I thought I was one of those people that plans for the unexpected, always thinking about the worst that could happen but even I never imagined there would be a life I would have to live where we couldn’t take our campervan away on a camping holiday. I had thought ill health might stop us travelling, or money, or a breakdown or maybe a ferry strike would keep us in the UK but not being able to stay overnight anywhere for over three months! That scenario was never on my radar until March 2020.
We were at home, where else, when the confirmation that campsites could open on 4 July 2020 was announced. Like all these political proclamations, everyone had expected it for days but to get the news was a relief … you would think. After the initial elation, I found that new anxieties floated to the surface. My head fretted that something would go wrong. Covid 19 certainly hasn’t gone away and is here for a long time if not forever. This means that any number of things could happen that could lead to a loss of freedom once again if we aren’t managing it sensibly. Covid 19 cases could increase again and even if there is no evidence that camping is the culprit, someone could decide it has to stop. I worried that this could even happen before 4 July arrived. I wanted to get out camping that night, not have to wait eleven long days!
Many people are still wary about going away from home and I understand this but I almost feel that if we don’t go straight away we may stay at home and never travel again. Travelling is an important part of me and I dislike being confined to home, but even I have felt my expectations falling and my horizons lowering over the months at home and I am aware that there is a hint of apprehension about getting on the road again.
This week I have been checking the cupboards in the ‘van, filling them with what we need and anticipating being away camping again with a combination of joy and a bit of a tear in my eye. On the eve of the 4th July, I feel a mixture of trembling excitement and sick anxiety and it feels important to work through this. I need to crack on and get out into the big world again.
All being well, we will be camping, along with plenty of other people, on July 4th and I expect we will get back into the swing of it and after a week or so feel like we have never been away. I don’t think I will ever take the freedom to travel for granted again. We are starting slowly, camping not far from home and mostly on sites with no facilities.
I know we are lucky to have some amazing places nearby, to be alive and healthy, to have each other and to own a campervan. I will be so happy to be back out in our Blue Bus and once again smiling to myself when I wake up as I remember I am in our campervan. I can’t wait to have days when I have no idea what will happen and where we will end up. Tomorrow I will be back on the road again!