Van life!

Alwin Bakker   July 16 2017  
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Van life!
Happy to be back in New Zealand to clear my mind from all the stuff that was going on it was time to relax a little bit. I arrived about a week before opening day and there wasn’t much to do so it was perfect to relax, catch up with friends and get settled again.

Counting the days on snow for the Austrian season wasn’t easy, but inspired by the statistics that are available here I tried at least.. The use of multiple different life passes in so many different places made it less accurate, but it must be somewhere around 290 since I left NZ in October 2016.. just under the magical 300.. With that, I’ve set myself 2 goals.. A) keep track of this more accurate and B) reach the 300!

In the meantime the season here is on, and just checked; Solid in the top section on the leaderboard again, so far.. beginner lessons holding me back but time to accelerate will come! This time of year I’ve done roughly double the amount of verticals as last season around the same time..

So on the mountain things haven’t changed a lot, but in town they did (again). I was booked in the hostel I stayed at all last season, but this become a little more expensive and heaps more noisy. So when I calculated what this would cost me over the season, that being more than buying my own place to live the decision was made easily to buy myself a private room and move into “Nelly”, 328.000km of experience and having 4 wheels and an engine..

The successor from George the Audi has become Nelly the Mitsubishi. Doing what I love, living in a car, a bigger one than “George” (the Austrian Audi). Nelly isn 27 years old and “fully self contained”, this is a NZ certification for vehicles with their own kitchen and (porta)loo*. This saves me a whole year of Queenstown rent, which has raised extraordinary since last season, I’m not part of that anymore, I live for free!

This allows me to get a gym membership, where the showers are better (and warmer) than I’ve had in the previous places I’ve lived in NZ, and a unlimited membership to the trampoline facility SITE. So I spend 6-7 evenings a week with sport till it’s time to go to bed! Parking wherever suits the situation best according to the next day!

I feel the benefits being more in shape than ever, but other people see the flip-side too.. About a week ago I became “Rudolf the red-nose randier” by face planting on the trampoline after the safety mattress missed me. And those trampolines are like sandpaper if you land wrong.. and a nose without skin attracts a lot of attention is what I’ve learned!

The trick I tried was defying gravity, and therefore under rotated, but with a little more commitment a few days later I landed on my feet better, not perfect, but I didn’t hurt myself. Which was good, since the mattress missed me again..

“Go hard or go home!”

Cya next time,


*”Portaloo” begin a “portable loo”.
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