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"You gonna learn from it"

July 24th,

Time to say goodbye to our small wooden house, our first home, to Jill, our host from Devonport.

Our house on wheel is parked in front of the house.

OMMGG we are running out now without any fixed address.

Homeless people ? Kind of.

For both of us, everything we've got is into the van : our clothes, papers, some foods, water and our long boards. That’s all. That’s enough, they said… I guess…

The smell of freedom.

Freedom is really subjective, What, Who makes you feel free ?

Free to live, Free to move, Free to study, to work or not.

Humans always want more, always over limits.

At one point, the routine locked me down. Sleeping, eating, working, again and again.

No more deadline, no more stress on the Sunday evening. Not anymore, at least for a while, just for a while.

At this moment, we reached both the highest point of freedom, we've ever felt.

As Vinc would have said « No border in my life ». This is it.

For the first time in our life, nobody was waiting for us, no one expected something from us, neither do us. I was here with Niels and our van, that was it.

Before starting the engine, we stopped for a sec, look at each other and we realized how big was our dream and how « easy » (we thought) we can touch it.

This step was definitey the best feeling ever.

Our target was to get quickly out of Auckland and just go somewhere nice, see something else, something authentic, somewhere sunny.

Thames was our destination in Coromandel District along the Pacific Coast.

After few hours driving, the golden hour colored the landscape, it is approximately 5PM and we see how quickly the sun goes down. We found THE spot, a free camp parking in front of the ocean just behind the dune. Is my wish on my bucket list will come true ? It looks like !!!!

Our first day in the van was very nice, we feel good, proud of us but exhausted.

Just the time to cook for the first time into the van and we jumped into the bed.


10PM, Midnight, 1AM, 2AM, 4,AM

Niels and I woke-up more or less every hour, with some engine noises around us, we feel cold, the humidity, the rain. It's stormy outside.

Worried - I had this horrible feeling that the ocean can goes quickly higher and bring us far away, locked into the van.

I try to not think about, I can not, it's getting worse.

7h21, a hard knock against the door making Niels and I jumping in the bed.

Two men were standing in the « front door ».

I heard : « Hi Sir, did you sleep here last night? ‘Cause you 'know you aren’t allowed right ? the free camp is just over there (showing with his finger the parking place next to us).

With small eyes still, Niels tried to understand, to explain, to defense us, find a way…. Lost cause.

The fat man keeps going « yeah Nan Man, now you’ll know., it’s between the blue sign. Have a good one’ »,

This man just broke in 2 minutes our first dreaming morning with his fucking 400 NZD bill.

First tears of the day, unfortunately not the last.

The 3 following days were more or less similar, days after day. Even small things take twice the normal time. The cold and the rain make the experience even more difficult.

I am doubting about pretty everything,

Niels is the only one still optimist, he keeps going push me up.

Took us few days to understand why how shower system was not working. Up and down mood.

We start missing comfort, missing clean clothes, just a warm shower.

OK after few days it's time for a little shower in the Thames pubic swimming pool.

Oh yes, us too, we thought find out a modern swimming a normal one you know !

You can just forget it, the pool was outside, the shower as well.

It was raining like hell, starting to be dark but no choice we would like at least to feel a bit more clean.

We arrived around 5PM in the main « entrance », towels and soap in the our tote bag with a pretty desperate head. We were welcomed by the women in charge of … kind everything : swimming lesson, cleaning, front desk.

« OOOhh Hi guys !! How can I help you » « Wanna have’ shower ? Sure it’s $5.

Oh and by the way, sorry but there is not warm water anymore, we had a group of kids just before you, guys… still wanna come ? »

(I’m laughing now behind my screen but again I remember my face to Niels) =>>> tear number …. 30, 40, I just stopped counting.

In the back road, without even noticing we realize that light from a car was coming fast in front of us.... We were just driving in the wrong side of the road. My heart beat was just jumping out of my chest in less than a sec. I stilll don't know how we escape from it. We did it.

Shaking both, we return to the "free" camp and realize slowly that it could be... just becomes a nightmare, a true one.

Time to move forward, some groceries in New World, some raining plastic shoes. We are ready to go further, Coromandel city, Whitianga and be closer to our Helpx located in Cooks Beach.

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Aug 11, 2023

Keep smiling. But ut really is a terrible experience. Put a big note on your steering wheel which says: LEFT!! We did it since we forgot to tank . Hope everything is better now and you enjoy you days. Love Nonna and opa Germany

Sorry, your birthday present comes today. Almost forgotten


Aug 10, 2023

Ok chaud les débuts ! Ça fait parti du game, quitter son confort c'est ça :) vous allez vous y faire prendre vos marques et ça aura bien valu la peine ! Mais please roulez du bon côté et prenez soin de vous 💗


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