Against all odds I rediscovered camping in my forties. However, that’s no longer the same experience I remember from my student years. These are just some of the most striking differences:
20ies: Picking the lightest tent you can find because you can only carry so much in your backpack.
40ies: Carefully choosing a campervan for the two of us that could easily accommodate a family with two kids. Because sharing a 140 x 200 cm bed was two decades ago.
20ies: Using a flattened cardboard box as your chair and table.
40ies: Considering getting new more comfortable camping chairs with footrest.
20ies: Sleeping like a baby on a 2 cm foam mat using a towel instead of a pillow.
40ies: Straining a back muscle while getting undressed in such a tight space.
20ies: Sustaining for three weeks on meals consisting of a loaf of bread with jam in the morning and baked beans with tuna in the evening.
40ies: Treating yourself to a meal in a restaurant whenever and wherever the occasion arises. After all, discovering local cuisine is part of the whole experience, right?
20ies: Wearing three of your most washed out t-shirts day after day and still looking fresh.
40ies: Scaring the kids next door when you step out of the campervan before the imprint of wrinkled sheets fades away from your face in the morning.
20ies: Two weeks into the trip feeling like you could live like this for the rest of your life.
40ies: Returning home after three days for a thorough head-to-toe cleanup to look halfway presentable.