When my friends and family think about me, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t ‘camping’. It’s not even the tenth or twentieth thing that comes to mind. In fact, when I told my best friend I was going off the grid for the long weekend camping there was a long pause at the end of the phone – “You camp?!”
Ok, ok – so historically speaking I’m not the most “outdoorsy” woman there is but I’ve changed and grown a lot over the last few months. I genuinely feel as if I’ve changed, for the better, in the last five months but it does mean that preconceptions which people held about me need to change as well.
I loved camping. And yes, I have camped before. I went to Yerranderie – a remote old mining community which shut down around the 1950s. Some of the old buildings still remain and we were able to go and visit some of the old silver mines. There were kangaroos, wombats, emus and goannas – I’ve got about 200 photos of a joey – it was amazing.
The highlight for me was the hike we did up The Peak. Over the last five months I’ve done quite a few hikes but this was on another level. The trail wasn’t clearly defined and in parts quite tricky to navigate. One particular section involved a very steep rock face which you had to climb. I’ve not done a lot of rock climbing in my life and I was genuinely a little terrified about attempting this one. If I fell it would not be pretty. But I went for it, with the help of my mates, and managed to drag my ass all the way up without too much of a struggle. It was with a great sense of accomplishment that I arrived at the top. When we eventually arrived at the peak it was amazing. So I had to commemorate the moment with some yoga moves.
I also learnt how to chop wood on this trip and I have to say I wield a pretty mean axe. It was an amazing way to release any pent up anger – I actually really loved it! This camping trip was about having a relaxing weekend away, roasting marshmallows and drinking whiskey by the fire but it was also about pushing my boundaries and taking myself out of my comfort zone.
If I’ve learnt anything about myself in the last five months it’s that preconceptions can change and misconceptions are common. It does annoy me when even those closest to me make sweeping statements like “You don’t camp” or “You don’t hike” – yeah, 10 years ago I didn’t but you’re never too old to discover who you’re meant to be. It’s even more annoying when people who barely know you presume to tell you what you do and don’t like. You know what – I can love wearing red lipstick and expensive lingerie and also love hiking – it’s called varied interests and it’s what makes people interesting. I’m glad I was able to try something new and push my boundaries over the weekend and I’m looking forward to my next camping trip and new adventures.