We are creating a travel ritual. Never thought I would - but here we are. We are going to Port Elliot Caravan Park every October long weekend. Well, we have done for the past three years.
Port Elliot! My family live in Victor Harbor. I used to live in Port Elliot. I can stay for free with my family. So why are we creating a habit of paying $70 a night for a patch of lawn in a caravan park? Sharing a toilet and shower with loads of strangers?
1. We are camping out with my best friend and her family. The kids play together all day long on the playground and jumping pillow while we can relax just two sites away. Stand up from our deck chair, and we can check on them. Happy Mummies, happy families.
2. It feels like we could be holidaying anywhere. I relax like we are on holidays. Heck, we are on holidays. Some days complete with wine in hand by mid-afternoon. And the 'in transit' time to get here is under an hour from home. We don't hear 'are we there yet?' at all in the one hour.
3. The beach is a two-minute walk away from our bed. In fact, there are two beaches within a few minutes walking distance. And about five minutes drive away is the surf at Middleton Point. I'm in heaven - or at least I would be if it was 20 degrees warmer this year.
4. The vibe and community feel of chatting to campsite neighbours, sharing stories with other parents at the playground, and manually washing dishes in the open air is somewhat relaxing. It gets my 'tribe' feeling happening.
5. I spend a lot of time outdoors. Typically, when I'm not on shoots, I'm inside editing at the computer. We cook, entertain, play and chat outside when holidaying in a caravan park. Sure, it's not quite 'in nature', but it does make me feel better.
6. We venture down different paths. Whether it's a walking track, road or new cafe. We ride our bikes down the back streets of Port Elliot to Retro Vibe Cafe on The Strand one morning - goggling at some of the new holiday homes lining the streets. While I'm sipping my double shot soy latte at the cafe, the kids play with the toys in one corner of the room.
So, will we continue our tradition? The question this year 'should we go somewhere else?' is quickly answered by a 'heck no, it's just starting to get easy. The kids know the place. We have awesome sites. There's surf. There's good coffee close. No.'