Welcome back to another Friday post. Today I want to cover the topic camping. Have you ever lived in a tent for over 6 months in a row?
Well I have, in fact I still do when working in France and whenever I tell people that, they always ask me how I do it. They wonder if I’m not getting sick of it or manage to deal with the fact of not having privacy, a decent shower, bed or place to chill out.
Related: Travel Diary Europe – France
If I’m honest with you, it is hard sometimes, the disadvantages of camping are present all the time and of cause I sometimes wish I’d had a proper bed and not have to get up freezing to death once I leave it. But living in a tent for 6 months has also thought me a lot and changed me as a person. It made me more aware of what I have and others don’t and therefore appreciate it even more. It showed me how good life can be and thought me more about me as a person.
Though what exactly I have learned and how camping improved my life and gave me more self-awareness, I want to tell you in detail today.
I want to show you how an ordinary thing like camping can change your perception of life and what is necessary.
Are you curious? Okay let’s dig in.
Here is how living in a tent for 6 months has changed me as a person:
1. I learned to get live with less
That’s the most obvious thing and I’m sure you could have come to that yourself. When camping for such a long time you really learn to get along with only the most necessary things.
It’s like traveling, you can’t just bring everything. You have to think carefully of what you take with you and you have to get used to the fact of not having everything.
Things like WIFI, TV or even a proper kitchen are rare. Though once you got used to not having it you can start working on not needing it anymore.
And obviously, I’m not talking about the kitchen here, you’ll always need it. What I mean is, since I’ve been living in a tent without TV I hardly watch it even when I’m home. I don’t even miss it.
The same applies to cloths and other stuff you have at home but don’t bring on your camping trip. You forget about it and realize you are not needing it after all.
This fact then will help you to let go of materials, which will benefit you in the long run when making decisions on what to spend your money on.
2. Find out what you really need
Along with the fact of getting along with less things. Living in a tent where you are striped of almost all the luxury you are used to from home will help you figure out what you really need.
Not only materials, things you once though you can’t live without are now not important anymore, but also values you considered as necessary may turn out to be dispensable. In the contrary you might come across how much you value certain things like privacy, alone time or a good social life.
6 months of camping are plenty time to think of what you are missing, what you need to feel satisfied and happy.
Take that time to really figure out what you need and want. Get aware of your feelings and what you are missing or what is good as well. Take that information and include it in your life at home to make it more suitable to your needs.
3. I started appreciating the little things
Now once you got used to living from a minimum you start appreciating little things even more. Things like a decent shower, own bathroom, warm bed or a proper table to sit at.
The more ordinary things you are used to having your whole life and now had to relinquish on for a while are so much more valuable and appreciated after those 6 months in a tent.
Appreciating little things will help you be more aware of how good you have it; how lucky you are to have all the things you do and get to do what you want. It’ll make you want less and be happy with less.
4. I learned to adjust to every situation
Whether it is raining outside and you can’t do anything or it is boiling hot and you wish you’d had an air-con, you learn to deal with everything.
When having so little options on how to handle a certain situation you really learn to adjust and get creative.
You start making the best out of everything because you are getting tired of always complaining and struggling.
The best though is after you’ve dealt with camping and all its downsides and successfully managed to still enjoy it and have fun, your confidence in dealing with other situations where not everything is perfect is so much greater.
5. Respect and taking care of others
Camping is quite known for its lake of privacy. Especially in cases like mine where you live in a commune with a lot of others tent by tent. I can hear every alarm ring in the morning and every conversation in the neighbour tent. And the same applies to me. Everyone just knows what everyone else is doing. No privacy at all. At least not by the noise.
However, this fact makes you more sensitive of other peoples’ needs and values. You have to talk to each other and respect one another. Though see it as a good thing to adjust to other peoples’ needs. Because later on it will make you so much more sensitive and emphatically to your nexts’ emotions and feelings. Which then will give you more impact and charisma when dealing with people. Great, huh?
So, you can see, camping for a long time is not all bad. Of cause, you have to adjust and make sacrifices but the bad they might seem in the beginning, once you focus on the benefits you can get out of it, camping can be fun and educational.
It’s all in the eye of the observer.
So, to answer the question from the beginning; no I don’t mind living in a tent for 6 months. Of cause, I nice bed and some other conveniences would be nice sometimes but as outlined I appreciate the growth I go through every time just too much to abandon camping.
My aim was for you to take something out of this post and I hope by outlining the benefits and positive impact of choosing to relinquish on luxury for a while is helping you see things in a different light.
Maybe you even consider doing such thing yourself one day. Anyway, if this post was entertaining and valuable to you, I’d appreciate you sharing it so more people can get inspired.
So far so good, next week there’ll come another travel diary from my time here in France, so stay tuned and see you then.