Although I LOVE summer, I’m always happy when autumn rolls around. I love everything fall. It’s a transitional time – summer is turning to fall, kids go back to school, it’s a time for new projects and new routines, for coffee in the morning outside with crisp air and leaves falling at my feet. Canning (so many pickles this year, people!!). This fall is a big one for me because R&S (my pet name for RVRoad&Style) is feeling transitional, as well. I think it’s a good time to try new directions and explore creativity.
Last winter, our travel trailer was written off due to water damage. We haven’t replaced it and we probably won’t for the immediate future. This summer was our first in 9 years not camping. It was strange. But it was kind of wonderful, too. I relaxed, I didn’t have days planning trips, booking sites, packing, unpacking…and the laundry. There is so much laundry when we return from a camping trip! It all felt less rushed and I loved not being on the road so much.
We decided to make it a summer of local exploration. We may not live in Calgary forever so why not explore the places we’ll regret not visiting once we no longer live here? We can get so caught up in vacations and “needing to get away” that we forget about where we live and all of the really great places there are to explore locally and regionally. We made a list of fun staycation places we wanted to see and awesome things we wanted to do. We got through a good chunk of that list, we learned more about the city and province we call home and we had a ton of fun! We had backyard fires with smores, made home made ice cream, built epic Lego stuff, read Tom Sawyer and painted rocks.
We played at the local water spray park, went fishing, berry picking and of course Calgary Stampede. We visited Vulcan, Chain Lakes and Little Bow Provincial Parks, Nanton, Millarville farmers market, Granary Road, new playgrounds and spent an afternoon downtown and at Calgary Tower.
So how does all of this affect R&S?
This summer left me feeling a little distanced from RVing and camping. It was a bit strange not being actively engaged in camping this year. Our family loves the outdoors and our boys really love camping (it’s one of our older son’s favourite things) so it’s something we want to get back to soon for sure. Our summer staycation also had an effect on me. It gave me a whole new appreciation for where I live. We’re choosing to live here for this moment, why not embrace it and get to know it and share it? This experience made me dig in and take a look around at what was fun, outdoors, something with a sense of community, things my kids would enjoy because who wants to stay home with the kids all summer!
Something amazing happened.
We weren’t away every weekend. We got to know our neighbors better, attend bbq’s, birthday parties and hang out at local spots where we met new people in our community. Our son got to attend a summer program that was amazing for him! I felt a greater sense of community being at home and I’ve missed that. We’re not giving up camping but this summer gave me some perspective about what’s possible when we’re not away all summer, when we invest some time into our local community. We feel like we have closer friends and our kids do, too. I got a lot done this summer. I had a garden and a lot of backburnered (is that a word?) projects that made me happy got completed…or at least worked on. I had more time for me and it’s exactly what I needed to recharge.
So What’s Next?
Camping and the RV lifestyle will remain a big part of R&S, but moving forward we’ll be getting a little locally focused including more info and answers to discovering Alberta – attractions, places to camp, things to do with kids when you visit! Or if you live here! We’re spending some time here in Alberta and I want to celebrate that and share it…Alberta’s way more than just Banff! I want to continue with this community that is being built around a love for camping and getting outside with our kids. What better way to do that then by starting here at home?
So here’s to September and new beginnings!