Motorhoming is far more than just travelling to a destination, setting up, and then hunkering down for the night.
Each journey – whether road trip, pilgrimage, or a short drive to somewhere more local – can tap into the ancient wisdom of the elders, making your adventures richer and more meaningful.
Humans, of course, have been travelling for millennia and the knowledge we’ve acquired in that time has come with us, shared in stories and symbolism, passed down from generation to generation.
On this page we’ll explore some of the ways this ancient wisdom has survived and is still relevant today, perhaps even more so.
Nomads, gypsies, and pilgrims
It seems to be in our blood to move around. Gav has moved house over 15 times, so it’s certainly in his! It was inevitable that he’d end up with a house on wheels. We suppose this is how the wisdom of the elders spread across the globe.
The travellers of old – nomadic tribes, gypsies, and pilgrims – would navigate via the stars or ancient routes laid down by those who had traversed them even earlier.
It is our belief that we are in desperate need of a ‘guiding principle’ that can help us develop a healthy value system and at the same time reconnect us to nature and each other.
We love this book about ancient routes and old roads we found on a road trip through Wales. It’s beautifully written and is filled with wonderful photographs and stories about the ancient paths across the Welsh hills…
The most ancient thing we use on our travels is the van itself (!) and our trusty maps to find our way. Only if we’re genuinely lost do we resort to google maps on our phones. We don’t use or even own a satnav.
We like to trust that our van, Cree will show us the way – tapping in to the wisdom of the ancients on these old routes.
The important thing is that on our journeys we take with us a sense of reverence for the elders who travelled these paths. The journey itself becomes deeply meaningful and will teach us important things – if we are receptive enough to notice them.
Ley lines, labyrinths, and stone circles
Our birth town is Bury St. Edmunds, in Suffolk, UK, which sits on the St. Michael’s Ley line cutting across England south-west from East Anglia to Cornwall. Without even realizing it, we had been traversing this route and visiting many of the places along it for several years.
We are especially drawn to labyrinths and stone circles and, wherever we happen to be on our travels, we’ll often look out for sacred sites.
Indeed, in the Peak District we stumbled upon an ancient Goddess cult and spent some time alone at Arbor Low stone circle. And in Wales, we were delighted to find the ancient huts at South Stack on Anglesey quite by accident.
What all this points to is that the ancients had a ‘different’ knowledge to the predominant paradigm of today. Before science and the ‘age of reason’ blinded us to a more intuitive wisdom, the ancients seemed to know how to live and work with nature.
The wonderful words of the late John O’Donohue in his classic book, Anam Cara, draw upon the ancient wisdom of Celtic spirituality. And having travelled much of the Celtic world in our van, we like to think that we are tapping into the beliefs of the old ways.
Just like when looking at a masterpiece, you need a certain state of receptive awareness when travelling on ancient paths and pilgrimages to get the most from the experience.
The everyday mind-set needs to be left at home! It requires a willingness to be open to whatever might happen on the journey, favourable or otherwise; a meditative state, if you like.
The road trip becomes a spiritual journey in this way, more than a means to an end. You encounter things along the way that awaken something deep in your soul, something ancient and yet, at the same time, something very present, here and now. You feel as if the ancient wisdom is alive in Mother Earth and in your own DNA.
Old Van Ancient Wisdom
The book we are currently writing brings together all that we do. More than just practical vanlife know-how, what the book emphasizes is what all this means…
What is it in us that makes us want to travel? Is there a need for adventure in our DNA? How can we get the most out of road trips and pilgrimages?
On a more personal level, what made you get your van? What type of motorhomer or RV-er are you? What has your van – and your journeys – taught you so far?
Share your story with us or comment below.
Perhaps it too will become part of folklore, part of ancient wisdom ready to be passed on to the next generation of travellers and vanlifers? Who knows…?