I’d been dreaming about buying a caravan for many years, and it took me a long time to twist my husband’s arm into getting one. He didn’t grow up going on holidays in caravans – he had more of a lodge/hotel room experience. During my first marriage, we camped in tents not being able to afford a caravan, or so I thought. It was about ten years ago when I realised that all those old caravans that I known and loved, were so very affordable now – and in fact cheaper than buying a tent and the whole kit-and-caboodle that goes with camping.
Tent or caravan, it matters not. It’s the experience of the outdoors that I and thousands of others yearn for.
In Australia, we are blessed with an abundance of crystal blue beaches and white sand that stretch for miles and are mostly empty. We also have mountains and rainforests and in the words of Dorothea McKellar, sweeping plains. They don’t call us the Land of the Long Weekend for nothing – we’ve got things to do and places to see that are often no more than a weekend’s drive away.
It’s a special feeling that evokes my wanderlust. Thoughts of wide open spaces, wind and rain in my hair, the warm sunshine, the freezing cold outside and being toasty warm inside my caravan.
I just want to do nothing. Just think. Stare. Stroll. Sleep. Read. Eat. Well, that’s not exactly ‘nothing’. It’s about doing things s l o w l y.
And there it is.
What my caravan offers is a simpler, slower pace.
There’s not much to do in a caravan except sit or lie down. There’s no housework. Yes, there’s meal preparation – but we keep it simple. There is no TV. no internet. no telephone.
There’s also no distractions. And time. Lots of time. So much time that I wander what I will do to fill the hours.
That’s when I want to write. And think about deep and meaningful things. My goals. my past. my future.
That’s when I want to walk. And feel strong and healthy. Breathe in fresh air.
That’s when I want to swim. Dive under the waves and feel the water push me and pull me.
I live in a busy, noisy city. I work in a busy, noisy office. I am constantly bombarded with demands on my attention. Decisions. objections. consultations. Meetings. emails. phone calls. Problems to solve. Performance targets to meet.
I am never alone.
I am always being observed.
Who am I without this busy world around me?
That’s what I discover when I am away from it all. Holed up in my little caravan by the seaside. With nothing to do but sit. sleep. eat.
I return refreshed to my home – which feels so big. clean. fresh.
And I look around and wander why I have so much stuff. When I know that I need so very little to keep me satiated.