Camping in Sussex

Camping means different things to different people. So, what does it mean to you? Have you been camping? in Mexico? in other parts of the world? How was it for you?

Recently I went camping in England. Firstly, in Sussex, in the south of England and then in the Lake District (north of England).

These were different camping experiences. One was more about a birthday celebration with friends (Sussex) and the other about camping in the woods in amazing scenery (Lake District).

I´d only been camping a handful of times before, a night here and there, and hadn´t bought my own gear until now. The challenge was that as my student days were over, and I´m not far off 40 with baby in tow and with a husband not so keen on the idea as myself, would we still enjoy it?

IMG-20160728-WA0031I´m glad to say we all did. What was it like for a toddler? It was quality time with mum and dad, and the chance to watch dozens of animals in their natural habitat. It meant playing with grass, trees, twigs, stones and leaves. It meant getting to know water in all its forms! Our tearaway ran everywhere, splashed in muddy puddles (that´s UK camping!), felt the rain on his face (and clothes!) He even wanted to help us put up the tent! In short amazing fun for a toddler! Was he uncomfortable at night with a sleeping bag? Actually no. He adapted as he normally does to new situations. It never ceases to amaze me how adaptable toddlers are without their inhibitions or preconceived ideas.

What did it mean to me? The first of the two locations was more like party time with friends and there were tents with music, a hog roast, and campfires at night, sheep and basically a brilliant party idea from the birthday girl, EJ!

The second experience on the shores of Lake Windermere was more focussed on enjoying nature with family and it meant stopping to breathe in fresh air, and take in a million details of nature: there is so much to enjoy. I don´t like clichés but I do believe in the simple things in life and in this case, nature, are what count: sheep, ducks, frogs, swans, birds, squirrels, lakes, flowers, mountains, and trails by the trees. I felt like my toddler. On a voyage of (re)discovery!

These are things we take for granted but they are the wonders of the world. And we are just one of many species.

Lake District view from Ambleside

Nothing special. It reminded me to be humble and have a less ego-centric world view.  And if we live in cities, use cars and get caught up in our city routine, a connection with the natural world is especially important because nature is what the world is really made of, out of the manmade city.  It meant watching the rain fall. It´s a chance to reconnect and refresh physically and spiritually. It meant sleeping when it´s dark and waking when it´s light. It´s a chance to move with natural cycles.  It meant some solitude while at the same time some good company with other campers.

I also want to dispel some general notions there may be about camping.

It DOESN´T MEAN no showers, no hot water, serious discomfort and dangerous insects. (It could be like that but not necessarily!) With a bit of investigation on the Internet about the camping sites, you can find places with a few basic comforts.  And the enjoyment outweighs any discomfort. Massively in my view! Plus it´s a cheap holiday: a chance to travel, paying very little for your camping spot. It´s always nice to find a cheap and very enjoyable holiday!

I would love to go camping in Mexico and I am interested in learning about Mexican campsites. I would love to read comments on camping in Mexico and in other parts of the world. Please post your experiences! And what does camping mean to YOU?

A cheap trip and enjoying the simple things in nature