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week 9 & many van living “what if’s”

This week started where I left off, on the beach. Time in the Central Pacific area has been so nice that I just had to go back. It’s familiar, the summer weather is full on with sunny days, breezy feels and week days keep the crowds away.

I camped at an old favorite, Esterillos Oeste, a campsite where I’ve slept alone (and not) many times before, even back when I had my truck. It’s nice to head back to familiar places, where people know your name, have seen all your builds and welcome you back like you never left.

I met a local retired couple with a converted van, I get so excited when I see a van with local plates parked somewhere, it’s stupid. The feeling is always mutual, like you’re part of a secret cult, waiting to step in each other’s rigs & share stories. We hung out a couple nights until I got really sick. And when I say “sick”, I mean I had explosive diarrhea and vomiting. Here’s where the first “what if” kicked in. Luckily my family has a place on a beach 30 minutes away and I bolted there to die for the next 24 hours. So, what if… I get diarrhea and there’s no bathroom close by, what’s the solution? What if, next time I’m not close to a safe place to be sick? What if I’m up north, or south, or in the boonies and get any explosive illness. Do I run to a hotel and check in? Or just ride it out in the van? Good things to think about.

Still feeling woozy I headed back out to meet friends at Turrialba Volcano for the weekend. Being as I forget that people have “normal” lives and jobs I headed out Friday thinking for sure they’d be going for the weekend. Not. I arrived three hours later to see the camp was partially closed as they had no reservations for that night. I’m not one to shy away from sleeping in a campground alone but for some reason many friends had told me NOT to sleep alone particularly in this spot. I really had no choice.

So this is where “what if” no. 2 comes in. By 6pm I was locked in the van, windows all covered and very little light, basically so that the van would somewhat disappear into the darkness. Take note that about 4 days ago the volcano was spewing ash and acting up, but the camp had given a clear and it was a go for the weekend. I laid there thinking of every possible “what if”: What if someone tries to break into the van? What if I need to drive away quickly? I was so busy leveling the van I forgot to park facing forward. Then I heard a voice outside, from the caretaker, just letting me know he was around keeping an eye on the place. But what if he falls asleep? I hear a police car, did something happen? I feel asleep.

The sleep was worth it as the day had arrived, when some of my closest friends would join me for the weekend. It’s such a treat when I can park with people who have become more like family to me. It’s like having people over to your house but your back yard is an active volcano. It was a cold weekend, wet and somewhat rainy, but it was full of laughs, some of the best rigs in town, fun times & so much love.

If you’re loving the blanket in the pics, that’s from VOITED.COM & possibly the best & most versatile adventure blanket I’ve had. To get a discount, use the VANLIFEANN20 code!

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