When It Is Time to Go Home
I’ll be honest, I love camping, but there comes a time when you just want to go home. You might be camped out. You might be tired of bad weather. You may be injured or sore. Or you might just miss home and want to be back there. You might also be at the end of your trip and really have to get back home. Or you might just be tired of picking bugs out of your coffee and looking under stalls for feet every time you have to use the bathroom and living through using what are inevitably showers that are not as good as the one at home.
Particularly when we are staying at state campgrounds, we plan for one more day/night than we need so that we don’t have to feel rushed to be out by a certain time. When you are going away for the weekend, this can make the trip seem both longer and better. You book Fri/Sat/Sun night and get there when you can on Friday night and enjoy camp. Then you have all day Saturday to do whatever you planned and can do the same on Sunday, just leaving in the afternoon to get home with enough time to unpack before dark. It costs us an extra $20 to do this, but we feel like it is a good donation to the parks system and our support of the parks that we so love to use. And we get something nice out of it as well. We don’t have to drag the trailer around everywhere we go after 11 am if we don’t want to. And we don’t have to feel rushed.
When you are planning a long trip, it is good to plan that the last few days are either REALLY exciting with what you have planned or possibly an escape valve if you think you might need it or want to keep things more low-key. And it’s always good to have some opportunity to cut things short if you feel you need to without feeling guilty.
For us, this whole trip was meant to be RELAXING. We weren’t going to plan too much. We weren’t going to push too much. We were going to stay a few days in each place and do whatever we wanted— read, sleep, bike, hike, eat, nap, stare at the trees and the water. We just wanted to get AWAY from life. Our usual lives are so busy that we just wanted to take a BREAK.
But we knew when we originally planned this trip that we should have accounted for more recovery time at the end. We like to get home and unpacked and washed and still have a day or so to just BE there without having to do so much. And we should have known that we were pushing too hard to get gone— in the last week before the trip we cut a day at the beginning so we didn’t have to rush to get out the door and on the way and feel hurried before the vacation even started.
As the trip progressed, we were having a great time and getting lots of relaxation in, but we talked about leaving a day or two early and not feeling bad about any reservations that went unused. It felt like it would be nice to get home and spend some time practicing relaxing there— with nice bathrooms and showers and a bit easier time making coffee in the mornings and dishwashing that included hot water you didn’t have to boil yourself. We could try enjoying some of the same things that we like about camping but don’t always take the time to do at home like lay in the hammock and read or sit by the firepit and make s’mores or sit on the deck and write. We could be home and not just do all the usual things.
Now that we’ve been on the road for 11 nights, we’re really ready to get home. It may be the fact that we have now camped 25 nights this year and this is our fifth trip out. Or it could be that I’ve been on a health kick over the last couple of months and I feel like I’ve been away from regular fruits and veggies for too long and want to get back to the sit-ups and yoga that I never seem to do at camp. But we knew yesterday that we should do what we wanted to before we left the ADK because we were planning to pack it in this morning and head home. Where the kitties have been missing us and our comfy bed awaits.
And where the camper sits in the driveway and we can always spend a night outdoors enjoying “camper movie night” with pizza.