I'm pleasantly surprised how the Camino has prepared me for this van dwelling experience in so many ways.
First of all, the space constraints. Living for 3 months out of a backpack weighing only 16 pounds really made me realize how little we need to make us happy. I've skinned down to two pair of jeans, about 4 shirts, 7 pair of undies and socks and a couple of bras. I have one hoodie, one down jacket, and a merino hat and I'm pretty much decked out. Every bit of clothing I brought fits into one and a half bins under my bed. In one of those bins lives a box of tealights, my shower stuff, my Blue Fuel kit, and my laundry stuff. I have a third half-sized bin with nothing but watercolor materials in it.
In addition to minimizing clothing needs, my food needs are simple. I've been carrying around the same 4 milk crates of food since Thanksgiving. I eat very little on the road and am losing weight steadily. Breakfast is usually yogurt with a bit of Ezekiel cereal and fruit. Yogurt will keep 4-5 days (at least) with no refrigeration, so I really don't need an ice chest at all. Much of time I use it for storage space. I don't eat lunch often. I usually eat my main meal around 3 or 4 pm, and that could be a big salad, fruit and cheese, or tuna and crackers. If I am in a group, I may cook up a curry or stew, but usually it's quite a simple meal.
I get plenty of exercise, walking trails and seeing sights.
I sleep in my van on a great little bed, smaller than a twin sized, but comfie and warm.
I recently bought a porta potty for the van, so toileting is private and comfortable.
Showers are only once or twice a week. Between showers, I take sponge baths in my porcelain clad dishpan that belonged to my grandmother or clean up with unscented baby wipes. So far, I haven't missed a daily shower. I have a battery operated shower that I drop into a bucket of hot water and I can wash my hair and shower in 2 gallons of water!
Just like on the Camino, I meet people, hang out, leave them, then run into them again up the road. In fact, I've met several people who have walked the Camino!
I'm walking again this year. I'll be heading home mid-April and fly into Madrid around May 15 to take two groups this year. I'm looking forward to being in Spain again. Each year, I say it's my last trip... but each year about this time, I'm feeling the itch to walk again.
Time for bed now - the sun is down and it's a late 7:30 pm! LOL!
See you in the morning for coffee and to watch the sunrise!
Usually around 4 am !