Shortly after buying the van and getting some essential repairs done I started developing some of the usual covid symptoms. A few days and a positive test later we found ourselves having to undertake a real deep dive into the pleasures of van life – self isolating in a foreign country with no support at all.
I tested positive in a campground near Boulder, and based on hearing previous experiences from other people with Covid, I knew it’d be a good 3-4 days of feeling miserable before starting to recover. Using the excellent iOverlander App we found a free camping area in the hills above Boulder where we could park the van in a quiet spot off a dirt road. And that’s pretty much what we did. One Friday morning we stocked up on some food and water and then drove up a steep hill, stopped in the first pullout we could find. And we stayed there for 3 nights. There was no cell connection, no water, no facilities, nothing. We were both pretty unwell. Over that time we did pretty much nothing, except rest and give our bodies a chance to recover.
In one sense it was nice to know that we had Covid and therefore have some certainty around what to expect and how long it’d take to recover. We’ve both been vaccinated 3 times, so it really was just a waiting game. I even started playing little visualisation exercises. I’d imagine my immune system building antibodies and rallying its resources to fight off the virus. My role in all this was simply to do as little as possible while my natural defences went about its business. We slept, cooked some meals, played a few board games and went for a few little walks. Each morning a lady living nearby would walk past with her dog and have a chat with us, from a safe distance. She’d been living in the hills for 17 years and had been all that time without a cellphone, internet or TV. She spent her time reading books and tending animals. Unsurprisingly she was intellectually as sharp as a tack and amazing to talk to. She warned us about a moose nearby that had charged and injured some people in the area. Novia actually saw it on the last day, but we were fortunate to avoid its attention.
After 3 days we felt well enough to restart the car and leave both Covid and our little piece of woodland paradise behind. It was a nice experience, to get away from it all and simply do nothing. I’m actually grateful to Covid for visiting us when it did and forcing us to set aside plans and agendas. For giving us the chance to take a break from our holiday.