The everyday life in
How do we live?
So, everything is just biking, swimming, sunbathing, hiking, windsurf and so on..? Well, yes… But also, a lot more than that.
What do you need of basics at home? We also need that in Molly. Eat, drink, sleep and take a d…
We have all the things needed in Molly, but it is a little different, when you are not hooked up to the local water supply, sanitation, power supply and so on…
We need water for a lot of things. Drinking for example… And in Norway we drank the water from the tap, but in Italy we buy drinking water in the supermarket. In Molly we have a 60-litre freshwater tank and a 30-litre grey water (from the two taps in the toilet and the sink. In Norway it was really easy to fill up the freshwater tank and empty both the toilet and the grey water tank. Almost every gas station had these dedicated camper areas, so we did not have to look too far ahead – we could almost always find some fresh water. And then it is just a matter of how far we can stretch it. Doing the dishes, washing your hands, making coffee and food and flushing the toilet uses a lot of water, but we have found that if we park close to a lake or the sea, we can stay there for approx. three days without being extremely conservative. It helps, when we can do the initial rinse of the dishes in some external water.
In Italy it is a little different. There is almost none of these stations anywhere, so we have to be creative in terms of filling up and emptying. We have found a lot of water fountains spread out across the country. Some have a thread, so we can attach our own garden hose to it, while in some places we need to walk a couple of times with a portable water tank.
There are a few grey water disposal areas around but some of the times, we just empty it over a sewer grating – and yes, we can do this, because we use bio-degradable soap 😉
Same thing with the toilet. It is not that easy to find a place to empty it, so Jakob digs a hole deep inside a forest, where he then empties the toilet – once again, bio-degradable toilet cleanser and paper inside 😉
How about a shower, you ask?
We have become self-cleaning… Not quite. But we go a lot longer between proper showers than we would have back home. And we have not felt completely repulsive yet. We bathe a lot in lakes and especially the sea, and of course you feel the salt, but it is better than being smelly and greasy. Wet tissues help a bit as well 😉
We use the app park4night a lot! Sometimes we also look at Google Maps to see, if there could be an interesting spot nearby. But very often we put our trust in park4night and oh, have we stayed some nice places because of that app! It tells if it is a parking lot, a picnic area or just a nice spot near the sea or in a forest. It also tells you, if you need an offroader to go there. We have seen magnificent sunsets and ditto sunrises, scenic mountains and beautiful lakes and while writing this, I have a panoramic view over Palermo, which is spread out 600 metres underneath me.
Sometimes we have stayed at some pretty boring spots, but mostly it is actually something pretty nice.
We also go to campsites once and awhile but mainly to do some laundry or to take a short break from the constant moving around.
When we find a spot in nature, we really like, we tend to stay there for a couple of nights. It always works better for us, when we get the feel of the area. This does not mean that we cannot move around in Molly, but it is quite easy to pack and unpack her. So, if we have a lake or the sea close by, or we feel comfortable and the nature is great, we often stay for more than one night.
In Norway we moved around a lot, but in Italy we move at a much lower pace, which really works for us.
We love her! Yes, we move things around all the time but definitely not as much as in old Molly and not that many things. We have two “rooms”, when the roof is up, which means that we can actually manage to stay indoor for quite a while, if the weather is bad. And this also means that both our beds are permanently made, which is nice, if we arrive late in the evening to a spot.
We have not yet used the shower in the bathroom – only for an outside shower two or three times, but is it nice to have the toilet and a place for bathroom things 😉
The seating is good, and we can comfortably sit all four and eat inside, if the weather is bad or it is not possible to put up the table and chairs outside.
We sleep perfectly – almost too good. It is difficult to get up in the morning, but a nice sunrise helps 😉 The girls have their bed in the back end of Molly where it almost feels like a small room. They have decorated the walls, and we have a bookshelf.
Katrine and I sleep upstairs, where it can be a bit colder, but the bed is bigger, and we can roll down the sides and the front, if we want a view over our current spot.
