I didn’t grow up camping, we weren’t that family canoeing down a river or learning how to light a fire. We’d spend our weekends going to Melbourne to the footy or the local country footy…actually on reflection my whole childhood pretty much revolved around footy…
My husband’s family was that outdoorsy family though – his Dad was the boys Scout leader, their family holidays were four-wheel-drive trips in the Victorian high country, they spent their weekends cross-country skiing, his sister and brother-in-law run an outdoor camping business, his brother is a keen rock climber and hiker. And they don’t play, watch or support any code of football. Talk about foreign territory.
Despite our differences we try and meet halfway. Matt comes to the footy with me, he’ll occasionally buy me takeaway coffee under sufferance. I have embraced my inner camper and know more four-wheel-driving terms than I’m willing to admit.
But…I admitted on the weekend that I could be perfectly fine with camping not being a part of our lifestyle. Cue devastated face of my poor husband, seriously you should have seen his sad little face. Perhaps I was a little blunt, I prefer to call it honest. Whatever. The point is that when we were shopping for a new car a few weeks ago we were faced with the reality of not having a four wheel drive car, meaning we wouldn’t be able to go camping in most of the places we would usually like to go. In the end we have kept our ute and camper, mainly because the camper we traveled around Australia in last year is perfectly set up for our needs (at the moment) and is like our first born child given the amount of work we’ve done to it. But if we had to sell it, I would have been fine without a ‘camping vehicle’ for a few years until we could afford something else.
Last week when I asked Matt what he wanted to do on the weekend and he mentioned going away camping for a night I inwardly baulked, it’s my ingrained natural reaction, in winter especially. Saturday morning Matt finished shearing and then we set off for Beachport by lunchtime, explored the area a little and had picked our campsite by Lake George by late afternoon. Of course not many others were out camping, they were all tucked up warm in their houses like normal people! But…we had a fire and it was not at all as cold as I expected, we wrapped potatoes in foil and cooked them in the coals, watched the sunset over the lake with hundreds of black swans as company. We sat by the fire until late talking about all manner of things – life, decisions, changes, plans. The camping thing is not so bad sometimes, and I know that when it’s good, it’s really, really good. Our amazing honeymoon last year was proof of that.
I’m never going to be the keen camper that my husband wants me to be, and that’s fine. He’s never going to have an in-depth conversation about the Tiger’s forward line with my dad, and that’s fine too. Driving home last night after exploring the sand dunes and four-wheel-drive tracks around Beachport, after a weekend away doing what my husband loves doing most, I listened to the footy on the radio and sipped a coffee Matt swung by Robe to get me at the providore without even grumbling about overpriced lattes.
Compromise people, compromise.