Unpredictability - Good for your health

Our modern life is based on organising an environment free from the unexpected. The house needs to be as stable and reliable as possible. The job as safe as possible. Nothing should break down. Nothing but what we predict, should occur.
This is the life of the zoo animal. Let's explore the life of the Nomad. Let's live the life of the Nomad.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Could you live in a caravan?

I doubt there are many people who have not spent at least some time in a caravan - or trailer as our American cousins like to call them.  There is a certain sort of paradox concerning the idea of living in a caravan.  On the one hand they are seen as a great idea for a holiday and many will spend thousands of pounds on one and use it a few weeks of the year.  On the other hand, there is some stigma surrounding those that live in caravans full time.  So they are good enough to spend your holiday time in, that is, your valuable time, but not good enough to live in.

Now as I sit here writing this blog it is raining and windy outside.  I know this to be the case because I can hear the rain against the body of the caravan and feel the wind as the body of the caravan blocks its natural flow.  I have a porch awning attached to the side of the caravan and this too will flap and creak in the wind and also cause some minor turbulence to the caravan's static state.  My life in this caravan feels very rich in that I have a sensory experience with the weather outside.  There is more light in my space and more air since I can keep the ceiling window open and wake to the beams of natural light in the morning.  This is why I now find it difficult to sleep in a house.  Surrounded by bricks I feel too detached and the air lacks the freshness I have become accustomed to.  So this is something I enjoy about life in a caravan and I could also list many other things that make it a better life for me.

And there are other things about this life that others may not like, although they do not bother me at all.  You see those reports from undeveloped countries where folks carry a pot on their head to the local well to fill up. No tap with instant water for them.  It is a bit like that for me.  I have the taps, but the water comes from a 40 litre barrel which I have to roll to the communal tap once every few days to refill.  My toilet is the cassette type and when it is full a red light comes on and I need to remove the cassette and empty the contents in the chemical waste drain.  Now I can see how this would sound disgusting,  but really it is not.  The contents have neither the colour or smell of urine since we add a toilet chemical to the cassette container.  Also the rule here is no defecation in the cassette toilet - you will have to go to the communal toilets to defecate if you want to stay with me in my caravan.

So while there are some aspects that might make the idea of living in a caravan not too appealing, I do not think this justifies the stigma it seems to have.  I believe there is a common view that caravan dwellers are lazy and do not work.  This is a falsehood.  Where I am staying at the moment, the full timers all work and pay their taxes.  In fact, my neighbours are a very industrial group of people with many skills.  There are electricians, plumbers, nurses, engineers and many other trades and professions.

And neither is it the case that the full time caravanner is poor.  One of my neighbours has two houses which she rents out for her income.  There is indeed, a paradox at the heart of the stigma attached to living in a caravan.