Thinking about the love of our campervan

In the far south of Italy

A campervan is just a vehicle isn’t it?  It is a metal box on four wheels with an engine, that is full of stuff and serves its purpose if it gets us where we want to go without breaking down.  Or is there more to a campervan or motorhome?  Is a campervan a vehicle or is it a home?   I understand my love for Mr BOTRA and my son and daughter-in-law but I am someone who claims to value relationships rather than stuff, so can I say that I love my campervan?

The thing with a campervan is that it is packed full of all the things we need for survival and we live in it; that is we eat, sleep, relax and wash, we laugh, cry and love and argue [not too often] in our ‘van.  The ‘van is packed with memories; memories of lovely places we have visited, fantastic people we have met and good times we have spent together.  The ‘van takes us closer to natural environments and wildlife [it makes a great bird hide] and we have sat and watched spectacular thunderstorms in the shelter of the ‘van, seen otters playing in the sea and been alarmed when squirrels leap on the roof.

I get upset when the campervan needs servicing or fixing in some way, this isn’t as acute as when someone I care about is ill but I admit it isn’t too far removed.  I am anxious while it is in the garage and happy when it is once again back with us.  Last night Mr BOTRA dreamt that the ‘van was stolen; for me this is the nightmare I can’t even bear to think about.

The ‘van is more than it’s outer shell; our ‘van is also full of things that remind us of places we have been to and people we love.  We don’t collect souvenirs as such and there is no room in the ‘van for things that don’t have a function, but we treasure a number of things we have bought on our travels or have been gifts from friends.  Every day we use the lovely blue glass plates we bought in France, the mugs that remind us of the amazing dinosaur footprints in Portugal and a wooden handled bread knife from Slovenia and many other things we have bought.  We have a lovely tea-towel that reminds me of the friend who gave it to us every time I use it and our biscuit tin is special because it was a gift.

We also keep a ‘van log book where we list all the campsites and overnight stops we have made in the ‘van.  This has proved to be a great idea and we constantly refer to this book, amazed at how long it is since we last visited a favourite site or just to remind ourselves what we thought of a particular place or to reminisce about a trip.

Plenty of people name their campervans and motorhomes and gift them with a personality.  We have never done this, as truthfully I have enough trouble remembering the names of people I know without adding in the names of inanimate objects.  The VW was generally referred to affectionately as the Blue Bus but these days we prefer to keep things simple; we own and live in either ‘the ‘van’ or ‘the flat’ but from this you shouldn’t assume I have a lack of emotional attachment.

If someone ever made me make the choice, I know I would sell the flat before selling the ‘van, it is the campervan that is most important to me, it is the ‘van I feel most comfortable and is my real home.