The Great Escape

Commentary

At the suggestion of a getaway, I’ll be the first to say an eager “yes” before I’ve had time to think of your average set of obstructions: time, money, availability. It was, therefore, not surprising that I said yes to a camping offer out in the wild, middle-of-nowhere (read: no amenities) unknown, last week. To begin with, in a suspicious twist of fate, it seemed to appease my usual concerns; I had plenty of time, was fully available and this was as low budget as you get. A dirt cheap getaway, with the emphasis on dirt, mind you.

I am what you might call an outdoor queen. Confused? Let me clarify. I belong to that (large, if you ask me) group of girls who truly enjoys the idea of being out in nature and rediscovering the simpler things in life. I love all of that side of camping. I don’t even mind sleeping on the floor, in a sleeping bag and personally consider inflatable mattresses for softies. But let’s face it, the term is an oxymoron if I ever heard one.

And I explain.

Just the thought of venturing out in the open whenever nature calls makes me shudder. I break into a sweat of paranoia which is enough to make me seriously reduce my liquid intake to avoid nature confrontations of the sort. And the dirt? Armed with my little bottle of antibacterial gel that I dab on my hands every few minutes, I feel like David trying to battle Goliath with nothing more than the power of positive thinking. But when positive thinking is all you’ve got, you keep thinking of the half-full glass that can’t become half empty because that’s serious trouble that requires a flashlight and a good sense of direction.

Fellow outdoor queens, come out and celebrate your innate desire to be a civilized version of Jane. Rejoice in the power of soap and washbasins and remember, on your next exploration outing to take appropriate footwear. I arrived at the site only to discover that my sneakers were nowhere to be found (I had of course arrived wearing sandals). By night-time, I looked like a misplaced tourist in green socks and leather sandals. It was funny, for some. It seemed funny to me too, until I discovered that my sought-after shoes were safely stowed in a neighboring tent and made a guest appearance as discarded objects the next morning. Sure, it wasn’t this outdoor queen’s most glorious moment, but it kept those bugs away.

And that’s what I call survival.

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