Family van life in the world of Jinti, Chris and baby Aya sounds like the stuff most people daydream about. Jinti elaborates on a typical day: “We wake up at sunrise and drive to wherever we want to go swimming. I have an hour to myself where I can do yoga, read or meditate while Chris looks after Aya. Then we swap and he has some time, later we have breakfast and decide what to do that day, whether we’ll adventure to a beach or go for a walk outside in a park. At some point, Chris will go do some writing, we’re working on a book at the moment, and we’ll both work on our creative projects like blogging and crocheting.”
Leaving their apartment on the Gold Coast last November, the dreamy new family have been living in a van and travelling around Australia ever since, embracing the freedom which van life gives them. Jinti explains, “We were travelling overseas up until we had Aya and decided that having a child didn’t mean we had to stop doing all the things we enjoy. Initially, Chris was working and studying a lot and we started to fall into that standard family life where he went out and came home late and it wasn’t what we wanted. The most important thing was to be able to spend our time together.”
Their new solution of van living has provided them with just that - an abundance of quality family time, combined with the flexibility to travel anywhere. This beautiful simplicity has brought the trio closer and despite what many people may think, Jinti contests the idea that a home full of material possessions is necessary - for any of them. As Jinti points out, “You really don’t need much even for a baby - a highchair is all you need. Being in the van we are literally spending every day out in nature so she’s always playing outside.”
When asked how van life translates to the Krishna Village experience, Jinti replies easily, adding, “having hot showers is so luxurious!”. After finding out about the Krishna Village yoga teacher training from a previous YTT (also living the van life dream), she went ahead and signed up, baby Aya turning one just after the family arrived. She says, “It’s been interesting trying to find that balance between committing myself to the yoga teacher training/studying and having my family here as well. It’s getting used to new routines with her but I’m so grateful for the opportunity of being able to have her here - it’s awesome that I can do it like this and would definitely recommend it to other people who have kids... it just didn’t seem possible at the other YTT courses I was looking at.” I can concur that all of the YTTs have also loved having the whole family present, seeing Chris and baby Aya wandering around the gardens brightening everyones’ day. Jinti laughs, “Chris and Aya know everyone here!”
An Attitude of Gratitude
Highlights of the experience for Jinti outside the yoga teacher training have included “living in such a peaceful, beautiful place with kind people interested in very similar things.” She continues “to be honest one of my favourite things is also being around people who don’t drink alcohol - it’s such a huge part of Australian culture and it’s really nice to be away from that. Chris’ highlights have been spending so much time with Aya, growing that bond - and also the temple food!” This love for the temple food is shared by all the family, and Jinti’s eyes light up as she reminisces about the kitchari for breakfast that morning, and last night’s dinner. She tells me with conviction, “I seriously love the Sunday feasts! I think it’s the coolest thing that they do that, the atmosphere is great with everyone coming together and hanging out, dressed in a sari sitting and eating on the grass, it’s an amazing experience.”
When I ask Jinti about the family’s plans after the course has finished she says, “We’re flying to Bali in a few weeks to travel and explore for few months and go somewhere from there, nothing’s planned. I want to teach and feel like an opportunity will arise to go with it.” And of that I’m sure. Krishna Village will be sad to see them leave, and happy to welcome them back with open arms, any time.