I just finished reading a book about green travelling throughout Australia. The author has travelled extensively in Australia, doing a lot of camping, and has a lot of tips on living simply and chemical-free while on the road.
While reading all of her little stories about real-life experiences she'd had, I came to the conclusion that I don't care to "rough it". Well, for any more than a week anyway. I guess what we are doing could be called "comfort camping". We have power and we have running water right next to us. We don't have it coming in to the van as the tap is too low and too close to some electrical appliances. With very little bench space, we opted to cover the sink and use it as a bench rather than have a sink that Nicky would find too tempting to splash everywhere.
As most of Australia has experienced drought conditions, up until recently with all of this lovely (?) rain, there are signs around about conserving water. The showers at some parks we've stayed at even have little waterproof egg timers that time a 4 minute shower. Yes, this is a good thing to make people more aware of water consumption, but it also depends on the pressure you're using. In the shower we have, it has an awful squeal in the pipes unless the pressure is turned way up. So I almost feel like I'm using enough water for two showers unless I deal with the ear-piercing squeal.
However, the book did prompt me to get the cloth napkins back out and make a few other changes to reduce the amount of waste our family produces. It reminded me to be aware of excess packaging when buying food (or anything) and to recycle wherever possible.
We are living about as simply as we can at the moment. Comfortably, with computer, tv, dvd and a new Playstation 2. - We went with the 2 rather than the 3 at this stage because it was cheaper and the games are much cheaper too. With more rain this week, we just did one of those rare spur-of-the-moment splurges. AJ was so excited that he was actually jumping and skipping all the way to the car.
But the thing about this camping life - I'm about done.
We've had too much rain and this place is too small and my gypsy self is fading - she's feeling satisfied and is ready to retire. And I'm ok with that. She's dreaming of a simple cottage with a big vege garden and herb patch. Sounds blissful.
The kids are showing signs of wanting something more stable. AJ really wants a dog, and Sami needs more of a rhythm and she wants to try some classes in drama and music.
I know I've gone back and forth about living this lifestyle. I like the exploring new places part. I just really hate the packing up and moving part. Later today we need to take every thing out of the old camper and try and pack it into two cars. Then we'll drop off the old camper to be worked on and pick up the new camper. We'll take it to the new area and clean it out - after just having had the A/C put on, it might need a good clean. Then we'll move all of our stuff into it. We did get a storage unit in the new area yesterday. That was an adventure in itself in trying to find a decent place. Large yellow pages ads can be misleading we've found. Anyway, we've already dropped off some of the excess stuff at the storage unit. We just can't seem to do it any more simply. We Need a certain amount of stuff - surfboards, books, craft stuff, empty boxes from electrical appliances still under warranty just in case we need to take them back, etc.
So we'll go to the new park, right near the beach, in the new caravan. I'm sure we'll all feel a lot better once we're settled in. We'll check out the area, find some other unschoolers, find some fun classes for the kids, and if we all agree that it's the right place for us, we will look for a house.