Coming up for Aire
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noun: aire; plural noun: aires
A parking location specifically for campers and motorhomes with few or no facilities. The term is derived from the French Aires de Service.
“We stayed at an aire with an amazing view last night”
synonyms: aires de service, aire camping, Stellplatz, motorhome site
Captain’s log, Day 166: Our crew strength wanes further with the passing of each day. The first mate had an equipment malfunction yesterday, and the gravity of the situation quickly became apparent. For the time being, at least, I now have three 4-legged companions.
It all started in a cabin in the woods in Sweden where it dawned on me that we were almost location independent. It seemed so simple, if we didn’t own a house, we could rent a house in a different country every year. To my surprise, Jasper—my rational half—liked the idea, but when I immediately started looking at homes for rent in New Zealand, he reeled me in and said that he wanted to see more of Europe before travelling to the other side of the world.
At this point, I might want to mention that our…okay, MY figurative window has seen many an idea pass its frame. People who know me well, know that my business ideas, dreams, and desires have the uncanny ability to pop-up, adapt, or die on a monthly (sometimes even weekly) basis. But this time was different. Something stuck and oddly enough it was the last bit that stuck; the seeing more of Europe bit. My logic was that if I would ever be able to move to New Zealand with Jasper—at the time, that was my dream—I would first have to eliminate his argument for staying in Europe. Jasper also still had remnants of the idea on his mind. Being a photographer and loving landscape photography, he liked the idea of having a change of scenery regularly. So, both of us still wanted to travel and see the world/Europe, and we agreed that we did not want to wait until retirement.
After looking into it, we decided to travel Europe by camper. Small, mobile, we can stay where we want, when we want, and we can follow the sun as much as possible.
We took our time looking into campers and had a list of requirements our vehicle would have to meet. Then we started looking online. Our budget would only stretch as far as second-hand, so we were looking at some of the older campers. A van conversion would be great, but as we will be working throughout our journey, we decided that a camper would be more comfortable. Then we came across a little gem: a 1988 Fiat Ducato. We instantly fell in love, she looked so cute and did it really matter that she didn’t meet any of our requirements? Naturally, we bought her, named her Antonio ‘The Tardis’ Grotti, changed her interior according to our liking, and now? Now we are driving her across Europe.
If you want to put a face to the names, check us out here. We regularly post about our exploratory missions, musings and mishaps on our blog. Join us, and if along the way, some questions pop up, feel free to ask!