Why camping?

At home, my husband and I fall into routines. Every day, we get up at the same time, drink our coffee, make breakfast, clean our home. We run errands, meet friends for coffee, go to church. Since we are both retired, we mostly stay at home, working on projects, or playing with our dogs. I spend time at my laptop, creating and refining stories.  

But something magical happens when we go camping.

Our normal routines are placed on pause. We trade inside for outside. The air is fresher, the view is camera worthy. Errands are replaced by walking the dogs and reading in a lounge chair. Meals become simpler. There are few interruptions.

Getting out into nature refreshes my imagination. Many of my writing ideas percolated while sitting by a campfire, gazing up at a million stars or perched on a sandstone cliff, squinting at a sparkling blue ocean.

People are different when they’re camping. At home, we wave at our neighbors when we drive down the street, but we don’t often speak to them. When we’re camping, we spend most of our time outside. Strangers passing on their way to the beach often stop and talk. The neighbor at the next campsite might wander over to our campfire. They share their stories with us, giving me more writing ideas. Sometimes they need to borrow things they forgot at home. Sometimes we’re the ones whose lighter runs out.

Camping requires us to make sacrifices. The RV bed is not as comfortable as our king size bed at home. Going up and down the stairs, in and out of our RV, gets old after a while. Our tiny kitchen has no counter space. We can’t fit many groceries in our fridge. If the weather turns bad, we are crammed inside our RV with our dogs.

Although my husband and I both love camping, we are not ready to sell our home and live on the road. Our church, family, and friends keep us grounded in our regular home.

But camping is a pause. Watching the churning ocean or trees rustle in the wind resets our souls. Camping allows us to distance ourselves from our normal life to think and plan. When we stand with other campers watching the sun melt into the horizon, we have time to ponder our place in the majesty of creation. The problems and concerns we will return to in a few days become smaller, too.

Why not go camping, when its magic recharges our lives?

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