What happened when I took our ugly, stress-inducing camper van to France

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Jane Adams wins this week’s Just Back travel writing competition and £250 for her account of a rollercoaster start to her first ever trip to France in a much-loved camper van.

I’m standing looking at a hole thinking how stressful preparing for a holiday has become. I’m also remembering the laid-back, unflustered independent traveller I once was in my 20s. Somewhere between Duran Duran and Stormzy the process of travelling seems to have become a lot harder. 

We own a camper van. A large, ugly, white shoebox on wheels. Part of me hates it, another part is besotted with its toilet and tea-making facilities. 

The stress started yesterday when we were preparing the van for its first trip to France,…

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