Molly has two car batteries. One for the car and one for the camper-part. Both recharges when driving, but the camper battery is also recharged by a large sonar panel on the roof of Molly. We have not run out of electricity – even when staying at the same spot for four days.
Internet-wise we have bought a portable router and an Italian sim card with a certain amount of GB internet. It works like a charm. It is actually a little bit too easy, and I would maybe have liked it to be a little bit more difficult to get online. But hey, we are able to post stuff 😉
There is an awning attached to the side of Molly, which can be rolled out for shade or shelter from the rain. It is also nicer to sit underneath it in the evening, when the dew falls heavily in these southern parts of Europe.
Our bike rack in the back slides away, so we still can open the doors, which is crucial, as our camping chairs and table is placed here underneath the girl’s bed. This was quite the project, before taking off. We had to move the trailer coupling itself a bit further back in order to be able to open the doors, but a few visits to the local blacksmith, and voila 😉
Packing the bikes took a lot of effort to get just right, but now the puzzle is completed, and it actually does not take too long to fit all four bikes on the rack without anyone touching each other.
We actually had a smaller van – a Mercedes Marco Polo – but we decided to go one step bigger before starting a one-year trip. Some of our thoughts about this decision can be heard in this video…
We have to eat, but it is actually really nice preparing meals in Molly. Probably because we have a lot more time now. We eat well. I was worried about only eating spaghetti and ketchup, but we do much more than that. Inside Molly we have one stove. Then we have two more portable jets that we can attach to a gas line outside Molly. Furthermore, we have a portable Trangia, which runs on a small gas tank, so we can bring it along for e.g. a picnic.
We can even bake stuff, since we have an Omnistove. A device which bakes stuff – but on a gas stove. So, we have plenty of options.
We were advised by our camper-dealer, TJ-Camper, not to bring a portable gas tank. The Danish version has a deposit, but this is not the same tanks as in e.g. Italy. So, we would have spent a fortune on different gas tanks according to the various countries. Instead we had a permanent gas tank installed underneath Molly. This system is so much better, since we can now just go to a service station, where they have gas (easy to find via the LPG gas app) and then fill it up – just like filling Molly up with diesel.
Breakfast has become quite the routine with some cereals, fresh fruit and a nice cup of coffee from the Aeropress – made from freshly grinded coffee beans. It is the perfect start of the day!
We try to post a lot of stuff – and we actually need to think about it. Our mindset is not set this way, so it is something, we actively need to be creative about. Also, posting stuff on the website actually takes a lot of time, but it is also like a trip down memory lane, when you look through the pictures, so it is something that is fun to do.
Home-schooling though… We thought: “How hard can it be? Sofie is seven years old, and it is 1st grade stuff”. She likes going to school, and she is good at it – according to her teacher. Buuuut… It has been a struggle. Doing homework is not nearly as fun as climbing trees, riding a bike or windsurfing, so it has been difficult to get her to do it.
We are now starting to find a routine, and Sofie is by now also aware that this is something, she has to do. There is no way out. But it has tilted over from being a boring task into actually being ok, and she now wants to do more, when we ask her to stop (which is also because, we often do it in the evening, so she can stay up later, if she continues the homework).
Things take time! After breakfast it is almost dinner time and then goodnight… Well, not quite. But it is crazy, how the days just fly by. Maybe it is because, everything just takes more time here. Doing the dishes, cooking the meals, getting ready for an activity and so on. Everything is just a little bit more difficult because of the lack of space.
But the good thing is: We have the time, and we are not in a hurry.
If there is anything, we have learnt during our first few months it is that we are not in a hurry. We have become increasingly better at taking it easy and remembering the three letters in our name: More Time to Be! Nobody is expecting us to be somewhere at a certain time, so why hurry? We are so much better at going slow and enjoying things now, than we were in the beginning.
So now we are just hoping for a lot more slow months – if hopefully Corona lets us…
We had a visit from a mouse – named it Frank – and killed it… It was eating our cereals, and such a thing is not looked mildly upon!