Travelling the world in a VW Bus with your beloved is an amazing bucket list experience, and the very epitome of the term – couple goals. Of course, it’s not all romance on the road. Sharing a tiny space with your partner comes with many challenges. From falling over each other’s stuff to witnessing your beau at their most intimate private moments, tearing your hair out when your lover takes a wrong turn, and generally learning to survive in a shoebox, it’s enough to test the greatest strength of a couple. These are our top tips for sharing space and staying sane as a couple in your VW Bus.
Before you even hit the road, there is one golden rule that needs to be adhered to in order to live your best van life – pack light. While you may want to pack everything including the kitchen sink, clutter is your enemy when living life without ample space. Two people need room to move and space to breathe, so be brutal when it comes to packing for the road – chances are you will end up wearing the same clothes over again. You also probably don’t need that spare skateboard, and unless going into the deep dark depths of the wild – you can pick plenty of stuff up on the road. Always pick multipurpose items to bring and doing a weekend stint before heading out for longer periods of time can help you to whittle down exactly what you need.
Take Time Out
There’s an old saying about couples surviving by not living in each other’s pockets. In a VW Bus, you may literally be living in each other’s pockets. While sharing this awesome life with someone you love is endlessly rewarding, it’s as important to make space for some alone time too. Whether it’s a solo dog walk or sunset surf session, an hour immersed in reading, or just some solo space to cook and rest – just a little time each day will reduce the chances of you getting short tempered with each other and keeps things healthy.
Even if you consider yourself to be two souls entwined, underneath you really are two different people with very unique needs. The secret to success when sharing the road with someone you love is to find the balance where you honor your own needs and the needs of your partner. While it takes compromise it brings a lot of value to your van life. For example; maybe your partner really needs campsites to shower, cool down and rest up whereas you prefer to hit the wilderness. Meet in the middle and split your time between both. Make a code before you hit the road and both agree on a few golden rules – whether its not driving after dark, taking turns with dinner or vowing never to go to bed angry. Having a pre-plan in place means that petty battles can be better avoided.
Get Out Everyday
Even on those days when the rain is hammering the rooftop of your VW Bus, its important to escape your space and head out every day. Whether it’s a ten-minute blustery walk or ducking into a coffee shop for half an hour, getting out the van everyday will stop the space from becoming claustrophobic. Besides, there’s nothing cozier than returning to your VW Bus after a wet and windy walk and curling up with a cup of tea together.
Plan Ahead a Little
Sure, VW BusLife is best when brimming with spontaneity. Packing up to go seek out that secret beach on a moments notice, following new found friends on an impromptu trip to Morocco; these are all moments that make life on the road worthwhile. But planning ahead a little when it comes to logistics also helps to keep you sane. One of the most important plans to put in place is arriving at your sleeping spot with ample time. Avoid the trap of driving into the small hours, when its dark and everyone is exhausted. This makes finding a spot to sleep all the more stressful – especially if you then have to pull up in the dark and start the long slog of making dinner. Remember that tired and hungry campers quickly turn into growling snapping couples.
Write it Down
There will be times when you feel furious at your partner and you will want to yell and shout and storm off into the wild. Chances are you will have left your friends and family at home making it even trickier to blow off steam. Rather than explode in a tiny cramped space, first pick up a pen and vent all your frustrations in a journal. Getting it down on paper prior to saying it out loud helps you to make sense of what you are mad about and gives you time to reflect if it’s a long-term issue or a heat of the moment problem. Writing it down doesn’t mean that you don’t get to communicate what’s irritating you, it just means when its time to talk – your truth comes from a calmer clearer place.
BusLife can be hard but get it right and you will come away with a million amazing memories and an unbreakable bond. Waking up in nature, morning beach walks, taking the road less traveled and soaking up starry nights, there is a real sense of stripping back to the purest pleasure when having a home on wheels with the one you love.