Thursday, July 30, 2015

Road Trips, Camping, and Now...

Isn't it a good thing that people all have different tastes and ideas on what makes a great vacation? I think too that people have changing ideas over a lifetime. Changes occur because of experiences, both good and bad or perhaps because of health issues.

A friend made me consciously aware that there will only be so many more trips during my remaining existence. After I thought about her statement, I came to realize that I'd better make those trips count. By that, I mean that I need to go to places that I really want to visit. 

Many people like driving trips combined with either camping, cabins, hotels, B&B's, or visiting family and friends. Others, acquire tents, cottages or trailers and happily do nothing but live in the wild performing all the same daily tasks that they do at home, only in less luxury. People with a bit more in resources, often opt for all inclusive hotel trips or special travel offers. I've done all of those and I think there was a time and place in my life where they each worked well.

I remember camping as a child. There was the weekly trek to North Gwillimbury Park on Lake Simcoe where we would meet with all the people in my parents' circle of friends. They'd sit around the campfire at night reminiscing, even though most were only in their late 20's and early 30's. Sometimes they'd criticize each other and often they'd give my parents advice on child rearing despite having no children of their own. In the mornings we'd peel the wet sides of the tent off our damp cold bodies, re-inflate the air mattresses, hang the sleeping bags next to the previous day's wet towels in the hopes that all would eventually dry. Nonetheless, there were many fun times.

Road trips with my parents were interesting enough and also involved camping.  We got to see all the scenic places that any adult would like to visit. Occasionally, we'd stop at an attraction that a child would enjoy and those were memorable...Santa's Village, Storybook Land, and Six Gun City come to mind.

As a young adult, tenting seemed to be an affordable alternative to any other accommodation. How lucky was I to have camped in the howling canyons of Oklahoma, amongst the bats in Arizona, with scorpions and tarantulas in New Mexico, and in the swamps of Florida? Because of my job, these trips were always in the lovely warm summer. Raising two young children made camping an affordable alternative as well.

At my current age, I have no further interest in less than stellar accommodations. I don't want to work while trying to have a vacation. I also don't care to drive, have deadlines, or try to find worthwhile activities along the way.

Recently, I came to the conclusion that a bus tour might be an interesting alternative and something, I'd never tried. Hence began my ideal seventeen day trip to the Maritimes. I have no idea when I became so interested in the east coast and Newfoundland. Perhaps it was the thought of lobsters, puffins, and friendly folks that tweaked my curiosity. Nonetheless, I booked and headed off on my Great Canadian adventure on July 10th of this year, while hubby opted for the opposite coast, family, camping, and a totally different set of adventures.

So here begins my most recent journey.


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