Thursday, 16 January 2014

"Camping is not a holiday, it's a trip"

These sage words were imparted to me from a woman who should know- Ashleigh Davidson.  I consider her to be something of a travel guru who, amongst many, many other adventures has traipsed around India with her husband and 3 children under the age of ten in tow. She is a fount of wisdom when it comes to travel, like dealing with malaria prone travel and infants and general little tidbits like the quote above. Anyway, the point being that at the time of telling me this, I laughed and replied “Ha ha yes it is, isn’t it? Thank God the kids are tired and go to bed early…” or something equally naïve. With our trip now seriously on count down, and with a few small camping expeditions under our belt, the meaning of this wisdom has become clearer, more prudent and accompanied with big warning bells. How do you make a trip around Australia, with a fishing mad husband, two boisterous children under the age of four, me the control freak and a 6 metre by 3 metre space (at best), a holiday and not work?

We’ve only been on a few little trips in our camper so far, but I’ve learned a lot in the art of ‘holidaying’ as opposed to ‘tripping’ and it can all be summed up from the events of one afternoon of camping…

The kids, loving the camping life.

It’s 4.30pm, the kids must be fed, bathed and put to bed in the next few witching hours. It’s cold so they won’t be able to play outside, meaning that from 5pm they’ll be confined to the camper.

Fiela asks: “Can I go for a fish, now?”
Me: “Ummm, I suppose?”

Fast forward 90 minutes. The door flies open and Fiela bowls into the camper, on top of the world because he’s been for a fish, it’s warm in the camper and his loving little family is there to welcome him home, afterall, he is the triumphant hunter (with 2 little winter whiting) returneth! He is greeted with food splattered over the camper, both kids on the verge of a flu, Caesar in tears having been told for the 15th time not to play with the gas hob, Marguerite is on the naughty couch for various offences, there’s crap everywhere and steam coming out of my exhausted ears. Fiela: “What’s the problem?? We’re on holiday!?”

He was genuinely perplexed.

At the time I blamed Fiela for this soul destroying witching hour and the shit time I was having- it certainly didn’t feel particularly relaxing or rejuvenating. But really it was all of my own making and completely avoidable

Lesson 1: Say no to husband.
Whilst he is the love of my life, he can also be a complete tool and a little selfish. Fishing is now banned between 5-7pm even though “that’s the best time to go.” (insert whingey voice and a zero care factor).

Lesson 2: Don’t be an idiot.
Cooking 3 times (once for Caesar, once for Marguerite and then for Fiela and I) is stupid and ridiculous. Everyone now eats the same thing for dinner, even if it is a squeezy packet of pureed vegetables.

Lesson 3: Kids don’t care if they’re dirty.
Bathing kids in a bucket by yourself in winter is ridiculous. They stay clean until the minute the step out of the bucket, go to the toilet, eat etc. Refer to Lesson 2. They are now bathed on a case by case basis.

There are definitely more lessons to be learnt and by the end of this Big Holiday we should be running like a well oiled machine. In the meantime you can all laugh at our mistakes and say a thankful prayer for your multiple bedroom house and big fridge. I won’t be able to hear over the stink of my dirty kids while I have a simple dinner and discuss with my husband where we’re off to tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Mate, you are a classic. Can't wait for the 'trip' instalments. xx