About ten months ago, my husband and I bought a cute, 24 foot travel trailer with a queen size bed and rear living area. We’ve decided to use school holidays and summers to embark on the world of rv travel, rather than waiting until retirement to try something new. We have been having a fabulous time while learning the ins and outs of camping. He has learned to hook up, drive and maneuver “the rig.” He has figured out trailer maintenance and upkeep. He is mastering the art of the dump station and searching out the best techniques for leveling our unit. I am in charge of planning, navigation and packing.
I am by nature an organizer, so it makes sense that the planning duties fall to me. I’m learning to research and book the campsites, Google the best driving routes, look up an area’s weather forecast and find interesting activities nearby. By the time we are traveling to our destination, I no longer feel that I am going to an unknown location. Planning, for me, gives peace of mind and ensures that we will have minimal surprises and required resources. It provides a much-needed feeling of security.
With several camping experiences under our belts, we were beyond excited when we discovered that our favorite beach had opened new campsites. High on a bluff, these sites offer an incredible panoramic view of the entire bay and surrounding hills. Our camper, with its rear living area and wrap-around windows, was made for such a place. We enthusiastically began our research for reservation process, cost and amenities. We were not deterred when we learned that it was a dry camp with not even a water spigot available. We didn’t flinch at the $50 per night cost. But my stomach turned when we read that sites were rented on a first come, first served basis. There were no reservations!
My first thought was that this was a deal breaker that would keep us from camping in this beautiful haven. I was heartbroken as I could not imagine facing the possibility of packing and planning for a stay that was not guaranteed to happen. For me, a reservation is required for peace of mind.
In the end, the lure of a paradise on the bluff won over, and we began to plan our no-reservation adventure. We followed a live camera feed offered by the harbor for patterns of site availability. We researched alternate plans should the worst case scenario find us without a spot. We packed for five days with high hopes and high anxiety on my part. We prayed and took the leap, departing later than we’d have chosen due to a family obligation. We arrived at the bluff after an apprehensive drive, and were rewarded with four sites to choose from, each with a view of paradise. My senses could barely take in everything at once: the green hills rising around us, the glassy blue water hosting graceful sailboats, the warm breeze gently brushing my skin and the scent of the salty sea air. It was overwhelmingly beautiful. High above the crowds at the beach, I now felt that all my planning, strategy and anxiety had more than paid off. To think, I almost missed this blessing because of reservation.
As I sat basking in the beauty of our new-found paradise, I began to wonder how many other times I’d let reservation get in the way of my happiness. So often I automatically choose the safest option. What if I took more risks, acted more bravely and trusted God, myself and this world for positive outcomes? Would more such rewards follow? How many times have I lost the blessing because of my reservation?
These have been my ponderings during our beautiful week on the ocean bluff, the gorgeous experience that almost wasn’t because of my fear of uncertainty. This adventure has shown me that there is room for more risk in my life and a possibility of greater rewards. So I will try harder to live my life with no reservation.