Our se­cret es­capes

It’s not easy to find a place to get away from the de­mands of a busy world, but these four women have found the per­fect hide­aways for a lit­tle bit of me-time…

Prima (UK) - - Contents -

Four women share the ben­e­fi­cial ef­fects of their per­fect hide­aways

‘The ben­e­fits have been enor­mous’ Es­cap­ing from the pres­sures of work in her camper van is a real plea­sure for Jane Sarchet, 45, who lives in south Corn­wall.

Ever since I was a lit­tle girl I’d wanted a camper van, but the op­por­tu­nity never arose. In­stead, I ended up buy­ing a sen­si­ble lit­tle hatch­back. But a few years ago my part­ner Jonny and I were vis­it­ing friends in Suf­folk, when he came across a Volk­swa­gen for sale on Face­book.

It was in a bit of a state – there was rust ev­ery­where and the slid­ing doors didn’t work – but I im­me­di­ately saw po­ten­tial. Buoyed by my child­hood dream, I snapped it up for £1,000. The num­ber plate ended MYL, so I de­cided to call it Myr­tle. I spent £3,800 get­ting the body­work re­paired and hav­ing it painted a beau­ti­ful two-tone pale blue and white. Hav­ing Myr­tle im­me­di­ately changed the way I lived. Work­ing from home as a food pho­tog­ra­pher and video pre­sen­ter, I found it dif­fi­cult to switch off. I could never get away from dead­lines and the house­work I needed to do – the vac­u­um­ing, dust­ing, wash­ing, feed­ing the chick­ens; the list seemed end­less. Go­ing out in Myr­tle be­came a real es­cape.

Liv­ing in Corn­wall means I’m never short of a good view, but I quickly dis­cov­ered some favourite places to park, such as a lovely car park over­look­ing the moors or my favourite spot be­side beau­ti­ful Whit­sand Bay. I park up, throw open the doors, breathe in the air, walk along the cliffs or sim­ply sit in the back and have a cuppa. With a kitchen on board, I don’t have to stop at ser­vices for some fast food if I have a long drive for work. In­stead, I can nip into a su­per­mar­ket and stop some­where with a nice view to cook my­self a meal.

Bliss­ful liv­ing

There’s a real Volk­swa­gen com­mu­nity, so when you see an­other on the road, you al­ways wave to the driver. Driv­ing Myr­tle at­tracts so many com­ments and I’m al­ways telling peo­ple about the ben­e­fits of own­ing a camper­van. Af­ter do­ing it up, it cost me as much as my hatch­back, but the ben­e­fits Myr­tle has brought to my life have been enor­mous.

These days I make sure I go off for some me-time two or three times a week. Of­ten, I’ll take out the block of wa­ter­colours I al­ways keep in the van and do some ab­stract paint­ing. I’m not good at land­scapes, so I’ll usu­ally find some feath­ers and rocks to paint; other times I’ll do rug weav­ing – things I’d never find time to do if I was at home. It re­ally helps to empty my brain and de­com­press. If I get hun­gry while I’m out I can rus­tle up a quick stir fry, if I’m tired I’ll just sleep where I am. It re­ally is bliss.

Jane loves the free­dom her van ‘Myr­tle’ gives her Paint­ing helps clear her mind

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