I was always the girl who preferred "roughing-it" at a 5 star resort or at the very least a new, very clean hotel chain. I wasn't the least bit interested in campfires or bugs or morning dampness in my pillow.
So, I am as surprised as my husband just how much I enjoy our adventures in Pearl, our 1976 Airstream. When I started seeing articles about glamping and vintage trailers, I began to get very interested in the whole idea.Then we visited a vintage camper rally in a nearby town, and I was hooked on the absolute cuteness factor that was possible. And I began to dream.
Brad found our tin can online and we purchased it immediately upon discovering what great shape she was in. The Hollingsworths were so kind and generous to us leaving EVERYTHING we would need to begin camping immediately, down to an animal skin rug and adorable dishes. How nice is that?
I made new curtains out of vintage tablecloths and sheets, sewed pillows, and put our stamp on things. Looking for items to personalize our home away from home is so fun!
We have owned Pearl for almost a year now and I am hooked on camping. Here is why....
1. The Great Outdoors
I love hearing the birds sing, feeling the breeze through the windows, hiking on trails, and riding bikes around the camp ground. Even though we live in the country with gobs of privacy, it is very different for us to be parked in the deep woods.
2. My Husband Relaxes
Brad is a Type AAA, and it is nearly impossible for him to relax on the farm. His to-do list, which has a mind of its own, constantly nags at him and he can't resist it. When we are camping, he unwinds and rests.
3. Seeing New Things
We love to visit new areas. There is so much beauty in our country and in Illinois. Our state is spectacular and has such variety in landscapes, and our natural resources are unbelievable. Can you imagine how prosperous our state could be if it wasn't run by so many crooked politicians who are elected over and over again by the residents of 3 heavily populated counties?
4. Technology-Free Zones
Most state and national parks that we have visited have had poor cellphone and virtually no internet service. I must admit that I am a bit conflicted on this one. There are times that I would like to blog or do research online when we are on the road, but I can't and I get a little annoyed. I am beginning to realize my annoyance is probably a sign that doing without my tech toys is just what I need.
5. Time to Read
I always have a stack of books waiting to be read, and when we are camping, I feel NO GUILT about reading for hours if I want.
6. Family Time
Campgrounds are full of families having a great time together. Kids are riding bikes, swinging, playing in the dirt, making friends, and hanging out with their parents. I love that.
7. Cheap Entertainment
Camping is inexpensive fun. Granted, we didn't pay a lot for our camper and we don't have an expensive boat or other fancy toys that we drag with us to the campground. I'm sure there are folks who spend a ton of money on this hobby, but you certainly don't have to. Once you pay for your camp spot, the rest of the entertainment is basically free. Enjoying nature is cheap!
8. Clean Campgrounds
We have been so impressed with all the parks we have visited. They are clean and staffed with such nice people and many volunteers. Campers like to talk and we have met some very interesting folks! Accommodations vary from spot to spot and can include pools and tennis courts.
9. Good Local Eats
10. Quirky Finds
All in all, camping is just FUN. No make-up, messy hair, very comfy clothes are the order of the day, at least for me! We have lots to learn and hope to make many more trips to try to learn them. I want to be able to cook great meals over an open fire, I want to make a unique welcome sign, I want to paint a bicycle bright red to decorate our campsite.
I want to quit wanting to "improve" things and make them cuter and just stop and enjoy what God has already made. Maybe I'm not a Type B, after all.
The road less traveled is a really fun road, and if you have taken that path, I'd love to hear about it.
Any recipes, tips, or other advice you want to share? Please do!