, my computer, camera, and drone.

When it comes to clothes, I realized when I went away at Christmas with Al, that I had packed too much. This time I brought even less. I wore my ¾ jeans and a shirt and packed my pjs, some undies, a fleece in case it got cold, my thongs, my togs, a beach shirt, and a sarong. That is it. It is so stress-free to pack our little grey plastic basket each and bring it to the van. Then there is a basket for the bathroom and two for the kitchen. It literally took us 10 minutes to get the caravan ready to leave this morning. What I have realised most about needing less is that less belongs means less stress. There is a freedom in having less that I adore. When I was backpacking with the kids, I liked knowing that I could be ready to leave in 15 minutes in the event of a natural disaster or marauding slave traders.

What I learned backpacking, set me on a path to living with less. That path has made me grateful every day for the simplicity of our cottage and now the gift that is our vintage van. I could not imagine being able to caravan in this little old van with Archie and Rissie if we were stressed about where to put all our stuff. Simplicity is the key to so much beauty, but I think to see the beauty, you must first appreciate the art of having less.

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