Time to park up?

Coronavirus vanlife. Original article published in March 2020.

What's in Advanture Magazine Issue 02?
  • What can you do to help within the vanlife community during the Coronavirus outbreak?
    Stay up to date with your local news and information from authorities.
    Contain the spread of Covid-19, stay at home, do not panic buy, do not congregate in groups.
    Help spread positive awareness online, asking others not to travel at this time.
    Help ease tension on social media in forums and groups by being respectful.
  • Self-isolating or in lockdown?
    Contact us and tell us how you are handling the situation either at home or in your van.
    Reach out to the editorial team by clicking here

Trust me when I say that I would rather be in the back of my camper on this Sunday afternoon, than inside my 60m2 apartment in the centre of Barcelona, Spain. We’ve been on official “lockdown” due to Covid-19 for 7 days now. Two news pieces caught my attention when I had a quick flick through my social media feed at lunch today. One, Spain has just announced that they are going to extend our quarantine by another 15 days upon passing it in congress. Two, members of our very own van community have jumped on the occasion of “self-isolation”, heading to the highlands of Scotland and the National Parks of Wales. But now isn’t the time for a valife Coronavirus vacation.

The unfolding of events here in Europe surrounding Covid-19 has been quite an eye-opener for me. Being British, naturally, I have been interested in following the UK news as closely as that from around Europe. I remember seeing Italy start to lockdown two weeks ago, and a good friend of mine in the Aosta Valley region sharing his frustration with photos of people still spending time outside and in groups. I have to admit, at the time I thought he had easily overreacted. Some days would pass and things would return to normal, surely. Read here about the couple who could escape Morocco and return to Holland.

Now isn’t time for a Coronavirus vanlife vacation, period.

A few days later my partner and I would decide to no-show at the airport, voluntarily losing our planned holiday to Greece. We bought a few essentials so that we had food at home, and started self-isolation. 12 hours after we had made that decision, Spain announced the nation into the first stage of a state of emergency, with compulsory quarantine to our homes. Overnight most non-essential businesses closed, public transport dropped to 30%, schools were closed, and other places where groups of people could spread the virus such as museums and libraries. Spain had looked closely at what was unfolding in Italy and taken action that would be the best attempt at reducing the spread of the Coronavirus. I feel so lucky to be among the population of some 5.5 million in the Barcelona region, where reports are generally fantastic as to how the inhabitants have responded to the lockdown.

For detailed statistics on each country with regards to Coronavirus infections, please visit https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

Europe Lockdown 2.0 – read here

This has become everyone’s problem, pretty much overnight. It doesn’t matter which country you live in, nor the advice from your government or lack thereof. I am someone who is equally as happy sitting on my own curating content for the pages of Advanture Magazine, and spending time in the great outdoors enjoying the wonderful nature across Europe. I too passed the thought, of packing my campervan and heading out to enjoy a few weeks in the mountains. But really, it should go without saying. We all now have the absolute responsibility to stay at home, to ultimately relieve the pressure on the medical systems.

So coming back to the news today of all those who embarked to Scotland, Wales and elsewhere. These rural communities do not have the capacity to support you. Walking, running or cycling somewhere you think you won’t meet many people? Well, chances are you are still going to. Self-isolation means, well, self-isolation?

Here on the continent, members of the vanlife community had to make some choices when borders started to close and things got serious. The general question changed very rapidly from where should one drive to self-isolate, to where was possible to survive for the coming weeks. Food and water were the immediate concerns, but then the police started to restrict movement on the roads and most recently, have enforced the closure of campsites and hotels (Spain). We will have another article out shortly which covers some of the regulations in hotspots where vancampers might be at this time, and also some news from those who are parked up for the duration of the lockdown, and those who have decided to return home.

Reporting from my #homenotonwheels, stay at home! Words by Alex Brown

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