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  • Writer's pictureSusanne Bruesch

69 Days of Corona Camp

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

Hit by the virus just before the planned launch of E-Traction – The Trip, we got stuck in the Swabian Alb and learned what it really means to live on 10 square meters.

Boarders were closing. I was in Berlin, preparing for the start of our trip after all events scheduled for this spring and summer had been cancelled. Silvio was in southern Germany on his way to Switzerland. Baaam. Time for a quick decision. I jumped on the train, we got back together in Stuttgart and endet up in the Swabian Mountains – in a snow storm.

This remote spot was our home, nobody knew, for how long. Quarantine on 10 square meters, sourrounded by woods and fields. A nighmare? Not at all! Never had I experienced spring so closely before, day after day, leaf after leaf, flower after flower.

We spent the first days in survival-mode, making sure we had enough food and gasoline to stay in isolation as long as needed. Thanks to 6 solar panels on the roof that generate 100W each, a 7.2 kWh buffer battery and a large 300l fresh water tank we can be self-sufficient for a week, easily. And for the times we needed infrastructure (such as a washing machine) our good friend Uwe Schlemender in the nearby town of Mehrstetten could help us out.

Once the state of emergency became sort of a new normal, we changed from survival to keep-going-mode. Although we kept ourselves busy with sports, music, cooking nice meals …, it seems, time stood still for two months. And yet so much happened on another level. We paused for a moment of reflection, realigned our goals, reassessed our travel plans, kept preparing our project, and created different scenarios how to put E-Traction – The Trip into reality.

One day, our bikes from HNF Nicolai arrived. After our test trip in Morocco, they went back to the company for some modifications. We had planned to show them to the public for the first time at ITB Berlin in March. But things came differently. Instead of taking them on stage at the international travel show, we took them on tour around the Swabian Mountains for last assessments before serial production.

Our residential phase of mobile living has taken the lessons learned in Morocco to a new level! Without the "distraction" of constantly changing surroundings, you literally and inevitably face yourself on such small space - unmasked... A challenge, and a great opportunity to learn!

What is it that really matters in life? The big Corona confusion puts this question on the table again and again. And it is our job to find a clear answer, to move on while planning from moment to moment. To clean up, inside and outside. Elefantino enjoyed the spring cleaning, too!

After 69 days of living in the fields, we almost put down roots here! One morning in May, we gave our truck Elefantino and ourselves a push and left this peaceful retreat to catch up where we left off in March––Silvio in Switzerland, I headed for Berlin to get ready for the big trip.

We would like to thank all the open-hearted people of Mehrstetten for their hospitality, the nice chats and the good time, we had on the Swabian Alb!

50 Day Statistics

After the first 50 days we wrote down some statistics of our Corona Camp:

  • used 1,870 liters of water

  • drank 100 cups of coffee

  • cooked 47 warm meals

  • went to the grocery store 6 times

  • went to the hardware store 5 times

  • got my undercut fixed 3 times

  • spent x hours on the phone

  • spent xx hours on social media

  • spent xxx hours reading news and doing research

  • washed dishes a 1,000 times, it seems ...

Passed the test for E-Traction – The Trip!

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