“What happens on holiday, stays on holiday” right ?...
Well maybe… if you end up going back home & back to your day to day routine. But I have to say living full-time in a caravan for the past 3+ years has been a real eye-opener. In fact we’ve almost become ‘Mrs Kravitz’s’ – remember her from the old TV show Bewitched??
While there are many ‘grey-nomads’ out there right now, my wife Kaye & I like to call ourselves ‘slow-mads’.
We’re not into doing ‘the loop’ of AU (yet!)… rather we love finding places we like and spending some time getting to know the local area and local people. Like Cairns & all the lovely places on the way up, then Toowoomba and now Hervey Bay in QLD.
Now this is where it becomes interesting. You see, the average caravanner ‘on holiday’ only stays a few nights, maybe a week and then moves on.
But in that short period of time, the things we’ve seen have shown us just what people – out of their ‘normal day to day lives’, are really like.
Of course, there are the ‘semi-permanents’ – a bit like us – that all share the park’s facilities and get to know each other pretty well. Now THAT’s an interesting one in itself!!
Ok… so let’s start with the ‘travellers’.
Now we know everyone has to start somewhere when it comes to towing a caravan. We did… whether that’s a small box trailer with a fold out tent, or a 20ft+ fully self-contained ‘home on wheels’ like we have now.
And while the idea of getting away for a short break is great, it’s pretty obvious a lot of marriages are put to the test once the van arrives at a caravan park and needs to be reversed into a spot.
Many seasoned travellers actually LOVE gathering together for afternoon ‘drinkies’ when most new arrivals come through. Watching the ‘newbies’ reverse gives them plenty of laughs, especially when the (usually) wife has no idea how to direct the driver.
Stop. STOP. Left hand down.. NO NO, Right hand down? WAIT WAIT… ARRGGHH!! …
And speaking of afternoon or even night-time drinkies around a fire. That is something we DO NOT partake in at caravan parks! Why?
Well for starters – at the risk of being ageist – most of these people are ‘old-farts’. Now that doesn’t mean they are old so much, rather they THINK they’re old, retired or soon to retire.
But for me, the big issue is the conversation! – Almost 100% of the time (to the few drinkies we’ve ever been to), the blokes all know EVERYTHING about 4WD’s, caravans, solar, gas, towing, weights and more. Worse still, they all sit together & talk endlessly about that & more boring stuff.
And the women? They usually all sit together too and (from our experience) mostly winge about the park’s amenities, the lack of this that or the other, how hard it is cooking inside the van or the fridge is too small or the bed is not as good as the one at home etc!!!... It’s never ending!!
Now if you’re reading this and you are a ‘traveller’ – full-time or otherwise, this may not be YOUR experience, ok?... But it’s certainly painted a picture for us, that at times is pretty funny and other times a bit sad.
On the ‘funny’ side… we did a podcast with the (then) new managers of the Discovery Parks - Cluden Townsville QLD in the suburb of Cluden!... a while back trying out ‘drinkies’.
In fact it was a bit of fun as it happens.
The podcast was for one of our other projects, Food-Wine-Pets-Travel. <-- Podcast...
We (jokingly) told the group that originally it was called Food-Wine-Sex-Travel… until we realised there was no sex in caravan parks….
“OH YES THERE IS !!!” … shouted the new park managers to the roar of laughter from everyone as they spilt their drinks!
It was about then one of the other people reminded us all of the classic quote… “Don’t Come Knockin’ If The Van Is Rockin’ ” so yes, there can be some fun moments at these ‘event’s.
PODCAST: You can listen to that moment here!
READ Part-2 here... Peek-a-boo, Who's watching you! - Semi-Permanents & Domestic Violence!
© 2022 - Brian Pickering