Is Everything Idyllic, When You Live In A Car?

Reading time: approx. 10 minutes

After we bought Turtle and moved into it to travel around from place to place, a whole new world has opened up for us on the social media.
A world showing others who do exactly (or almost) the same as us. Namely people who also live and travel around in their cars, camper vans and so.

The hashtag #vanlife has no less than 1,997,957 posts on instagram at the moment.

It’s great fun for us to follow some of the people who throw themselves into these projects and to be inspired by their way of doing things. At the same time, following these people, also makes us more aware of what we share on social media.

So today we will share a story of when things go not-so-well on Turtle Time.


When we scroll down our facebook or instagram feed, we see a lot of “mermaid pictures” as we call them – it refers to pictures where the woman in the car (often a very slim, well-proportioned female body with long wavy hair, white bikini that emphasizes her beautiful body, a nice tan and sunglasses) gently wanders into the bright, blue water with her fingers sliding through the water while her wavy hair softly follows her back while the background reveals an impressive rocky landscape.


An example of a “mermaid picture”. Photo by Idle Theory Bus.

Another category of “mermaid pictures” are those pictures where the female part is naked or half-naked on the mattress in the car, perhaps with a small sheet wrapped neatly over a small part of her body while the backdoor is open and she lies there and enjoys the most beautiful sunset over the forest lake in the background. You get the point.
In addition, there are all those pictures where the couple kiss each other lovingly while they are in the process of renovating their car, pictures where the woman hugs their dog while she laughs and the dog wags the tail and pictures where the couple are enjoying themselves at a campfire , while one of them plays guitar and the other one cooks the dinner over the fire. Thus, pictures that are filled with cosiness and enjoyment.

And that’s probably what I (Mette) perceives as the biggest disadvantage of social media; that we can easily (consciously or unconsciously) come up with an idyllic glossary of our own lives, after which our followers / friends on the social media can sit and compare their own lives with ours and feel that their lives are both boring and uninspiring compared to ours. And that’s not what I want to portray, because that’s not the reality.

“Nobodys life is perfect and I think, that’s also important to portray in the social media – to show a credible picture of what our lives are like.”

If you as a reader should have the opportunity to follow us on the social media and be inspired by how we live our lives when we live in a car, you should also have the opportunity to see the difficult times. Both so you get a true picture of what it means to live the way we live, with all the ups and downs we have and also so you can be inspired by our way of dealing with the hard times – cause there’s also a great lesson to learn here.

why is it so difficult to be honest at the social medias?

When I mention the “mermaid pictures” and show you an example of one of those, it’s not because I have any presumption that Idle Theory Bus has posted this image (or others who posts this kind of pictures) trying to pretend something that isn’t true. Because it is true. But it’s just a part of the story. There are also the bad days (and Idle Theory Bus also posts, when their car is broken or when they have to wrap themselves into all their blankets to keep the heat, so it’s not just “mermaid pictures “) and that’s what these idyllic pictures have made Morten and me talk about; what we’re actually posting and how we do make sure to show as truthfully a picture as possible, so our followers can see that our lives are not just idyllic because we have dropped our permanent jobs and have moved out in a car to travel around the world?

We also post a lot of pictures of the beautiful nature spots we encounter and of our smiling or laughing faces – because it’s fun sharing those pictures.

But it’s more challenging to share pictures of the difficult times. Primarily because it’s not when the tears are squeezing and I feel hurt or angry that I pull out my camera and also because it requires some kind of surplus to post something from the periods when everything is not so cool – and i don’t really have any surplus when I’m sad and angry. And then it’s also really vulnerable to share something that’s difficult, because you hand out a piece of yourself and you don’t know how it is received – and then it’s easier not to share.

“But … it is important for Morten and me to be as honest as possible on the social medias and that we show you both the good times and the hard times.”

So even if we don’t have the surplus to share anything hard, when we’re in the middle of it, we’ll try to make an attempt to share things afterwards – as now – when we think it’s something you can benefit from reading.

Life is a rollercoaster – UP AND DOWN WITH TURTLE TIME

Therefore, I’ll you the story of the recent ups and downs.

Long story short; We had planned for a long time to go to Falster, South Denmark to do our first Turtle Time presentation for an audience. Unfortunately, Morten double-booked when he accepted a potato-sorting job (as a part of our “earning-money-for-Turtle-adventures-plan”).

