Do you get why people spend their holiday in a tent? Sleeping on the ground, in a sleeping bag that is trying to strangle you as soon as you move? With a folded sweater instead of a pillow because a real pillow was to much to carry? Freezingly cold at night and unbearably hot during the day?
If you are lucky and you are traveling by car you might have a chair and maybe a table. Of course there are never enough dishes or pots to properly prepare food. But that’s all right, because there is only a limited choice of food that can be cooked on a camping stove anyway. The bathroom (if there is one) is usually miles away and the shower is either cold or always occupied.
I think about this a lot. When I can’t sleep because there is a mole digging directly under my head. When I can’t sleep because outside is a thunderstorm going on and the tent might not be as waterproof as the salesperson promised. When I can’t sleep because the tent is too close to a festival stage and the party is going on until 7 in the morning and I forgot my earplugs. When I can’t sleep because i use earplugs and they seem to pierce my head in a very painful way. When I can’t sleep because I lay on my side for too long and the matress is thin and there’s a big hematoma forming at my hip. When I can’t sleep because someone three tents down is snoring furiously and won’t stop until everyone is wide awake.
Do you see what I mean?
But how come some people (including me) get really exited at the prospect of a camping trip?
There is no rational way to explain this. But there is the proud feeling that you have when you managed to build your very own fire. There is the person that makes you feel safe even though you are in the middle of a dark forest and there has been talk of bears. There is the incredible joy you feel when you wake up and you hear waves crush and smell coffee and you know that you are going to have breakfast with an ocean view. There is feeling lost in a foreign city and knowing that you can return to your own little home at night. And there is the freedom you feel when you pack up that home, put it in your backpack and travel to a totally different place in the morning.
For me camping is freedom and adventure and familiarity and a sense of security at the same time. Home and the whole wide world all at once. Can you ask for more?!!!