Tonight, I’m running super short on time, but made a quick doodlewash of an old Volkswagan camper van as my recreational vehicle for today’s prompt. I’ve never actually owned one of these or even ridden in one, but find them really cool. In fact, the only kind of recreational vehicle I’ve ever experienced in person was the camper my grandparents had when I was a kid. My parents’ version was simply whatever car we currently had. Since we didn’t have a lot of money, air travel was not really an option. If we wanted to take a vacation, we would simply drive for hours and hours before finally ending up in a new location, that still managed to be miles away from a beach. My favorite part was stopping at roadside gas stations where I would always get a little activity book. The books came with a special marker to color things in or reveal hidden answers. These books made miles of road travel rather enjoyable.

As an adult, I don’t enjoy road trips very much. I prefer to simply take a plane and get to where I’m going. The main culprit is that I absolutely hate driving and get so ridiculously bored that taking the wheel during a road trip is actually putting people’s lives in danger. I’ve never been good with repetitive tasks and driving through Kansas to get anywhere westward is like that bad dream when you’re running screaming down an endless hallway. If I can get away without driving, then I find them rather enjoyable, even without my trusty activity book. I think this is why I love traveling by train. Nobody ever asks you to stop what you’re doing and drive it. You can simply focus on the scenery around you, zone out for a while, and let a professional do that bit.

I wish I loved the open road more and understood how to enjoy it properly. If I did, I could justify purchasing one of these Volkswagen camper vans. If I could only be a kid again, with parents in charge of the boring stuff, so I could happily focus on my little activity books then everything would be wonderful. But those days are sadly in the past, so these days, you’ll find me taking a plane, which I don’t really enjoy, but the pain lasts for a much shorter time. Even though I don’t enjoy them now, though, traveling in a car was a rather wonderful childhood memory. It felt like an adventure to travel outside my city and see landscapes I’d only ever seen in books. An amazing time, actually, counting the rest stops by the number of activity books I’d accumulated on those long and exciting road trips.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors: Cobalt Teal, Permanent Green Pale, Cobalt Blue, Pyrrol Red, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal.
 Day 17 #WorldWatercolorGroup Recreational Vehicle Volkswagen Camper Van
Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

40 replies on “Taking Road Trips

  1. Are we there yet? Fantastic, count me in for this kind of road trip! Could this be the new Doodlewash Express I’ve heard about? Super cool with that enviable spearmint hue, definitely the paint job I’d prefer! They are fun, aren’t they – my sister was driven to her wedding in a VW Camper. That’s style for you!

    It is a rather more joyous time when you aren’t behind the wheel, isn’t it. I always forget how much I enjoy the train though, watching the locality zip by – certainly it beats the bus with its cranky drivers and iffy odours. Running late and ending up in the ‘quiet carriage’, though… that’s always a hoot!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great little camper, we didn’t have one either, but someone I know restores these old beauties, and they fetch quite a price!! All our childhood vacations started with a long car journey, blankets for sleeping, food, drink, books, oh and sick bowl! Usually one of us got car sick, we didn’t stop for activity book, we stopped frequently ( usually on the side of the road) for a vomiting child, usually quickly followed by another, it must have been catching? He he. I too prefer not to drive long distances, boats and planes still make me sick, but as you said, shorter time traveling so bearable 😀

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  3. These VW camper vans are super trendy in UK and even old ones sell for vast prices. There are huge festivals dedicated to such vehicles. I love your doodlewash, such great colours! I’m still plucking up courage to use my first set of watercolour paints. I’m happy drawing objects with pencil or inks, but can’t bring myself to colour them in!

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  4. Love love love your VW bus! It takes me back. I’ve never had one but they always make me smile. Road trips are good if you can find old roads without traffic and meander through Fall foliage, small old towns with character, little shops and farm markets, and other scenic spots. But sadly, more often today’s road trips seem to involve endless miles of monotonous superhighways with aggressive drivers moving at 80 miles per hour, and road rage. Not fun – and scary.

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  5. A friend of my parents had one of these in white. I like the colors of yours much better! 🌈💕 I remember a road trip my family took to Disneyland with my grandparents. We were all squeezed into a Chrysler. The best part I remember of the trip was this game board sized candy tray that one of my grandma’s neighbor’s made! It had all these little compartments and lots of colors and choices… Of course, I ate too much of it and by the time we arrived at Disneyland, I had a bad stomach ache. 😉 Funny what memories stay with you, huh? It would be cool to look at your activity books after all these years! 😄


  6. you are not missing anything by not riding in one of those old VW camper vans! you would like road travel even less! you do not have to experience everything in life to find out it’s not all that great, you can listen to ones who know. there is a very cool pink one parked on a road I take a walk on sometimes and have to take my sketchbook and paint it one day. pink! very cute. I think they are mostly good for yard art. yours is charming. but I want you to try to rethink road travel, it really can be great, but then I have lived all up and down the west coast, and it’s so beautiful you can’t not like it. come on out, and I’ll take you on a tour you will love. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Sandy! 😃💕 hehe… that pink one sounds like it definitely needs to be sketching this instant! Cute! As for road travel… I’m all for riding, but I don’t you could change my mind about driving (hate it! lol)… as long as you’re driving, I’m in! hehe


  7. When in college, I rode often in one of these old vans, also the VW bugs. The memories came from the people I traveled with, not the vehicles themselves. They were always losing and breaking parts, the rides felt like you were driving inside a Bingo ball tumbler, and these old VW boats were sure to get you there slower than any other means of travel.

    But my companions – here the memories are wonderful, warm, funny, and exotic. College road trips – yes!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I used to want one of these too, although with more flower-child artwork on the exterior. Had visions of travelling all around Australia, on my own. Never happened as I don’t know how to change a tyre! LOL. Trains for me too!

    Liked by 1 person

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