I have a complex relationship with camping. I didn't grow up as a camper, that's for sure. During my childhood an occasional expedition to our back yard was as real as it got. As a teenager and early twen, camping entirely disappeared from my radar screen, and as for all Germans reading this story on camping from a Dutch person, with a big grin on their faces: Whenever you saw a Dutch mobile home or caravan on one of your "Autobahnen". I was surely NOT on board.
Then, one day, I met my husband to be. Things changed a lot from that point onwards.
Suddenly I found myself in log cabins in the Alps, on mountain peaks and mountain bikes (although I managed to limit this last form of exercise). From then on, it was only a small step to sleeping in a tent.
You don't know my husband, but I can tell you: when he says camping, he surely means camping. He'll drag you on 5 day back pack hikes. Carrying tent, sleeping gear, food, drink, stove, toilet paper, band aids, a mag light and a couple of extra undies. Forget the stools, gaslamps, barbecue, foldable breakfast table, summerdress and flip flops. You don't want your back broken.
Like this, over time we did a couple of tours in different parts of the world.
Did I complain now and then? Yes, I did.
Was I scared? Sometimes.
Did I ever say no when he would come up with yet a new idea for the coming holidays? Never. Because I always would come back tired but relaxed, impressed by beautiful views and places, calmed down to a normal pace of living. Full of life itself.
So now, we went for a weekend with our girls. First time as a family. Of course it poured. All weekend. But the guys kept the fire burning, there was lots of puddle jumping (normally not allowed to this extend), a clear,dry night at the camp fire, each of us with a sleeping child in our arms, the occasional burnt football, frog scare, "I-thought-YOU-packed-the- toothpaste/umbrella/cups" discussion, and a best dressed list (short pants covered by screaming blue superman style rain poncho scored very high).
Fun. Tired. House full of drying camp gear. We'll do this again soon.