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by Tiago Souza 4 years ago in family travel

Have you ever gone camping? If not, find out why you should!

One of the few things that keeps us going when we don't like our jobs: vacation. It seems to be implemented in most of our DNAs, the urge to travel and explore. Now, I say most because there are those few that enjoy staying in the same place, and if that's your case, I encourage you to go out on a limb and have an adventure. The memories and experiences obtained from such an event are priceless and unforgettable, but to make them even better, go camping instead of staying in hotels. That's how you have a real adventure.

In 2008, my family and I went on a trip around the whole country. We started off in Connecticut, making our way west all the way to California, then east to Florida, and finally north to Connecticut. Even if we had stayed at hotels everywhere we went, it would have still been an amazing experience, no doubt, but the fact that we camped in the places that we went put an emphasis on the adventure. We were able to see spectacular things that are completely unavailable if staying at a hotel. I will mention a few of the things we saw later on in this article. First, we must establish what is gained when staying at a hotel so that we can make a legitimate comparison between camping and staying at hotels. At a hotel, all you have to do is ask for a room, get the key, and go to it with your family. You'll have access to easy water, ice machines, and in some cases a pool and breakfast in the morning. You just bring your bags to your room and relax for the night, but how is that any different from when you come back home from work when you're not on vacation? It's staying in your comfort zone, doing something that you are familiar with and used to. Vacations aren't for that; they are for exploring your world and enjoying the fact that you are doing something that you normally wouldn't do. Hotels are nice, but they are not the way to fully enjoy your vacation; for that you need more adventure.

I remember getting to a camping site at midnight or 1 AM and setting up our tents with only the headlights of the car illuminating us before we got enough wood to start a fire. Excitement lingered in the air, along with the dangers of encountering a wild animal such as a wolf or a bear, which was a very realistic possibility. Most camps warn travelers of this danger and tell us to store food or clothes that we cooked with inside our cars, otherwise the bears would be able to smell it and come to our campsite searching for food. This actually happened to us once in the middle of the night. My brother and parents said that in the middle of the night they heard the cracking of twigs and movement of foliage just outside their tent, and it wasn't by the wind. They knew that it was something massive. The next morning, our campsite was pretty disorganized because the bear had moved a couple of things around. We found out that we forgot some food on top of the table and that's what attracted the bear. After that, we made sure to never leave food out again, but it was an experience I'm sure we will never forget. You can't say that you woke up in your hotel room with the sounds of a bear meddling with your belongings outside; that privilege is reserved only for those who go out camping. We saw amazing things through out our trip, such as a bear and her cubs at Yellowstone, a herd of bison creating a huge traffic jam as they crossed the road, and the amazing night sky at a campsite in the Grand Canyon.

Those experiences are truly priceless to me and could not have come to pass if I had stayed at a hotel. The ability to connect with your family in such an adventurous and unique way is something that I would recommend for everyone. We have to leave our comfort zone if we are to enjoy life to the fullest, and camping is a great way to start that process. You never know what you might find, wild animals, the love of your life, a great time with your friends, etc. The point is, you will never know until you try, a reality that it true for most things in life. Therefore, I deeply encourage you to go camping on your next trip, it will be an amazing experience that you will not soon forget.

family travel
Tiago Souza
Tiago Souza
Read next: My Adventure in Greece Part II
Tiago Souza

Just a regular guy getting through the college life.

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