To the person honking their horn outside my house at 6am…

Updated: Jun 22

No, my pad doesn’t look like yours. Nor is it stationary like yours, which is one of the reasons I chose van living. Were you hoping to wake me? Scare me? Or just to let me know how troubling it is to you that me and my little girl are here, living in this camper? Sometimes I wonder how you would feel if I drove past your home beeping in the wee hours of the morning. Then I remember, I wouldn’t do that, mostly because I have enough hobbies already, but also because I have compassion.

To the person who slammed on my walls yesterday morning while my child and I were still in bed.

I don’t know if you realise it, but I had a debilitating migraine at the time and the shock of your pounding gave us all such a fright that my little girl started crying and my dog barking thinking you were breaking in. We were all terrified – and man was my head sore after all that extra noise from you and my dependants.

To the woman who walked up to me in the woods

… and demanded to know if I had the audacity to stay overnight in an empty forest carpark, without so much as a hello. My name is Hollie, I am doing well thanks. How are you this morning?

To the person who marched up to me at the side of Loch Maree with a pen and paper insisting they needed to take my details so they could pass them onto the police

…for the infraction of spending a night in the carpark down the road from their home, did you pass the GDPR training required to use people’s personal information like that? That’s a really nice house you have… and a private beach as well. How many Porsches were parked out front again? Was it four or five? I swear I saw at least four. Man… If I had a place like that, in a spot like this, the last thing I’d be worried about is where other people might be parking up for the night.

To the woman at my work who keeps leaving aggressive notes on my van

…for being parked near her vacant office block (next door to where I work) - the first of which was drafted on your Covid test receipt card. You know you damaged my windscreen and my LPG tank vent when you kept putting wooden ‘no unauthorised parking’ signs on my bonnet and at the side of my camper? I now have to keep a camera on my home while it’s parked outside my office in case you decide to ramp up your anti campervan crusade. What I really wanted to ask though is, who hurt you?

To the mother of my daughter’s new best friend who won’t let my kid visit again because we don’t live in a house

She was really excited about that playdate. Juno really struggles to form good friendships as a biproduct of her ADHD and this was the first time since we moved to Scotland four years ago that she’s actually found someone she's considered to be a best friend in your daughter. When she got that massive blow of a voice message via your daughter that she wasn’t allowed back because she doesn’t live in a house, it took a long time for me to console and comfort her. I don’t know if she will ever forget that…and it’s not only her who will suffer for it either.

To the media who keep vilifying those of us who live in vans, please stop.

I keep seeing article after article about trash, anti-social behaviour, defecating in the wild, blocking access, etc. but have yet to witness any of this first hand …and certainly have never been the cause of any of the above. Quite the opposite actually.

Just because I don’t want to conform to a social ideal by being legally and financially tied to bricks and mortar, either paying someone else’s mortgage or crazy interest rates on my own, does that make me somehow less of a human? Or a failure in life? I’ve simply chosen to disengage from a system that maintains poverty so I can build a freer more independent life for myself and my kid.

Until 4 months ago we were living in a three-bedroom house in Inverness with a £700 a month price tag, alongside a £350 (and steeply rising) energy bill …so I simply chose to turn a desperate situation into an adventure.

Living the way we do now was not just an act of rebellion, it was one of self-preservation and intelligence. Vanlife affords me freedom, the ability to save a lot of money, cheap living and a home with an ever-changing view. I might not have much, but I know what it’s worth.

I’m not hurting anyone or causing any harm, so why does the way that I choose to live offend you so? Perhaps one day you can explain it to me over a beer around the campfire? Who knows, you might even like me if you get to know me. ✌🏼

Catch me on Instagram here.