14 July 2008

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just lovely. "Full of life itself..."

I have the exact inverse: I'm a former camper/hiker/puddle jumper married to a very dear man who cannot be farther away than 500 meters from the next espresso machine, Internet access point and concierge...

Keep on camping! NOTHING like waking up in the morning outside...

-Nancy (my Blogger is bogger, too!)