We hadn’t camped as a family in a while. Between work travel and guys’ trips, it seemed the only family trips had become beach trips and hotel stays. Not exactly the right thing for an adventurous family. Our girls were 9 and 11, and we needed to make sure that sleeping outdoors would always stay on top of their list of family memories. So when the opportunity arose to attend Overland Expo near Asheville, North Carolina, we packed the whole family in the Land Rover and went for a drive. An eleven-hour drive through four states.
Through rain, wind, and freezing cold, we camped. Not many people like camping when it’s so cold out, and our girls belong in that group. Despite the cold, however, we had a great time as a family. Exploring other people’s overland rigs, meeting new people, cooking outdoors, and teaching our girls how to man our little pop-up shop, it all added up to be an excellent family vacation. There were also the little moments in-between: the little jokes, the shared stories, the campfires and the walks. You can’t buy these moments. And even though a stay in a hotel or trip to the beach is an easy win, there’s no doubt these girls will always remember this trip.
Though there may always be a grander adventure waiting, we realize it’s critical to make time for family adventures. As little and relatively simple as they may be, these are the experiences that shape our children.
- Mark Nielsen