Embracing the Nomadic Spirit: Our First Adventure in the VW Multivan

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When we parked the van in Castellfollit de Riubregós, we had been driving only for an hour. It was 42 degrees that day, and we had finally found the right time to leave our beloved Mon La Bassa for a while. There were some lessons to learn about patience and inner peace, and when we did leave on this particularly hot day, it was just perfect. Just peaceful, just right.

The day was not for driving, only for the exit and the beginning of the road trip. So after 45 minutes, we started to look for good places to stay one night, using the app park4night. The children had a lot of fun researching the options, and they pointed us to Castellfollit de Riubregós. There was just simple parking and, according to the app, also a public restroom.

So, off we went for this place, with no idea what to expect.

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When we parked the van in the cooling hours of an extremely hot day, the view was beautiful. A valley, a tower on the top of a hill, a ruin of a castle, a little town square with a cafe/restaurant. Hot air and setting sun, silence.

The next thing happening was that we realized some water was dripping from under the van, quite rapidly and in good amounts. We got quite worried and went to the cafe to ask for help. Too bad, because we were really hungry and tired, but you have to do what you have to do.

The bar owner was just so very forthcoming and hospitable and immediately called the local mechanic, but as it was Friday late afternoon it was closed. So what to do? Help the children to find the toilet, drink some water, and google “water is coming out from under my van” – just to get the simple explanation, this is normal: It is just the air condition system letting go of condensed water.

Problem solved right there! Our first air-conditioned vehicle.

So we went back to the nice cafe and had some food. This place, Casa Pepe, is just amazing. The way they could cook simple food for our family, being vegan and gluten-free and refusing to eat additives, was amazing. With big smiles and good ideas, we were treated to the classic patatas bravas, a salad, and a Catalan dish called trinxat con col. We even enjoyed a glass of wine, and as the sun was setting and we grew tired, we could easily convert the van to a sleeping box for all of us and had our first night in it. The cafe provided a restroom that did not exist as a public thing, and the owner provided a map of the city, and explained what was worth seeing and doing in the city, and pointed to the local pool, where we could cool down the next day.

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The sunset was very beautiful over the mountainsides, and the silence was awesome; the feeling that adventure is outside the comfort zone got very clear, and we felt so welcome and peaceful as we tugged each other in.

In the silence and darkness under the stars, we feel free and happy, and it is so clear – again – that the world is big and possible and that when we enter it with positivity, presence, and authenticity, we are met with hospitality, curiosity and — yes: love. Life becomes so interesting, alive, and fantastic.

Waking up in a new location is always interesting. The cafe opened for the morning guests having their coffee on this day, including us. We joined the local community for a while, having our tea and coffee, and got ready to do all the things you should do in Castellfolliet.

We went for a walk to the old tower to enjoy the view and the plants and buildings and birds on the way. We sat a bit under the trees and washed our feet in the cold water dispensed through a castle-like construction. We did the roundabout in the old and charming city, enjoyed the way the buildings are intertwined and the streets that sometimes went under the buildings, the little plaza by the church with the roses and the spring from the mountain, the weird art-project thing, and the general feeling of the small city. It was a warm day, the temperature climbing to above 40, so it came in very handy; this little perfect village actually has a public pool – oh so yes, to take a real shower and to go for a swim in the pool.

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Lastly, we had lunch in Pepes and enjoyed the airconditioned room and the other guests and the waiters and the food and the atmosphere. With happy and full stomachs, hearts, and minds, we were ready to move on – and as we left, Fjord saw some water sport on the TV in the bar, and the owner told us it happened in the most beautiful national park in Catalunia, pointed at it at our google maps, and we decided to go there – only 2 hours away would be the most beautiful place in the Pyrenees – according to the hospitable man – so why not go?

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This story of the National Park will be the next chapter. For now, I shall just share the emotion. We are the owners of a big red converted bus we love to live and travel in – and we are now also the owners of a VW Multivan with the Westfalia roof allowing us to sleep in it, all five of us. But more importantly, we are the nomads we set out to become; we felt with this first night in the VW the deep love of the nomadic life, the wonderful fact that if our mindset is open and loving and authentic, this life has amazing adventures around almost all corners.

So, what is the right mindset? It is the willingness to be vulnerable, the ability to write any plan with a pencil, never a pen, the positive and smiling focus on whatever the situation has to offer, and the readiness to let go of a lot of comforts in order to enjoy the adventure, to always slow down and absorb, feel, enjoy.

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Of course, it takes other things as well. For example, it is a really good thing to be well prepared on the level of water and bandages, sunscreen and clean clothes, money in the bank, and the ability to at least speak a basic level of the local language.

On top of this gratefulness, true gratefulness in the heart takes us very far and patience to wait for the moment when we know what to do AND the courage to do something meaningful, even when that moment has not arrived yet. This triangle: Gratefulness, patience, and courage will align your inner being with the current surroundings.

The most important nomad skill, though, is trust. Faith even. You may call it faith in God or in this life as a process, Source, or Void – it is the same to me.

So, Breathe in, breathe out, and trust in God. Let go of the thinking, go deep, and align with who you really are. That will be my best traveler's advice. That, and money in the bank.

I am grateful you follow our blog, and humbly, I hope to share the light of this amazing life with our stories and experiences, reflections, and gratefulness.

Peace and love

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Cecilie Conrad

It is my core value to share, be honest, and dare to be vulnerable. I am grateful you are reading my blog, and I would be even more grateful if you comment, send me an email, or otherwise engage. Thank you.

Below you can enjoy more pictures from Castellfolliet

Unschooling and responsibility
How we ended up in Tarascon, Midi Pyrenees, France

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