Van Life

WARNING: Some of this content is really quite disgusting…

One of the surprisingly enjoyable and welcome surprises when I first started touring was van life.

When I was first contacted about touring with a band prior to a German tour, I was told ‘We’ll have a lot of nights in hotels, but there’ll be quite a few where we’ll have to sleep in the van’. At the time I will admit, the thought of being packed in a small, likely messy space alongside a few sweaty and smelly guys going multiple nights without a shower was less than appealing – however It really was less gross, and less homo-erotic for that matter than it sounds.

In 18 months of life regularly sleeping in the van, I know that I’ll likely get;

  • A comfy nights sleep,
  • A ridiculously comfy bed that exceeds the width of my own at home,
  • Warmth that is pretty much aided by the fact the van was full of sweaty and un-showered males (myself now included by this point of my existence),
  • A pirate style rider-hold which is a pretty impressive collection of rider-beers, ales and ciders
  • The slightly less than you’d expect likelihood that someone will step on my head in the middle of the night
  • A hell of a lot of learning about what regular household items can be used to build a soundproof barrier to at least dampen down slightly the foghorn like noise of snoring
  • And finally the welcome knowledge that we’d be parked somewhere random and no matter what time of the night, there was a likely chance that the world outside that glorious sliding door would be my toilet.

That was until one night. As I had mentioned in a previous post about a less than impressive Ireland tour, it was a country full of welcoming pubs, brilliant food and impressive views. Well one chilly November night conspired against me, with all 3 of these things conspiring to cause a pretty disgusting situation that I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be posting if this blog wasn’t anonymous.

As a lactose intolerant and general awkward eater (not through choice, I must add), I had a real hankering for Garlic Mushrooms. Surely, frying some mushrooms in some oil with garlic could have no affect on me surely? Well – I was as wrong as could be. When they arrived as some fried balls stuffed with cream cheese, I did my best to dig out all of the dreamy, lactosey goodness that really didn’t agree with me. But my best was not good enough.

Fast forward 2 hours, a dull football match and a few pints of guiness and a hefty monopoly loss later – we proceeded to park up on a gorgeous Irish beach. Literally, step out the van and we were on the beach. It should’ve been a gorgeous view that we’d wake up to and feel invigorated for our days, but instead it became a beautiful and glorified tray of cat litter.

1 o’clock had hit and in quite non-rock-and-roll style we went to bed but I didn’t feel good. Before I proceeded to sprint out the van and find the closest place that was far enough way to hide my shame and participate in what I can only describe in how the drummer put it – defacing Ireland’s natural beauty with my cheese ridden bum gravy.

Needless to say, as the band are getting a new van next year, I’m trying to persuade them to go for something a bit bigger with a toilet. Hey, it’s not my place to be paying for the petrol!

That being said, van life has really been something of a revelation to me, and one of the most enjoyable parts of touring.

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