What is it about caravans?
When I was growing up I hated camping. Detested it. Could think of nothing worse than sleeping in a cold, miserable, uncomfortable tent. And yet, until the age of 38, I’d never set foot in a tent, caravan or camper van.
So why the intense dislike?
My mum was passionate in her hatred for all things camping and as a result, I thought that only the devil and his family would ever dare to set foot on a campsite.
My cousins would go off to festivals and tell me all about their adventures, laughing as they shared what can only be described as horrific tales of drunken nights under canvas. Sleeping in their clothes, waking to find their belongings rifled through, hangovers in sleeping bags and having to go for a wee outside the tent.
What was wrong was these people? I used to think. Why would my otherwise sensible relatives and friends put themselves through such horrors!
And then… something happened.
My mum was diagnosed with cancer, and while she still could, she decided we should all go on a family holiday. All being myself, my dad and my then two young boys.
The holiday site consisted of a mixture of log cabins and camping. We were in one of the log cabins, which were a reasonable distance from the disgusting, flea-ridden campers.
One morning, feeling particularly melancholy about my mum’s condition and missing my then boyfriend (now my husband) I went for a wander around the site.
It was a beautiful, award-winning site. One of the David Bellamy nature reserves, all wildflowers, mature trees and country walks. It wasn’t long before I found myself meandering between caravans — urgh Caravans!!
But hold on… what were these magical tiny homes on wheels that stood before me? Chrome sparkling in the sunshine and inside minature kitchens with proper sinks, ovens and hobs. BBQ’s being tended to outside as clothes dried on small washing lines. Children laughing and playing ball with their neighbours, new friends that they had made during their brief time away from home.
That was it… I was in love!
It wasn’t long after that, I bought our first tent and to cut a very long story short, 13 years and 5 tents later we have just bought our first caravan. She’s an old lady and she needs lots of TLC but she’s part of our family.
But what is it about caravanning and camping that’s so appealing.
For me, it’s about playing house. Yes I have a house, a proper full-on bricks and mortar house but that suggests real life. Bills, mortgages, cleaning, washing, gardening, being a grown-up!
A caravan is somewhere to play. Like when we were children playing in the home corner at school. When you’re caravanning, you’re on holiday, it’s playtime and there we are, pulling our wendy house on wheels behind us.
To find out more about my caravan renovation, go to my Instagram account.