I got angry and disappointed and Morten tried to find a solution. There just wasn’t any optimal solution. In the end it turned out that the only solution left was for me to travel to Falster for the presentation alone while he was in Aalborg and started his new potato sorting job. I was disappointed – and so was Morten. He was annoyed for making this error again (it’s not the first time he had calendar- or time challenges that have disappointed me) and it annoyed him, that our presentation career should start this way and that this great common turtle experience now turned into a source of irritation and frustration.

But there was nothing to do. We could cancel the presentation, which I wasn’t ready to do, Morten could drop the job (the agency made it clear that if he could not work the first week, there wouldn’t be a job for him), which he wasn’t ready to do, or we could choose the third solution, which was  me going alone to Falster, while he stayed at home and sorted potatoes. We chose the last solution. None of us was completely satisfied with the outcome of the situation, but it was probably the best solution of three evils, so that’s what we could do.

Until then, it had costed a lot of hours of irritation, anger and disappointment and now we just wanted clarification.
We both felt that we ended it pretty much where it could be ended, and we were trying to accept this solution. At the same time, I think we both looked forward to have a week alone after such an intense week of high-speed waves. It was totally exhausting and we both needed to be alone now.

Thursday morning, 5 days before the presentation, and the day after we had another discussion about the presentation-gate, we both thought that we could now have a peaceful breakfast together, but no.
Morten made a suggestion, that I could tell about the presentation in a facebook group, to get more visitors to the presentation. Afterwards he told me, that was a way of trying to help me, now that he had made a mistake and couldn’t go with me to Falster. I felt it as another “to-do” and I felt, that I had already plenty of tasks I had to do alone at the moment, so I couldn’t cope with it and once again we misunderstood each other and became mad at each other.

“It was very stressful. I went to the garden to breathe some fresh air. I simply couldn’t take it anymore. I was so looking so much forward to be alone for a whole week now. I just needed fresh air.”

I stood in the garden and inhaled the fresh air far into my lungs. Already I felt a relief. Okay, it wasn’t too bad anyway. I felt a bit relieved and felt ready to go inside to eat breakfast with Morten again.

When I got into the house, I could hear Morten talk on the phone. He said things like “so I’ll start at the 18th, you say?” and “yes, it has also rained quite a lot lately”.
As soon as he asked if he shouldn’t work until the 18th, I could feel a bubbly sensation in my stomach as if a huge laughter was about to break out of my body. I could hardly hold it back. When Morten had hung up, I looked at him and asked, “Is that really right? Do you not have to work until the 18th?”
He nodded carefully and I immediately broke into laughter and the same did Morten.

Morten in a thoughtful moment, feeling relieved, right after the phonecall 🙂


I simply couldn’t believe it! Now we had been angry, annoyed and disappointed for most of two weeks and then it was all just fixed with a single phone call – because of the rain! I never think I’ve been so grateful for the rainy weather as I was that day. And OMG, it was so redeeming. All the embedded energy from the previous weeks stumbled out now and came out like a bubbly laugh.
Morten couldn’t help it and also burst into laughter and we just couldn’t stop laughing at all. We almost didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, so I ended up doing both at the same time.
It was a big relief to get rid of everything and afterwards I felt almost flying. I was simply so grateful.

remember to spoil yourself

Actually, I had plans to sit down and write my final assignment at the psychotherapist study that day, but after this runway, I was just completely drained for energy and thought it would be best to improvise (thank God that I have put myself in a situation with room for such improvisation).

I tried to feel, what wanted and needed the most this day, and I realised, that the best thing, I could do for myself that day, was to use one of the wellness giftcards we had, which Morten had won for an event last year.
So I asked him if he liked that idea – and (of course) he did.
Therefore we packed our swimwear and cycled in the heavy rain to the swimming arena where we spent most of the day spoiling ourselves with wellness. It was well-being for both body and soul and I could clearly notice how well it made me fell after such a couple of weeks of emotional roller coaster trips.

have confidence – what needs to happen, will happen

Morten and I’ve often talked about having faith to whatever happens. To belief in coincidences. And I actually think I’m really good at that. But in this particular case, I have to say I wasn’t that good. I became really sad, annoyed and disappointed and did not believe, that we could find a good solution at all. Cause there were only three bad solutions. But, when the agency called and told Morten that the rain had made it impossible to work and that he had to start a week later, it turned out that there was also a good solution – it just wasn’t one we could have predicted.

So, once again, I was reminded to trust whatever happens. Instead of worrying a lot about it.

Everything will be okay in the end.




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TIP: Remember to be good to yourself when you need it most of all!

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