The vanlife journal, 19th August 2017

The vanlife journal, 19th August 2017


I’m in Wellington now, on the ferry, almost crossing over to the South island of New Zealand.

It’s early in the morning.

While drinking my coffee, I just realise, that after I thought I learned so much during my burn out, I’m still a perfectionist. Never completely satisfied with anything I do.

Damn.. Just when you think you’re doing so well.


I am going to kill this habit, right here right now, by writing a post from scratch. Like writing a journal.

Not thinking about a storyline, techniques, keywords. Not thinking about a beginning and an ending. Not thinking about how people might read this. What you might think.

No deleting, no re-arranging, no editing.

No dictionary (help).

I’m just going to write, like writing a journal (a censored journal).

Pure, raw, impulsive, imperfect.

So… what’s up? How are you doing?

I’m on the ferry to the South Island of New Zealand

After spending 2,5 months on the North Island of New Zealand, mainly working, I’m heading South again.

I thought my heart belonged to the South, but the North Island has earned a lot of credits the past few months. I’m sad to leave, but mostly, I feel grateful. Grateful for all the beauty, the experiences I had, the people I met. It was amazing and unforgettable. Life-changing even. Beautiful.

Let’s summarise the North Island. Roadtripping with Anna in the van, doing The Tongariro Crossing (twice), soaking up some Maori Culture, mountainbiking, spending some time in Piha, meeting people, doing soul searching, working at the Tauhara Centre, meeting amazing people, falling in love, learning, growing, roadtripping on my own. Mountains, hills, lakes, waterfalls, hikes, yoga, runs, swims

and here I am… on the Bluebridge Cook Ferry, because it’s a little cheaper than the Interislander.

Goodbye North Island. Until we meet again.

The past 1,5 week I spend at a beekeeper and on a remote beach in Hawkes Bay. 

Being on the road again, the sun reflecting on my windshield, open window, hair in the breeze, I felt extremely free.

That is what the vanlife is all about for me. Freedom.

You can go wherever you want. When you like it somewhere, you decide to stay. When you’re done with a place, or when you have no more reason to stay, you leave. You sleep on beaches, in the forest or on a carpark. Wherever you feel like. You only spend money on gas and food. No rent. Not having to work for your accommodation, saving your money to do valuable stuff. Wow. That feels good.

So, after two months of working, I was on the road again. I felt like absorbing sun, so I stayed a bit longer in Hawkes Bay than I originally planned. It was almost 20 degrees, which was a surprise to me, because it is winter in New Zealand.

From now on, I decided, I will follow the sun 🙂


But first, let’s go back to the start of my roadtrip. I felt sad when I left Tauhara Centre, and I cried a lot while driving to Napier. Weirdly enough, this is what happens to me in New Zealand a lot. I cry. All the time. Haha.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing. I opened up.

Every tear is something you’re letting go off. I love to cry. Let it out. Feel a lot of self pity and then be free. Crying is such a relief.

I can also cry from gratitude, beauty.

Raw emotions. Don’t think about it, just feel. Hate it but love it more.

The vanlife: the importance of speakers and travelbuddies

I have a good speaker in my van and damn, I used it well, playing my ‘Guilty Pleasure’ playlist on Spotify. Of course, it started to rain. It was like the perfect movie scene. Me, self-pity music, rain and teardrops.

And then something shifted. I arrived in sunny Napier…

Napier New Zealand vanlife sun
Sunny Napier, 20 degrees in winter

Though I thought I needed some alone-time, when Nadja & Anthony – who I met at the Tauhara Centre – texted me, I felt so happy. An hour before, at Countdown, I’d found a bottle of wine from a brand which I know from back home. I have a special connection to this wine, because I shared it with someone special a long time ago. I was reliving happy memories.

The first night in Napier was spontaneously amazing. 

I parked my van at the beach in Napier, had a glass of Diablo wine and damn I felt happy.

An hour later, Anthony and Nadja arrived with their van. It was windy and it looked like it was going to rain, so we made a little hut.


Vanlife napier new zealand
The vanlife in Napier, New Zealand

vanlife new zealand van campervan

Napier New Zealand campervan
Sooo muchhhh funnnnnn

They brought their awesomeness, good music and honey vodka, made by the beekeeper at who they were Wwoofing at.

We had an amazing night. Good conversations, music, drinks, good food.

Banana Pancakes Jack Johnson Napier
Banana Pancakes for breakfast

Banana Pancakes for breakfast, while listening to Jack Johnson. It was the perfect start of my final road trip in New Zealand.

Beagles Bees in Napier

When you are open and spontaneous, you end up having the most amazing experiences.

Anthony & Nadja invited me to join them at Beagles Bees, a beekeeper in Napier who produces 100% natural, unheated honey. I always wanted to learn about beekeeping and they told me what an awesome time they are having there, so this was a no-brainer. I went beekeeping. See Instagram to read about my awesome time with the bees, and if you would like to learn something about honey.

We tasted at least 10 different types of honey, had the most interesting conversations, played table tennis and darts (I beated them all :P), drank honey vodka, smoked weed out of an apple, and we had heaps of free time to do our own stuff. It was perfect. One day, Beagle took me to two of the places where his hives are and I helped around. Priceless experience.

Beekeeping, bees, honey, napier New zealand
Beekeeping at Beagles Bees, Napier

honey new zealand beagles bees

Beagles bees beekeeping napier new zealand
Beekeeper for a day

Seasickness, bummer

Ok, something happened. I was supposed to write this story and upload it directly on the ferry from Wellington to Picton. I guess I worked on my laptop too much, doing some work for the website of the Tauhara Centre (which will be released soon :)) as well, and I got a bit seasick.

So my perfect plan is again, imperfect. I didn’t publish my story.

But it doesn’t matter. I’m in Napier now, met up with Giulia, who I Wwooft with at the Tauhara Centre. I kept the promise to myself to follow the sun. We are sitting outside now, it feels like summer.

Nelson Wine Friends travelbuddies

Nelson Bug Hostel Sun Macbook
Sunshine, colours and hammocks

In two days, we will do the Abel Tasman Coastal track. Four days of hiking on beaches, in the forst, sleeping in huts, sitting next to the fire.

We are super excited!

I’m going to end this perfectly imperfect post now, because I want to chill in the hammock. Enjoy the sun. I might write about my time on the remote beaches in Hawkes Bay later. I might not. We’ll see where life will  take me next.

See you soon 🙂