“Turn left” she says.
“Alright, honey” and he turns right. She looks at him with entertained disbelief.
This is their first wild-camping trip together. Jack is an experienced camper, Elena is less experienced but an equally eager one. When wild-camping, you need to have no expectations and be open to whatever the landscape will offer for your night shelter.
You don’t use a map, you just drive into any road, which promises to hide you from the surrounding farms, and to provide some trees and bush for a shelter from the wind and sun. You look for some place where you could put up a tent and make a fire undisturbed and not disturbing anyone (not putting anything on fire either).
“Baby, there is a bush over there, let’s check it!” Elena exclaims.
“Maybe next one, baby” Jack answers, deliberately doing the opposite of what she says in order to put her on the edge. Her suggestions are rather a guide for him on what NOT to do. But they somehow manage to function and magically be in agreement on the final decisions. The way to an agreement, though, is just as long as the way to finding a spot to sleep when wild-camping – hence, it could be LONG.
Sometimes it might take hours of directionless driving until you find THE spot. There are often misleading ones, too. Just when you think it could be the one, you see there is something which makes it unfeasible – the ground is steep, there is a farm looking down, there is a “Private property” sign, there are cows nearby, no space for the car, too dangerous for fire… Elena did not suspect there is so much to consider.
“It is actually not easy to find a wild-camping spot.” she makes a statement of proud realization. After the fourth misleading spot, and less than an hour until the sunset, she starts getting a little worried, but does not show it, because she is still equally excited, too.
The feeling of not knowing where you will sleep, brings a special kind of anticipation, which is like a ball of excitement inside your stomach. The ball is initially rather small. It grows bigger with every hopeful unplanned turn you take with the car. It reaches its ultimate expansion when you finally see the spot and say “That’s it! That’s our home for tonight.” Then the ball of excitement explodes and the feeling of contentment splashes through your whole body.
As the sun slowly goes down, and the color of the air is changing from blue to yellow, Jack silently drives into a little road up the hill. To the right – endless fields of wheat, corn and other grains. To the left, a wild bush with tall trees, shares the space with fields and hardly any houses to be seen.
As he is confirming to himself that this is the spot, Elena runs out of the car towards the top of the hill and there, behind the trees, she loses herself in amazement, seeing the golden sky turning slowly to orange and then red, and then purple. Jack comes to find her witnessing one of the most spectacular sunsets they have ever seen.
“This is accommodation with a view, isn’t it?” Elena whispers holding her breath. Jack stands next to her, smiling delighted that they have made it, and that they have made it exactly there.
Happiness sometimes happens just when you dismiss all alternatives of your choice.
“Turn left” she says.