Camping for the first time



Yes, it still exists. A 28-year-old woman who has never camped before. At least until this summer. My camping defloration is a fact and I will take you along into the world of camping through the eyes of a first time camper. Because boy it’s different from staying at a hotel …

Pegs. Tent sticks. Dyno torches. And questions. A lot of questions that came to my mind. How does that tent stay put? Why do you have to bring your own toilet paper? Why are these people all voluntarily so close to each other in the garden? How many marriages are ruined by setting up tents?

The beginner’s mistake

The showers worked with coins. Coins of 50 cents. In these days of cards, quite out of the ordinary to have many of those. But once you keep them well, you can at least enjoy a nice shower. No unnecessary luxury at the 37 degrees we had during the day. I was looking forward to my shower. Mission shower: a bag with shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, hair scrunchies, hairbrush, towel, underwear, clothing, flipflops, razor blade, shaving gel. Everything I could think of. I was prepared for everything. Except for the coin policy. Those coins were still well sorted in the tent. And of course I found out when I was completely undressed and installed with shower gel, because well, save water since you never know in advance when that coin time is over. So. I put everything back on, went back to the tent, grabbed a coin and tried again…

Grass between your toes

I think I enjoyed this part the most. The grass between my toes, in constant contact with the earth. Hearing the birds whistle. (Time did not matter this time, but you’ll better understand that after the next paragraph.) And that white skin of mine slowly got a little bit of color. Yes, I already knew that I loved nature and all the beauty that is out there, but it sure goes hand in hand with camping.

Beautiful area

Of course, the site of the campsite also does a lot. We were fortunate to be in a nice spot in Friesland. A province where I had never been and where there is still plenty to discover. And I had a perfect guide who wanted to share her childhood memories with me. I do not have to explain to you that I felt more than blessed with this 🙂 What a versatile province with cute villages, beautiful nature and very friendly people.


Sleeping behind a zipper

I feel that I was really a stranger in our midst at the campsite. My great fear was about sleeping: I want to feel safe, especially when I am sleeping and therefore not conscious which makes me vulnerable. A cloth with a zipper was certainly not my definition of safe: everyone could reach my bed while I was sleeping. So I did not sleep. Unfortunately, I have not been able to ignore this fear and became familiar with insomnia. Boy that’s heavy! We played a game in the evenings and I got worse with the evening. Sleep is really underrated. Normally I am definitely an easy sleeper: lay me down somewhere and I’m off within five minutes. On a bed, floor, friend or yoga mat. No problem. But not in a tent. I kindly ask you: is there anyone who can understand this or am I -Remy- Nobody’s Boy?

Facing my fears

This holiday was about challenges awaiting me with anticipation. Besides sleeping in a tent (failed), setting up a tent (semi-successful with help), there was also a trip on a sailing boat and an afternoon of canoeing. For someone who is easily seasick, perhaps not the first choice but certainly the latter I wanted to try once in my life. Now, let me explain you my fear of the canoe. The small lap that is both your entrance and your exit to/from the boat. What if that thing turns over and I will stick in there, upside down under water. Now that is a problem. For the sailboat I had similar fears, but on a bigger scale with the chance that I would not be able to find the edge in panic when it turns over, I would get stuck underneath and drown. I feel anxious and warm again when I think about it. Fears may sound weird to many people, but they can be very real to others. And they are human. I am convinced that everyone is afraid of something. Anyway, back to the boats. I wasn’t going to be tougher than I am and have been very honest from the start about the fears I felt for these activities. But in the end I went aboard and was proud of myself that I did it. I even found the canoe quite relaxing. Until I was allowed to paddle myself. Lord how heavy! And steering straight was so difficult. For the safety of both of us (and the other people on the water), I was being paddled and steered again after this trial and error session.

Taking stock

Okay, we’ve had the experience. I think it’s a good idea to regularly gain new experiences. Even if they frighten you: they make you look at life just a little differently and broaden your horizons. I am proud to have opened myself to the new experiences and put my fears to the test. And I’m thankful that I had someone with me who I could trust 200%. That made all the difference.

What I liked about camping:

Being outside

Being aware of nature sounds

Learning to appreciate your own ‘luxury’ of home again

What I will not necessarily miss from camping:

Having to go outside at night for the toilet

So much stuff you must take with you / have to not forget to take with you!

Not sleeping

Having to build up and break down your ‘house’ each time

Later I wondered whether my vacation would have been the same if I visited these places but had slept in a different way. Does a camper experience Balk the same way as someone staying in an apartment / hotel / bungalow? No idea. So many people, so many wishes, I guess. Although I don’t think I am a born camper, I would not have missed it for the world.

Love, Bridget

Like Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “do one thing every day that scares you.”
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