Affordable and enjoyable holidays

In many ways 2020 has been one of the most difficult and unusual years many of us have ever experienced. The thing to remember is that just like good times, the challenging times never last forever. I personally love to travel, and being an expat with most of my family on the other side of the globe, it’s been really difficult to accept that international travel is parked for a good while.

The silver lining is that I’ve started focussing on the travel we’re able to do instead, and more specifically camping. I know it’s not for everyone, but luckily both my fiancĂ© and I love being out in nature and we don’t mind the bugs, mud and camp fire smoke that come with it. Last weekend we went camping with friends and those 2 nights away (only a 2 h drive from our house) did me a world of good.

There are many things about camping that light up my minimalist heart:

  1. It helps me breathe, connect with nature and enjoy the simple things. Cooking on a simple camp stove, having to get creative when you don’t have access to a fridge, drinking coffee down by a creek listening to bird song and enjoy some card games or an evening around the camp fire.
  2. It is very affordable. There are some great camping apps that helps you find both free and low cost camp sites with a range of facilities. With regards to gear, you can start simple (borrow or buy a basic tent, air mattress and small gas cooker), bring blankets, pots and utensils from your house and then upgrade over time if you find that you really enjoy camping. Often you can find loads of camping gear at discount stores, second hand shops or apps like Facebook marketplace for very little. Back when I did not have my own car, I did find it harder to plan a camping trip away, but if you just coordinate with friends and split the petrol cost or rent a car together, it’s certainly still possible!
  3. It allows me to explore my own backyard. Many of us love travelling to far away exotic places, and I certainly do too. Having been forced by the events of 2020 to focus on my home state has actually been a blessing in disguise. Instead of planning big holidays and long flights, we are starting to plan more frequent getaways in our home state to ensure we still get time away from time to time over the coming months.
  4. It brings you together with people who enjoy the same things. I fully understand and accept that many of my friends don’t love camping and that’s all OK with me. We have so many other fun things we do together instead. But for the people in my life who enjoy camping as much as I do, it’s a great bonding experience with them (and their kids/partners) where we can share new memories together.

Over the holiday season I’m hoping to get away for another night or two of camping (as we’re in the middle of summer here in Australia and restrictions are less strict now than earlier in the year). Wherever in the world you are I wish you safe and relaxing holidays with the people you love and a very happy new year. If you can’t see them all in person, just get creative and do video dinner / lunch / boardgames / cocktails to make the most of the restrictions of this strange year. I want to thank and acknowledge 2020 for all the challenges, learnings and gratitude for the small things that it taught me. I am also very excited to see what 2021 has in store for us all.

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