From High Heels to Wellies
When I met my husband Brian seven years ago, camping in any way, shape or form wasn’t even on my radar. I had never tried it and, if I’m being entirely honest, I had absolutely no desire to. So when, a few months into our relationship, he produced 2 weekend camping tickets to Vantastival, I was presented with a bit of a dilemma. As I’m sure you can understand, at that early point in our relationship, I was still pretending to be the most perfect, sane and well-balanced woman on the planet and I didn’t want him to think that I was too high maintenance to spend a couple of nights in his bright yellow VW campervan. So I reluctantly agreed.
I can’t say that I was looking forward to it. My main predicament was that I had absolutely no idea what clothes to pack (and I didn’t even own a pair of wellies). How in the world was I going to be able to manage my unruly hair with no hair straighteners? – and I didn’t even want to think about the bathroom situation. But, keeping my concerns very firmly to myself, and armed with a bag full of clothes and footwear to cover every possible eventuality that I could imagine, off we went.
These days I’m glad to say that any worries I had about whether I would enjoy camping were completely unfounded, because from the moment we pulled up on our pitch I was totally and utterly hooked. As soon as we arrived we got to work setting up our camping area, ensuring that our chairs, tables, cooking equipment and other bits and pieces were all perfectly placed (it’s like the camping equivalent of feng shui) and, to this day, it’s one of the things that I really love about camping. I always think that it’s like the grown-up version of building a fort.
I relished the feeling I got from spending the entire day outdoors and it meant that I slept like a log every night (although that may also have something to do with the couple of glasses of wine I consumed). I thought that cooking and eating in the open air was great fun, and who can explain the fact that food eaten outdoors always tastes better. But most of all I was wonderfully surprised at how social the experience was. By the end of the weekend it was like we had known our camping neighbours forever, as we all chatted easily around the campfire.
So when a couple of months later the other half suggested taking Roxy (his bright yellow campervan) to Europe for a few weeks, well let’s just say it I didn’t need to pretend anymore. As far as I was concerned I was an old hand at this. Seven years and many trips later I know I’m a camping lifer and I recommend that everyone tries it at least once.