Solo Female Traveler
Bonjour friends. Wednesday magic is here again! Welcome new and long time followers! Every Wednesday we profile another traveling family (whether they’re single, a couple, or a more “traditional” family) and their home. I know you all like peeking in windows as much as I do. Now we can do it with approval. We share homes that have wheels, tents, walls, smaller wheels, legs and so much more.
Today it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Pamthevan and Odie! They live in a self converted micro van. Now, how cool is that? One day you are living in a house with four walls and a roof and the next day you decide to create your ideal life adventure with your doggy. And I thought Peanut had a great retirement in Costa Rica, but Odie has got it made. Lucky dog (wink, wink)!
The freedom of it. I chose freedom instead of comfort. ~ Pamthevan
I believe I found Pamthevan on IG and I immediately reached out to her to be on this series. And she said yes! This series tends to feature a lot of families since that is who we mostly come in contact with, but I want to showcase a more diverse set of travelers. If you fit that bill please reach out to us. The areas of solo travelers and seniors is definitely lacking on the series. And we would love more folks traveling with pets! I mean, who doesn’t want to see cute dogs traveling the world.
Your definition of home will change with the years and situations. ~ Pamthevan
This post is full of great insight and quotes from Pamthevan. This solo traveler has worked hard to get the life that makes her happy, to defy the odds and to push hard for her ideal house on wheels. I am beyond impressed with her handy woman skills (she built it from a shell), her love for Odie (he is smiling in every picture) and her commitment to the journey. Pamthevan is truly an inspiration to people of all ages who want to try something new and roll with it.
Let negative judgements just flow away from you like rain on a mountain. ~ Pamthevan
So, enough of my chatter. Grab a cup of coffee, a comfy seat and get ready to be inspired.
Introduce us to the people you live with?
I live with Odie my 10-year-old Labradoodle. Odie is super cuddly, loves chasing balls and getting his belly rubbed. Odie is quite happy traveling and loves exploring new places every single day. As long as he is not left alone, he is a happy dog!
Where are you in the world and what are you living in?
Right now I’m in England. I live in a self converted microvan, a Kangoo from 2001.
Why did you choose to live in your current arrangement?
I wanted to be able to travel around with Odie, the most practical solution seemed to me to travel by van (not having to worry about hotels and transport not accepting pets, less expensive overall). Buying a converted van can be quite expensive so I decided to undertake the conversion myself. I chose a small van as it’s easier to park, cheaper to run and is less noticeable.
What do you do to personalize your unique (less traditional) living situation?
I loved adding some colourful touches to the van to give it a more homely feel. I have added some small plants planted in tiny magnetic pots, added some of my favourite pictures and chose some lovely pillows and throws to make the space cozier.
Tell us your favorite and least favorite room in your space and why?
Mmm well, I can tell you about my favourite part of the van. The bed! Contrary to what people think it is suuuper comfortable. Plus I can reach almost anything in the van, stroke Odie and make myself a cup of tea, without moving an inch!
What is the biggest misconception you had about your current living situation before you started living in it?
That it would be super dangerous to travel on my own in my van and that it would be dirty. I haven’t felt in danger once so far (I must say I am very careful) and have found plenty of tricks to keep myself and the van clean. It’s really not that difficult if you are organized!
What is the one household item you carry with you every time you move or the one item you cannot live without?
I always carry with me a chinese teapot and an Opinel knife. Super useful in many occasions. I cannot live without my music! Right now my music is on my computer so I can say my computer.
What do you miss most about permanent, stationary, traditional living?
Not having to worry about finding a parking spot every night. Being able to just go home and have a looong shower and relax in bed. Knowing where I will be one week from now and not having to organize itineraries constantly.
Do you have a pet joining you in this journey? If so, has this been complicated? Any advice?
It hasn’t been over complicated, but it does take some organization. Plan your trip ahead and check the country pet requirements. Make frequent stops to allow your pet to stretch their legs and drink fresh water. You can find more on my blog.
What is the one item Odie carries with him to make your unique (less traditional) home more comfortable?
Odie carries a ball everywhere!
What is your best resource to find items you need for your place?
I loved browsing second-hand shops and car boot sales to find the items I needed to decorate the van. Also in England we have Tkmaxx, a really cool store to get some unique finds!
If you could only have one of the following in your home which one would it be and why?
space, natural light, dishwasher or above average internet.
If you were to compare your unique (less traditional) home decorating style to a kitchen appliance or gadget what would it be and why?
I would compare it to one of those lunchbox with compartments to separate foods as, like the container, the van is small, well-organized and has different compartments for different items.
How do you keep traditions alive in your unique living situation?
I’ve never been very attached to traditions or festivities so this hasn’t been an issue so far.
How do you decorate for the holidays in your unique (less traditional) home or do you skip it all together?
I don’t decorate for the holidays as I am not religious and don’t really celebrate them!
What is your favorite part about this lifestyle choice?
The freedom of it. I chose freedom instead of comfort. Waking up every day in a different spot. Being able to step out from your home and being in the wilderness, and the fact that by living in a small space you are obliged to embrace a more minimal lifestyle and carefully choose your possessions.
Many travelers subscribe to the “house is not a home” theory. What is home to you?
Home is where your heart is (as cheezy as it sounds). Your definition of home will change with the years and situations. For me now home is in my van, with Odie, parked somewhere near a lake.
What makes you love the place you live?
The fact that it allows me to be a nomad and experience things I would not be able to otherwise. The fact that it challenges me and helps me grow as a person.
Can home be a person, or an idea?
Home can absolutely be a person! I’m sure that when you find the right partner it does not matter where you are, as long as you are together. You can make anywhere a home!
Words of wisdom to anyone considering venturing out into the world of unique, less traditional homes?
Listen to your heart. Don’t think you are crazy just because nobody is doing it. You would be crazy not doing something that you truly know would make me happy, regardless of what others may think. Follow your ideas, don’t let fear stop you, you will be surprised of the things you can achieve if you just put your mind to it! Let negative judgements just flow away from you like rain on a mountain.
Anything else you would like offer?
Yes. The idea behind my blog was really to empower women to follow their dreams. Just because the field you are interested in is male dominated, doesn’t mean it is off limit for you! The best ideas and projects come out from the balance between masculine and feminine, so don’t be afraid, throw your ideas in.
What is next for you? Will you continue to live in your current home or try something different?
I would love to upgrade my van for something bigger. I didn’t think I would love this lifestyle this much but I now know that I could live this way for a while. For this reason I could do with some extra comforts and space, especially to host friends and who knows, more dogs! I think that a natural progression after van life would be building a tiny home, but there is time to think about that.
If you have children what are your plans for education?
When I have children I would probably like to homeschool them or for them to be part to of one of the many alternative schools. I would love them to grow and learn surrounded by nature, not in a building!
How do you make a living?
I sell jewelry online, and translate texts.
Quote to ponder
I’m sure that when you find the right partner it does not matter where you are, as long as you are together.
I have one word for this post Freedom (and cute dog). Do you dream of it? Don’t we all dream of it. Pamthevan found the key to her happiness. And Odie, well, he is the lucky owner of a cool human.
Interested in living like Pamthevan? WorldTowning’s services can help make this solo travelers story ‘your reality’ and we can do it all stress free. We will be there will you every step of the way.
Inside A Traveler’s Walls is where we feature families living in less traditional and unique homes (tents, boats, camper vans, yurts, flats, etc). If you think you might be one of those families and are interested in being profiled, please contact us for details.