This post is Sponsored by Bupa
I grew up in a camping family. Every year over Christmas and New Year’s my family would head up to the Sunshine Coast for 4 weeks camping. You heard that right … 4 weeks. Let me just say I love camping with my kids, but I am not sure I could manage 4 weeks … our parents’ generation were hard-core haha.
These memories have become some of my most precious, and I can confidently say that is the same for my brother and sister, which is why camping every year over Christmas has become a part of our family tradition.
To this day my parents, my brother, my sister, their families plus hubby and I, and the kids still head up to the Sunshine Coast over Christmas and New Year, but we only go for 2 weeks.
What I love about these camping trips, is that it feels like you are really getting away from it all. Particularly with all the demands on our time, getting back to a simpler life, and re-connecting is refreshing.
And yet, despite this desire to slow down and enjoy the little moments, this year both my mum and my dad, and myself all got sick during our camping trip. I think there were at least 4 doctors’ visits. It had been a really big work year for all of us, and our bodies just seemed to crash when we finally had the opportunity to stop.
As annoying as it was to get sick while we were away, it was a good reminder that we need to look after our health more during the year, and take breaks more often, pause and cherish the little moments. We only have one life, and we need to take care of it.
It’s an easy thing to forget though, especially in the busy-ness of the year. We work with Bupa regularly here on School Mum, and I loved their latest campaign, which encouraged me pause and reflect on how I’m taking care of my one life.
From the time I was a kid, these camping trips – full of small moments to treasure – really encouraged me to take stock and appreciate the wonder of nature, of family and spending time enjoying that down-time together.
As a parent, I’m committed to bringing this wonder to my kids as well, and it seems as though it’s paying off: my eldest daughter said to me at the end of our camping holiday this year, that our yearly camping trips are her favourite family holidays.
And I can understand why… We have opportunities for holidays with all the bells and whistles, but camping allows us to give our children a bit more (measured) freedom than usual.
We take our kid’s bikes every year, and they love exploring the area year-after-year on their own, with a little parental oversight and regular checks. They love the freedom, and think it’s the best.
Bedtimes are later, and routines are relaxed. There are a huge range of people who camp, giving our children access to a huge diversity of people through neighbourly interactions. Even the bathroom routine is changed up with the excitement of a shower block to explore. We have time to sit and simply soak it all in.
Next time you’re planning a family get-away, take a moment to consider camping. Sure, it’s not always easy – but the benefits far outweigh the challenges, in my opinion.
Sitting by the campfire at night, watching the stars and hearing our children giggle – surely that’s the wonder of life right there.