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Drive-thru nature

Alexander demonstrating how to make a picture from the car.

What kind of traveller are you when you go out on your holiday with a car/campervan or caravan?

Are you the type of traveller where the entire family gets out of the car/campervan for a walk on the pier and have a look around and go further than 30 meters from the car. Do you spend, give or take an hour to three hours exploring the harbour letting out your dogs or children, doing a bit of fishing. Walk up the steep hill, visit the shop…

Are you the type of traveller of which all occupants step out of the car with the dog, walk around but seems that you are tied to your car/campervan with an invisible rope of 30 meters long and you are absolutely unable to go any further. Do you walk for half an hour to one hour in a circle around the car and get back in and drive off again.

Do you recognize yourself as a traveller who drives up and only one person will go out for 30 meters on its invisible rope and take pictures while the other one remains in the car, usually the wife/girlfriend? She will read, do a bit of knitting or listen to the radio. She might open the door and steps outside to stand next to the car and have a look for 5 minutes max. Observation teaches us that the more expensive the car is, the shorter the walk.

Are you more of a traveller that likes to stay in your car/campervans and caravans? Snug as a bug in a rug, not coming out at all? Looking at nature from the safety of your own little room where you control the climate and keep the local wildlife (midgies) at bay. Even taking pictures through the window when it is not raining. Only coming outside to throw out the crumbs of lunch.

Are you more of a visitor who parks the camper of caravan and gets out the comfy chairs together with your dogs, the barbeque and beer. Play loud music and yell at each other or at your dogs. Littering the place and using the harbour as a toilet. Making the parking space into a camping site without any regards for other people?

With which vessel do you want to go for your holiday?

Have you made your choice?

I watch the holidaymakers with their chosen mode of transport while I paddle in for lunch in harbour or town. It is like a social experiment during lunch, predicting how long people will visit the harbour and what they will do.

I think the described categories have got a lot to do with how much do visitors want to engage with the surroundings. All categories can be placed on a scale of fear/comfort on one side and immersion on the opposite side.

Immersion stands for engaging with all aspects of nature. Putting an effort in by climbing a hill for the view. Not minding the rain or midgies when there is something nice to see as a beautiful view. When things are wet they will be dry again later on. Look at the local flora and fauna.

Fear/comfort stands for not going out at all and have control over your own environment. Nature is a scary place because it is dirty and there are animals. The weather is too hot, too wet, too cold, too… Not going too far from the car in case of getting lost or getting tired. Or having not enough skills to use a map when walking and only walking clear paths that are signposted.

Off the scale are people who are totally disconnected from the environment. They pollute the place where they have been camping, leave litter and have no regard for other people. Or on the other side, totally immersed people like us going around in a kayak and have only a tent to stay in.

Driving through the Grampians with sea kayaks on the roof of our car. We must look very out of place.

There is nothing wrong being on either side of the scale. As long as your holiday relaxes you and you can leave the stress of everyday life behind. Although, I do mind the people who are making a mess out of the place where they are staying.

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