You have to learn ‘the dance’

Getting the hang of a new daily routine while living in a camper with two dogs and driving most days is quite a challenge.

We’ve been travelling for just over three weeks now and we still need to get the hang of things.

Three weeks is what many people in the Netherlands consider a normal holiday, so we have decided that our trip is now officially no longer a holiday.

Every evening we decide whether to stay put or drive the following day. If we decide to drive, we figure out where we want to go before going to bed. We do most of our driving early in the morning, so we never end up looking for somewhere to stay late at night.

Jasper is an early riser and I like getting up with the sun—I am well aware this will become more complicated the further north we travel—so our routine is currently as follows: Jasper gets up, gets dressed and walks the dogs. While they are out of the camper I get up and clear up the bed. We then spend time pottering about with breakfast and hygiene rituals.

If it is a driving day, we will get on the road immediately after the breakfast dishes have been washed and cleared away. If we are staying put, we get to work straight away. The rest of the day is very similar to a day at home. We work, walk the dogs multiple times throughout the day, clean the house, make meals and do all the usual. Yet, we keep running out of time.

In our before-travel lives, I always ran out of time because I planned my days far too full. Now, I have no (active) social life and am still running out of time. I understand it happening on driving days as we try to drive approximately three hours and that is of course time lost. But even on working days we are getting up at seven at the latest and would often only get to work at ten. What is going on!?

I realised today that it just takes time to get into the swing of things. You have to learn ‘the dance’. Anyone who has ever worked in the hospitality industry will understand what I mean with ‘the dance’. Behind the bar, in kitchens and when waiting tables, you are always working with other people. Sometimes with multiple people in a confined space and you learn to sense your colleagues’ movements as well as your own. You know that if he or she is at the coffee machine, you can slide past to grab some ice. If you are pulling a beer and you hear someone order a soft drink you know to move back so that your colleague can reach the fridge. A hand on the shoulder so he or she knows you are moving past and soon you learn what I call ‘the dance’.

Some people don’t see this and never get the hang of it, but for me, working with someone you can dance with on an insanely busy night is one of the greatest feelings!

Jasper and I met at work and, even though we are well aware we have the rhythm of a middle-aged white man (I know there are exceptions to the rule, but this is what I have in mind when typing that), we can do ‘the dance’ together. We had simply forgotten that in a new space you need to learn the moves to ‘the dance’ before you get good at it.

It has taken some time, but I think we are getting there. We have yet to perfect it, but the tasks are sorted, and it all seems to be going smoother. Jasper cooks and I clean—no changes there—and everything is going faster every day. Today, we were both working before seven, which is great as it leaves us time for exploratory missions outside this afternoon!

We’ve been travelling for just over three weeks now and we still need to get the hang of things.

Three weeks is what many people in the Netherlands consider a normal holiday, so we have decided that our trip is now officially no longer a holiday.

Every evening we decide whether to stay put or drive the following day. If we decide to drive, we figure out where we want to go before going to bed. We do most of our driving early in the morning, so we never end up looking for somewhere to stay late at night.

Jasper is an early riser and I like getting up with the sun—I am well aware this will become more complicated the further north we travel—so our routine is currently as follows: Jasper gets up, gets dressed and walks the dogs. While they are out of the camper I get up and clear up the bed. We then spend time pottering about with breakfast and hygiene rituals.

If it is a driving day, we will get on the road immediately after the breakfast dishes have been washed and cleared away. If we are staying put, we get to work straight away. The rest of the day is very similar to a day at home. We work, walk the dogs multiple times throughout the day, clean the house, make meals and do all the usual. Yet, we keep running out of time.

In our before-travel lives, I always ran out of time because I planned my days far too full. Now, I have no (active) social life and am still running out of time. I understand it happening on driving days as we try to drive approximately three hours and that is of course time lost. But even on working days we are getting up at seven at the latest and would often only get to work at ten. What is going on!?

I realised today that it just takes time to get into the swing of things. You have to learn ‘the dance’. Anyone who has ever worked in the hospitality industry will understand what I mean with ‘the dance’. Behind the bar, in kitchens and when waiting tables, you are always working with other people. Sometimes with multiple people in a confined space and you learn to sense your colleagues’ movements as well as your own. You know that if he or she is at the coffee machine, you can slide past to grab some ice. If you are pulling a beer and you hear someone order a soft drink you know to move back so that your colleague can reach the fridge. A hand on the shoulder so he or she knows you are moving past and soon you learn what I call ‘the dance’.

Some people don’t see this and never get the hang of it, but for me, working with someone you can dance with on an insanely busy night is one of the greatest feelings!

Jasper and I met at work and, even though we are well aware we have the rhythm of a middle-aged white man (I know there are exceptions to the rule, but this is what I have in mind when typing that), we can do ‘the dance’ together. We had simply forgotten that in a new space you need to learn the moves to ‘the dance’ before you get good at it.

It has taken some time, but I think we are getting there. We have yet to perfect it, but the tasks are sorted, and it all seems to be going smoother. Jasper cooks and I clean—no changes there—and everything is going faster every day. Today, we were both working before seven, which is great as it leaves us time for exploratory missions outside this afternoon!

6 Comments

  1. Marion

    Dat lijkt me bijzonder, het moment dat het qua tijd duidelijk wordt dat het niet “zomaar een vakantie” is.
    Leuk om zo te lezen over jullie dagelijkse dingen.

    Reply
    • Anne

      Het is heel raar qua gevoel, want we realiseerden het ons en stonden er idd bij stil, maar vanaf dag 1 hebben we allebei zoiets van: “oke, nu leef ik hier.”

      Reply
  2. Sam K

    This blog made me chuckle.. I know the “dance” your talking about. The dance still exists in a 5bed house.

    Reply
    • Anne

      Hah! I can imagine, especially with the wee one running around!

      Reply
  3. Anita

    Hi hi, love to try our dance again this summer in a small van travelling around Las Vegas. Your travels will definitely cross my mind!

    Reply
    • Anne

      That sounds like fun as well!

      Reply

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