We are so busy chasing time in our daily life – striving bigger, better and more – that we tend to forget what lies right in front of us. Traveling has been an eye opener for me, in many ways. I´ve had to put behind all the things that I´ve thought I needed for my wellbeing, and realized that I´m ok also without them. Just being me.
After three weeks on the road with our best Campervan Broni we are finding ourselves more and more one with the camper spirit. During one of our fantastic days exploring Utahs nature I´m letting out one of my many “Wow, this is amazing” and Thomas turns to me and says: “You know what is amazing? That you can stand here and be so content in all the dust and sweat without having had your daily shower today”. I guess I should be a bit offended by this, but today I am in such a good mood from all our fantastic experiences that I let it go.
And he is actually right.
Camp life in the south western USA is all about sweat and dust. And for me who, when at home, cherish my morning shower more than anything, it could easily be a mood killer. But, somehow I´m enjoying the possibility to be a little bit dusty and sweaty. Cause when you are camping that is more or less a common state of mind. I´ve worn more or less the same clothes for almost three months now and I kind of like it. The simplicity. Don´t make things complicated. Life with kids are also so much easier when you just let them be. So what if they are running around with holes in their jeans, bare feet, covered in dust and with strawberry stains all over their t-shirts. The more you care about stuff like that the harder your life gets as a parent. This is something I will definitely take with me home from our travels. We spend so much time telling our kids what not to do (mostly cause it is inconvenient for us as parents) that we just end up being pissed off. Which naturally pisses off our kids too, causing them to put even more stains on their clothes out of protest.
Another thing I´ve been observing during our weeks of outdoor living is what makes my kids really happy. Sure, rollercoasters and big water parks can be thrilling, but in the end it is the simple things that will open the door to their imaginary world. We spent two nights in Vegas (due to a minor problem with Broni) and the kids went totally crazy wanting things. Everywhere there were toys they could buy or things they wanted to ride or candy they just haaad to eat, right nooow! In the evening they were so overheated with all the stuff they were craving and in the end couldn’t have that they just burst into tears. Nothing was enough. They just wanted more. Not surprisingly, the time when I´ve experienced our kids most harmonic has been during our camp nights. No blinking lights, no toys and no rollercoasters. The kids run around for hours and play with gravel, stones and wood. The games they can come up with. It is just amazing to see. It´s in the simplicity that kids really find themselves. And that goes for us grown up as well in the end.
Does that mean less showers and more dirt? Well, I think I will still hold on to my daily shower when I get back to Sweden. However, I will focus more on downscaling and minimizing stuff whilst upscaling on experiences and social wellbeing. I will let our shabby bathroom be shabby and save the money for our next trip instead. It is easy to go blind at home, wanting what everybody else has. Renovated homes, designed to perfection. Nobody wants to be the family with the shabby bathroom or the fake 1990´s floor tiles in the hallway. Still, when you prioritize the travel experience that we´ve done now for the past three months you suddenly get a perspective on all these things that seem so important back at home.
In ten years my renovated bathroom will be outdated – travel experiences together last a life time.
Bryce Canyon – get ready for Hoodoo magic
Nowhere else in the world exists rock formations like the ones in Bryce Canyon, Utah. This is probably one of the greatest nature phenomenon I´ve ever seen. Bryce Canyon is shaped from the combination of erosion, water and wind. The pillar rocks are called Hoodoos.
Hanksville – dusty, sleepy, charming America
Another one of our favourite places the past week has been driving through magnificent Capitol Reef and ending up in the funny little town of Hanksville in the middle of nowhere Utah.
Have you ever heard of Paraglyphs?
Carvings, here done by people that lived in Capitol Reef thousands of years ago. And we have the benefit of looking at this piece of history today. Fantastic! (See the carvings of a family in the bottom left part of the picture.)
What footprints will we leave behind?