We were burned out and needed to find relief, so we packed up and left the city. Two nights turned into a week, and here we are, on the rocky banks of the beautiful Kern River! It’s hard to believe this place is just 3 hours away from Los Angeles. Niels’ aunt had taken him up here as a kid, and I was fortunate to enjoy a camping trip here with her and Niels before she passed away. Coming back to this piece of nature somehow specifically felt like what we needed. A recalibration; a True North of sorts.
(Niels reenacting his “burnout” face)
(Niels’ happy camper face!)
Recently we’ve been going through some growing pains. It’s just adult life, and that’s okay, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. We have goals that we want to achieve, and turning 30 sort of made us take stock of where we are and if we feel we are setting ourselves up to achieve those goals. We’ve always talked about having children, and we’ve always thought we would buy a house because it’s a good investment. But as those ideas get closer to being realities, it can be stressful, especially when houses have gotten less affordable, and the media is bombarding us with news of an impending recession, and political tension all over our country (we’re American), but let’s face it, all over the world.
(Our little oasis)
So we needed some perspective and time to be with each other, and to be with just our selves! Nothing ever gives us better perspective than Mother Nature! Camping makes us feel more relaxed and carefree. Floating down a river with a beer in your hand can do that! But seriously, it has also allowed us space to talk in a pressure-free environment, and with the wind blowing our stress away, and nothing but the sound of the leaves in the breeze and the river as our soundtrack, we find ourselves left with our authentic, grounded, happy selves.
(Camille “running” the river rapids right outside our camp)
Because we’re freelance, we’re fortunate to be able to take this time away. But, part of our agreement with ourselves was that we couldn’t go away unless we also got work done. So, every day we go next door to the general store to check and see if Niels has gotten any film jobs back in LA, and I blog and write to clients. If there aren’t any jobs, we buy some ice and (ice cream!) at the general store, skateboard back to camp, and ask the ranger for another night’s stay! It’s far more luxurious and technologically inclined camping than we’re used to, but it’s a compromise we’re willing to make for all the fun afternoons we’re having after we punch the clock!
(Staying connected at the local general store)
Sometimes we day-dream about doing this full time. I feel so much more creative and inspired outside of the city, but the film jobs are in LA, and we both know how fortunate Niels is to have a job that he truly enjoys! When we find a way to split our time like this, we both feel happier. If we got a van and built it out, we’d save on rent, and be able to take our kitties with us! That sounds sort of funny in the same blog where I mentioned wanting to own a home, but I think we know more and more that home is a state of mind and a feeling of belonging. And we always feel like we belong and we’re at home when we’re in nature.
(Camille feeling at home in nature)
So I guess just like everyone else, we’re figuring it out as we go along, and you, dear Wanderer, are along for the ride! Thanks for wandering with us!
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2 thoughts on “River Camping and Finding Our True North”
Beautiful, thoughtful, meaningful post. I felt as if I were there, reconnecting with life and nature. It is so important to step back, and think, and camping is the perfect way to do this. I’m eager to go camping, but work and my other passion – running races – compete. Can’t do it all, and balance is essential, as well as accepting the reality of competing demands on energy and time constraints.
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It’s definitely all about balance! Your running adventures inspire us so much, and seem like a really fun way to get outside! Thanks for reading and for your wonderful comment. We’re really glad you liked the post.