I hear confession is good for the soul, and the truth must be told, lest we glamourise our free-range lifestyle without also detailing its challenges.

Sparkling Confessions — I hear they're good for the soul.

So here it is — while on the road, it’s an exceptional week if we manage two showers or baths within a seven-day period. Yes, travelling without running water or power means that some things are sacrificed, and we’ve long abandoned our habit of daily or twice-daily showers.

Calista in the bath, May 2011
Our girls love their baths — when they can get them!

Our travel in warm parts of Australia in summer last year meant that we swam almost every day. The girls dove into every puddle of water they could see, and we love to encourage them in their swimming. So at the end of the day, we didn’t bathe them in a tub — knowing that they were already clean.

And so standards slipped.

Now we’re travelling in a cooler climate. The opportunities for swimming are fewer and further in between, and hot showers are dependent on plumbing and a power supply. So we’re just not squeaky clean like we used to be.

Let me state very clearly, however, that we ain’t so stinky. Since we became vegetarians, our change in diet has meant we omit very little body odour. Being in a cooler climate and not sweating so much probably helps. Let me assure you that we monitor the situation with our noses and can tell when someone needs a shower!

The girls don’t seem to have noticed the change. They shower and bathe when they can — and the girls love hot baths, but no one’s ever come up to me and asked for the chance to have one like they do, say, with videos or ice-creams. It’s just not part of their routine anymore, and it’s dropped off our list of necessities and onto the pile of luxuries that we keep in the back of our minds.

Friends who know us — or acquaintances who have travelled around — are very quick to offer us the use of their hot showers. And there’s something very delightful about indulging in a hot shower (by oneself) after a week on the road! We appreciate these hot showers (and our generous friends) so much.

How about you? Do you think you could go a week without a shower?