What do Morocco, Albania and Turkey have in common? Right, they all share borders with the European Union. Does that make these countries any different from their neighbours from within the EU? We have set out to visit the countries on the outerside of the EU border to find out. A little teaser: it does when it comes to several vital parts of life, like water! Let me explain, and offer you some simple solutions.
HOW PRECIOUS CAN WATER REALLY BE?
Well. Water can be pretty darn precious. But it is one of those things, you only really appreciate after you have missed it for a little while. In the EU we have become pretty spoiled, regarding the basics of life. An abundancy of water. The ever flowing tap. Have you ever felt anxious when you had to open your water bill? Right, me neither. The beauty is, that your undervalued tap water is generally as clean and safe as it gets. We might complain about taste, but that is about the extent of our issues.
Bare with me and try to imagine a place where good pressurized water taps are a luxury rather than a certainty. Where water that comes from the taps isn’t safe at all. And if it is, you won’t know for sure. Think of a situation in which there aren’t even any taps at all. A place where you can still have your fancy smartphone, even a solid 4g network. But no taps. No water. You got to walk to the well, and hope the ground water level is still up. With any luck you have money for some bottled water, but of course you wouldn’t want to cause all that plastic waste in a country without sustainable garbage disposal…
You feel it? That is how we felt after we had crossed the EU border. And that is what many countries still have to face. Don’t get me wrong. Not many people are starving out of thirst in the countries we visit. And as a tourist you will always get helped out with some water. But that is because you are rich and you’ll right a bad review if you won’t get your daily shower. No offence.
I have to confess and tell you we made quite a big mistake at the start. We didn’t prepare for it, and because of it we had no other choice than buying bottled water for the time being. That was until found a solution, and it came by the name Sawyer. For your understanding. We have had no trouble at all back in the EU. We connected our hose to one of many public water taps. Filled our water tank and we’d be good to go for another week or so. But not in Morocco. No taps, no safe drinking water. No plastic-free routine.
But then Sawyer became to be our way out of the evil that is called bottled water. Our little helper to avoid another week of food poisoning. Sawyer produces water filters in all kinds of levels and shapes. And even a purifier. Not anything special perse you might say. But you’re wrong. Sawyer produces the most simple concepts we’ve seen anywhere. And when it comes to something as water, you need simple, reliable products. Don’t get me started on our electrical waterpump. It breaks down when it freezes, it breaks down after too many uses. It is not reliable, and it’s a pain in the ass. For our filtration system, we knew we needed something solid.
Our journey is all about disovering the unknown, and going of the beaten track. We want to get to know the ‘real’ lands behind EU borders, which often requires going the extra mile. Not just the well known and developed cities. We drive on dirt roads for days and days. Deep into the mountain ranges, far beyond a save and easy back up. And when shit breaks down, we need to have faith. We need a savior like Sawyer which can be our own little back up, even when everything else bails on us. Because if you can drink, you can stay in outdoors.
HOW IT WORKS
I will explain the details of our Sawyer setup in this separate post. For now, remember this: We got spoiled. Easy access to safe drinking water is an awesome privilege that we forgot we had in the EU. But a lack in good tapwater, is no excuse to buy those crazy stupid plastic water bottles. There is a way, and Sawyer is a perfect example of such an easy way out. One that is both good for you and good for the environment.