Location: Mountain Home, Arkansas
We decided to visit Jay’s business partner Chris to “break in” our new purchase. She’d been down to Gloster, Mississippi, but it was time to branch out a little further. This past Friday, we packed light and headed up to Mountain Home, Arkansas.
There was more of an adjustment than I expected, especially when it came to figuring out how Jay and I travel together. We traveled a lot while dating, but that was back when I was primarily just along for the ride. Now I am part of the planning, financing, and implementing as well, and that introduces a whole different dynamic.
Put simply, we drove each other a little crazy.
The experts will tell you that the things you find annoying when you’re dating will be unbearable when you’re married. Well, multiply that by about 1000000 when you are sharing a tiny space. All of a sudden, there are annoyances that you didn’t expect.
Thankfully, we don’t have a huge laundry list of annoying quirks. Most of the things that bother both of us are personality traits that we normally appreciate in the other person. I love and appreciate his “get it done” attitude, except when it’s 5am and he’s ready to load up and get on the road. He appreciates my laissez faire attitude, until I stubbornly refuse to schedule every stop 24-48 hours in advance.
This is also a new kind of traveling for both of us. I’m familiar with campgrounds, since I spent a lot of time tent-camping over the years in various family outings, Girl Scouts, and the like. Jay has never stayed in a typical campground, but he was raised in the middle of a state wildlife refuge, so his comfort with the outdoors is far superior. His military experience is also valuable when it comes to efficiently setting up camp and conserving resources.
We learned a lot, but I’m going to keep this to the most important things in this particular trip.
3 lessons from our first real camping trip as a couple:
Stock up the pantry and cooler or refrigerator.
I know: DUH. The thing is, I tend to lean more on the “we’ll figure it out along the way” thought process rather than planning very much when it comes to travel. Unfortunately, hunger is basically the number one culprit when we start getting snappy with each other. Again, I know: duh.
Set reminders for medications, if you take them.
When we travel or otherwise change our routine up, it’s very easy to forget to take any medication. In our case, forgetting to take my medication made things much harder than they needed to be.
Patience is required.
I don’t like to plan out my campgrounds and sleeping places, unless I have to for some reason. He likes to know where we’re going well in advance. Aside from our personality quirks, there are also a lot of things involved with camping that just take patience. I’m not a very patient person, but it’s one of those traits I’m always praying about and working on. Camping is forcing me to slow down. It takes time to park the camper. It takes time to set things up. Don’t rush it, don’t skip steps, don’t take a turn too sharply or quickly. All of these little moments add up.
We did get some pretty pictures, of course.
Onward and upward!