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What We Saw: May 1, 2020

When I read about Laura transitioning to #vanlife I was excited! I also want to transition to vanlife . . . well, sorta.  I want a van I can live out of, but it’s main function will be as a mobile studio. I will mostly live at my mom’s, like I do now, but I will have the freedom to sleep where I like and spend days in the jungle. I even have a van all picked out and know which accessories I want to get (and, I even have a wishlist on Amazon!). Before I lost my main source of income in January I was on track to get the van by the end of the year. While I am reworking my van life plans I watch lot’s of van life videos on Youtube.

I have a steady stream of vanlifers that I watch regularly, those I watch off an on, and those I rarely watch. When countries started shutting down because of COVID-19, I became intrigued by vanlifers racing back home. It was the most exciting thing to watch – I could not wait to watch each YouTuber’s next video to find out if they made it. Three of those stories were the most exciting for me. The first is Trinie who was in Portugal and needed to get back to the UK.  The second is Trent and Allie who were in Argentina and trying to get back to the US. And, finally I’ve enjoyed watching Eamon and Bec who were in Morocco and trying to get back to Canada. 

I hadn’t watched Trinie before, but when I watched her first video that popped into my feed I was hooked. We find Trinie in her March 25 video in Portugal. Trinie is German but lives and works in the UK. Trini has decided to leave Portugal and drive back to the Uk. The suspense is real! Will the borders be open when she gets there? Will they let her through? At one point it seems like her german passport might be rejected. Trinie’s narrative style is quite relatable. You find herself rooting for her. I won’t give away the ending, but I will say that it is a wild ride.

Second, I had been watching Trent and Allie off and on for a few months.  By March 23rd when the first video was released I was in full pandemic mode (It seems like so long ago, now). In the videos, no one knew what was going on, and it seems that things were changing by the minute.  When the shut-downs started, Trent and Allie (and their dog, Frank) had driven from North America to Patagonia and were heading back north. They were in Argentina and enjoying meeting locals. Plan A was to drive to Uruguay. Plan B, after the shut-downs began, was to get home. Their videos are reminiscent of the Amazing Race because they were running around town trying to get all these tasks accomplished before the relevant offices closed. There was so much suspense, and I found myself rooting for them. Similarly, I couldn’t wait to find up what happened next. When they finally made it to the US their, journey wasn’t done because they still needed to drive 36 hours to Utah.  Even the drive was suspenseful. You don’t want to miss a minute of this journey.

Finally, Eamon and Bec are lovingly referred to as adults playing house.  The pandemic finds them in Morocco living out of their van with their friend Lee. Through their YouTube series, you can follow them as they go from a happy go lucky trio to scrambling to find a flight back to Canada to quarantining together in Canada.  Even though they’re dealing with serious issues, they are always light hearted and very upbeat about it all.  They are really a joy to watch.

Through all of these stories I was able to see how the pandemic was affecting different countries across the world.  I was able to see how people responded to the crisis.  For a brief moment I was able to forget about my troubles and get lost in someone else’s stories.  There’s a lot of content out there and I am happy I was able to find some that brought me joy and hope.

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