The village of tents, small and large camper vans and white mobile homes and caravans gleaming in the sun can be seen from afar. It is embedded in a hollow between cornfields and forest.

One of the dwellings belongs to me, because for a time measured in days I also belong to the people who settle here. A motley mix of nationalities, some solo, some as couples or families, with and without dogs, we live here in amicable neighborhoods by a camper etiquette that almost everyone intuitively follows – except perhaps for those who understand freedom as playing loud music for hours on end that no one wants to hear but them, and those who somehow stand out because of their failed upbringing… Some people you only see for a day, then they’re on the move again, others become neighbors for the whole time you’re there.

As a rule, you will meet a particularly friendly and well-balanced people with a wide range of tolerance and fairness. No matter which country you come from, camping seems to be the epitome of peaceful coexistence. Live and let live.

You say hello to each other, smile at each other, wait patiently in line when everyone wants to wash up or take a shower at once, and it is not uncommon for people to strike up friendly conversations.

You brought your own “house” and set it up. I find it interesting to study the different concepts, especially that of the self-contained campervan. Sometimes you see really original solutions. Sometimes strangers visit each other to learn each other’s solutions. We all not only have our own bed with us, but a complete mini-household. Nobody is bothered by the clothesline stretched between two trees or the camping chair that moves with the sun. That is normal.

What actually drives us to leave our safe homes and comfortable beds behind us and live a rather simpler and less comfortable life for a certain period of time? Exposing yourself to rain, wind, thunderstorms? Admittedly – the range between basic camping and the absolute luxury variant of high-priced mobile homes is enormous. So it’s not always the cost savings that bring us to the campsite. This is certainly an illusion in many cases, considering the actual costs of the motorhome and equipment. Perhaps we are united by the freedom to be able to go somewhere else whenever we feel like it. Freedom and adventure, even if reality means sharing the washroom and toilet with others, having little privacy, cooking your food on just one flame, sharing the tent with a few insects… Does freedom lie in self-restraint? Or the thrill of just being outside, waking up in a place you haven’t been before? Or just having everything you really need with you? It’s amazing that all the necessary belongings fit in a car…

Whatever the motivations, the feeling of freedom certainly plays a crucial role. Freedom as a basic human need. Freedom and justice are siblings – just as inseparable as Castor and Pollux.

In the evening a small table fire burns here, there a group sits around a table by candlelight, happy laughter, someone plays the guitar, a child cries, on the horizon the colors of the setting sun shine…

We do the last walk through the village before going to bed. Now the starry sky stretches across the site, the last campers with toothbrushes and towels leave the sanitary building. I stare at the stars for a while while my dog dozes next to me. I could actually do this at home…

Leave a Reply