Embracing the Great Outdoors: A Love for Nature, Even Without Camping

Athena
3 min readOct 29, 2023

Growing up in the countryside, I was surrounded by the beauty of nature every day. The rolling hills, vast fields, and dense forests were my playground, and I couldn’t have asked for a more idyllic childhood setting. However, when it came to the idea of camping, my dad’s response was always the same: “We live in the country, so why would we sleep in it?” While I never quite convinced my dad to embark on a camping adventure, my love for the great outdoors has only grown stronger over the years. In this story, I’ll explore how a childhood spent in the countryside has fostered a deep appreciation for nature, even without the experience of camping.

The Magic of the Countryside:

Growing up in a rural setting provided me with a unique perspective on nature. I didn’t need to go far to experience the great outdoors; it was right at my doorstep. I spent my days exploring the woods, wading in the streams, and observing the wildlife that called our countryside home. These experiences ignited a lifelong passion for nature and the outdoors.

Camping Temptations:

As I grew older, the idea of camping always seemed enticing. Many of my friends regaled me with stories of starry nights, crackling campfires, and the sense of serenity that comes with sleeping under the open sky. But my dad’s sentiment remained steadfast: “We have all this nature around us; there’s no need to sleep in it.” And so, camping trips remained an unfulfilled dream.

My brother and I would set a tent up in the backyard, run an extension cord from the house and sleep outside. For a while we would ‘camp’ in a van in the yard. The van included a fold down couch, a sink, and a tv running on the battery. My parents would park it right by the front door so that we could stay near the house. At one point my parents also got a small camper that was parked in the evergreen trees surrounding the yard. I don’t remember sleeping in it, just the summer it was in the trees.

The book ‘In Cold Blood’ by Capote I think had a strong effect on my parents. They would never let my brother and I stay home alone or walk too far from the house in the woods. My dad would frequently drive around to look at fields and ‘watch corn grow’… the trips had to be whole family trips despite our desire to stay home alone once in a while. I constantly battle that fear myself when my son wants to stay home by…

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Athena

Mom of three boys. Computer programmer living in the country with my husband focusing on my hobbies and youngest son. https://ko-fi.com/athenaandrew