This post is from InterLearn team member Dr. Marian Willeke.
My first internal reaction was concern over the inevitable demise of my Delta medallion status. My high proficiency in air travel knowledge was about to become obsolete. I’d have to learn how to hack boondocking, campgrounds, and all sorts of current unknowns. After all, a teardrop wasn’t just a weekend backpacking tent trip, or even a convenient car camping trip. It was a commitment. A commitment to a different lifestyle of travel where I had zero proficiency.
One advantage that I did have was that my understanding of camping was putting 65 lbs on your back, hiking a long time, and making sure you’re close enough to a creek so that you can filter your water. That made the teardrop a glamping experience for me. However, never had I even considered experiencing this rustic world for more than 3 days, so the proposed multi-week trips throughout 2021 gave me cause to hyperventilate.
A shakedown run was needed to calm the nerves.
To be fair, we did think a lot of things through. Elle, our 14 year old, was over the moon about her huge space in the back of the 4Runner with a twin sized foam roll-up and the back window rolled down. Arlo customised a screen by gorilla taping magnet strips onto custom cut screen, which I felt was genius. I remembered everything for both kitchen style tea, ceremonial tea, and the champagne, which I felt was even more genius.
However, there were several items that we missed. For example, it did not occur to us to register the teardrop with a proper tag before we left. It did, however, occur to the officer who saw it. It also did not occur to us to turn off the propane lined into our stove before we left. Thankfully, manufacturers saw our idiocy a million miles away and potentially saved our lives with an automatic safety cutoff. We listed 19 items that would have really helped make our lives easier that we forgot, with the most important one being the make-up mirror. Elle and Arlo voted that forgetting the shower towels was more critical though.
Being in nature though, was the winner. There was a moment when I was inadvertently furious with the moon, but mostly it was simply slow, relaxing enjoyment of water and togetherness. Normally I don’t connect “slow” and “relaxing” in the same sentence, but the teardrop made that happen. I had my ambience and tea. Elle had her electrical outlet to sit next to and continually charge her phone. Dax got to eat many inappropriate things from the ground. Arlo played and experimented with the teardrop features.
Now we have our list of 19 things to fix for our next trip, a whopping 3 week trip down to the Gulf and across to California. If you are noticing the leap from 4 days to 21 days, you are not alone, but we have 3 weeks to prepare. Stay tuned for continued updates through that adventure!