Interview: Riccardo McOtter
Living in a camper is a great opportunity to see things from a different point of view. It could be full time- or just for a small period of your life. Here’s an interview with Riccardo, who more than four years ago decided to start this life and develop his passion.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED FULL-TIME IN A CAMPER VAN- AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO TAKE THIS DECISION?
I’ve lived fulltime in a motorhome for almost four years, with moments in between with friends and family. I decided to live fulltime in a camper in order to not give up on my passion: writing novels. After the earthquake that happened in my hometown l’ Aquila, I chose to live in a camper. It helped to deal with my financial situation at that time.
HOW DID YOU GIVE UP THE COMFORTS OF A ‘NORMAL’ LIFE IN AN APARTMENT?
Giving up to the comfort of a house wasn’t as difficult or traumatic as you might think. Usually in a flat, we get surrounded by objects and comfortS we can live without, but as time passes by, we start having a real addiction to this things. The problem is that these comforts cost us hugely, sometimes masking our possibilities. You can end up by living cheaply on credit cards and such.
HOW DO YOU FINANCIALLY SUPPORT YOUR TRAVELS?
I simply rent my own property flat, and with this income (around 500 euros per month) I support my full-time life.
WHAT DOES THIS LIFESTYLE GIVE TO YOU?
The pleasure of a free life is amazing. In the beginning, I was afraid of my life becoming destabilized, or without reference points, but actually it’s become the opposite. To have a four-wheel-home has given me enormous satisfaction. You can only understand by trying.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE WAY THAT TRAVEL HAS CHANGED YOU?
I’ve probably become more of a realist. My quality of life now is in the small, everyday things. The accumulation of objects, however beautiful they may be, will always lead to a continuous cycle of dissatisfaction- and a consequent desire to have “more”. You can better appreciate the beauty of what really fills our lives: the relationships with a partner, the beauty of nature, the taste of freedom and the unexpected…
HOW MUCH DO YOU SPEND MONTHLY LIVING IN A CAMPER VAN?
I’ve never spent more than 500-600 € per month.
HOW MUCH DOES THIS LIFESTYLE HELP YOU IN YOUR CREATIVE WORK?
It has helped me a lot. The state of mind you enter by living in a motorhome is a real blessing for anyone who engages in creative activities such as writing, music, painting, etc. The reasons are simple: life on the road makes you reconsider different aspects of your life from a new point of view, and this can only stimulate creativity.
HOW DO YOU PLAN YOUR TRAVELS?
I never plan my trips, unless I travel abroad. When I do travel abroad, I dedicate my time to planning the route that I’ll follow beforehand. I use various travel guides, RV travel blogs and experienced ‘van dweller’ guides.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR NEWBIES THAT WOULD LIKE TO START THIS LIFESTYLE?
The first question to ask yourself is: why do I want to live in a motorhome? My suggestion is you shouldn’t think about life in a motorhome as a kind of “extended vacation.” It’s simply a different way of life than living in a house. The lifestyles are comparable, but it’s completely subjective to people’s choices. My second suggestion: get “on the road” to do a test trip, by renting or borrowing a motorhome.
We wish you safe travels and extraordinary adventures, Riccardo! -WDN