As many of you know my husband, two dogs and I just got back from a two-week, 10 state, 4,400 mile camping trip in a converted camper van. While we were gone I learned a few things that I thought I would share:
1. My husband and I actually make a pretty good team…you would think I would know that after 28 years together but sometimes you need a reminder that the person you selected to be your life partner was a really good choice on your part. Taking a step away from your normal routine and enjoying activity together allows you to reflect on the fun you have as a couple.
2. I found out our dogs have two very distinct traveling personalities. Reef (the baby at < 2 years) falls asleep within about 60 seconds of driving in the van and will sleep for as long as we are driving, while Mini (8 years old) has been renamed ‘Refuse to Snooze’. She can sleep all day at home but she will NOT waste a minute of a camping trip to sleep. So take your time to rest but be open to the day, both the excitement as well as the mundane.
3. Our country has amazing things to see! It was a nice reminder with everything that is going on in the world to stare in wonder at the unique features of the wilderness around us. This country has so much to offer and such diversity, I encourage everyone to get outside and see it!
4. Working from the road can have its challenges, but also its hilarity! We ran into issues with internet service in a few places but zooming into a faculty meeting while hiking at Mount Saint Helens was a lovely way to enjoy nature but still be responsible and show up for work! We had to come down from our camping spots in a few places to get internet. Once, we pulled out our chairs in a street side park and went to work on answering emails and grading, only to be called homeless…this made us laugh so hard there were actual tears! But it also made us think about how people need to think before they speak and to not judge a book by its cover.
5. And finally, I learned about beauty products. Yep, you heard me right, beauty products….on a camping trip. We stopped in Denver for two nights to stay with friends whom we hadn’t seen in a LONG time! Brett was the best man of our wedding (Jeff has known him since he worked for Brett at a bike shop back in the 90’s). We went hiking and Jess caught me up on her fight against breast cancer. She is young, has no risk factors, nor does she have the BRCA gene mutation so she began to investigate the environmental influences that may have contributed to her cancer. While researching makeup lines, she discovered that the U.S. only restricts 30 ingredients in makeup formulations while Canada is better at 600 and the European Union is the best at 1400 restrictions. She found a makeup line, Beauty Counter that restricts 1800 ingredients to create a clean skincare and makeup line (see ‘Favorite Things’ for Jess ’website). Sometimes an informal conversation can turn into an eye opening learning experience, so listen and learn.
All this has me thinking…what will I learn on our next camping trip?!