‘Let he who is without carbon footprint cast the first stone’
If you follow my blog, you will know that the environment is high on our agenda. Travelling overland in a caravan or motorhome is already more eco-friendly than most methods of living, travel or holidaying. Mark and I have a very minimal lifestyle, with few possessions, we try to avoid waste and have reduced our use of plastic considerably.
However, as part of our Brexit Busting plan, we have bought a truck to convert for overland travel outside of the E.U.
When people find out that we windsurf, their IMMEDIATE response is, “Have you tried kite surfing?” It is really annoying.
With regards to The Beast, we had better get used to the immediate response;
“What m.p.g. does she do?!”
There is no getting away from it, The Beast is a large and thirsty truck. Her fuel economy is horrible. The spec. states eight m.p.g., although we hope for a little more, since we will not run her to her full, laden capacity of twenty-four-and-a-half tonnes.
However, has anyone ever asked the fuel economy of your house and which Council Tax band it falls in?
I thought not.
That doesn’t count, does it?
The Beast will be our only home. We rented out our house to fund our travels. Our travelling lifestyle will involve using The Beast to go from A to B. For running around locally, sightseeing and shopping, we intend to carry a fuel-efficient quad. And bicycles. Most of our other energy needs will be met by an array of solar panels.
Our use of water is minimal. We have a chemical loo and, since we have to collect every drop we use and dispose all grey waste ourselves, we are careful with water. We certainly don’t leave the tap running when cleaning our teeth. When travelling across the Gobi desert, we will have to carry all the water that we need, because fresh water supplies may not be available. (You might need to think about your water use too. Did you know that in the Western world, fresh water supplies are running out!)
Nevertheless, when we posted excited photographs of our new venture on Facebook, we received online abuse. From people who run at least two cars and live in houses much larger than they need, filled with frequently-replaced, energy-guzzling appliances and gadgets. In addition, some of the abusers owned large motor homes, whose fuel consumption is clearly acceptable, while ours, obviously, is not.
Before you judge, all I can say is, “Let he who is without carbon footprint cast the first stone.”
And if you ever fly anywhere, you can drop all your stones right now. (See How one flight can produce as much CO2 as citizens of some countries produce in a year.)
Mark and I are prepared to stand up and be counted for our environmental impact in opting to live in The Beast. Many Britons choose large, four-wheel-drive vehicles to buzz the kids around the wild badlands of suburbia and nip to Sainsbury’s for their weekly shop. Our intention is to travel in places like Mongolia, a country three-times the size of France, which has only three paved roads.
We need The Beast. We need her reliability, high clearance, four-wheel-drive and bulletproof security, since she will contain everything we own and everything that is precious to us. As we drive through ‘interesting’ countries, we will be painfully aware that someone once broke into Caravan Kismet using nothing more than a screwdriver. (See 25 Ways to Improve Caravan or Motorhome Security At Home & Abroad for how we addressed these vulnerabilities.)
If you call home a wind-powered hovel in the Welsh hills with a turf roof and a goat for company, we apologise to you. You are probably one of the few in the Western world whose fossil-fuel consumption is lower than ours.
I am sorry if I sound defensive, but I just wanted to get this out there. The abuse we have suffered is symptomatic of a plague which seems to be sweeping across our lands. The desire to condemn others instantly, without introspection – or troubling to avail oneself of the facts.
And yes we have tried kite surfing.
It was too easy.
The kite surfing instructor told us that we would be expert kite surfers within six months, which rather put us off. Perhaps we are gluttons for punishment, but windsurfing enthralls us because of the challenge it poses. If you commit to windsurfing as your sport of choice, I can guarantee – a lifetime of frustration and humiliation awaits!
If you want to read more about how we decluttered and minimised our lifestyle, or how we finance our life of freedom, check out ‘How We Did It’
If you follow my blog, there is more coming up on the hoops we had to jump through to get The Beast home, how to renew your lorry licence abroad, how to insure the uninsurable; an unregistered 9.6 litre Belgian truck and yourself for more than a year. Click the ‘Follow’ button or enter your email address in the box at the top right of the page and you will be notified of new posts. No spam guaranteed!
And since we’re skiing in beautiful Monte Rosa for the season, there might be a little bit about that too!