Years ago, I saw t-shirt that said, “Camping, what’s the point?” I stared at it for some time and thought, “Wow Hollister, you really ‘get’ me.” Apparently the shirt ‘got’ a lot of people because the only sizes available were XS and XXL.
Nonetheless, it’s true. I typically do not care for camping. Don’t get me wrong, I do not need luxury accommodations and am willing to go for days without a shower. In the end, I struggle with just a few key points: bugs, boredom and lack of running water . . . probably in that order.
As I saw photos of Iceland, the dream to see it with my own eyes grew in me. From mountains to valleys, from volcanoes to glaciers, from waterfalls to desolate rock – I wanted to see it all. How do people not only live, but thrive here?
On top of my own dreaming, my dad mentioned interest in Iceland a number of times in the past couple years. It is important to note: my dad does not typically verbalize specific destination interests. He takes motorcycle trips but most times talks about his bike first and then thinks about where to take it. The focus is on the motorcycle, not the destination. The biker motto, “It’s all about the journey, not the destination,” has been true for him.
As my travel plans began to narrow down and Iceland looked more realistic, I approached my dad to see if he was interested in going with me. He and I had never taken a long trip together, just the two of us. The past decade of intentionally and actively strengthening our relationship allowed this adventure to become a reality.
And from then on, plans unfolded. It took lots of research and budgeting to figure out how we were going to travel around the country. We tried for a small motor home with full amenities to find the only one in our price range was no longer being offered. Now, we had a decision to make – do we rent a car and stay in hotels/guesthouses/hostels or rent a campervan which is the equivalent of a minivan with a bed in the back? Cost-wise, it was a more effective use of our time and money to go with the campervan. It supplied more flexibility in travel distances and overnight locations. Also, we paid only one price for transportation AND overnight stays instead of separate costs.
Back to the camping – I do not care for camping but I desperately long for adventure. The sacrifice (both financial and mental/emotional) was worth these past ten adventurous days with my dad. When we pulled off the road with no one else around, together we clumsily climbed our way through loose lava rock to the top of an old volcano where we were able to see down into the opening of one of the rich, dark red lava tubes; the only words either of us could muster were “Wow.” This moment with my dad will forever be deeply impressed in my mind and my heart.
Even if all I took away was this one memory, the cost of the adventure with my dad would have been completely worth it.
Live for the adventure, not for the camping.