I checked the weather outlook. An hour later, I checked again. And then again. All week in fact. Obsessive? Me? No, surely not…

We were going camping for the first time in our new green tent, the one with the annex. I couldn’t wait to put it up. But the weather was the key. Bad weather would be disaster! I checked on cabins (just in case). There wasn’t much available, it’s a popular spot. We could rent the ‘palace for six’ – overkill for the two of us. Hold off for now. So I checked the weather again – still rain. But how much rain? The chance of rain? Light rain? Heavy rain? Possible showers? Rain, just rain.

So Saturday morning we packed up and headed to the camping store for just a few more items… novices! We finally left late morning and hit the traffic jam heading out of town. We arrived at our campground at four in the afternoon feeling out of place amongst families and grey nomads. We negotiated the spot backing onto trees as far from the facilities as possible. Snobs!

That shiny green tent looked easy to erect in the pictures. It took a couple of hours. The colour-coded poles were reversed. The bendy spring-action was tricky. I got inside and balanced the collapsed tent on my head. We provided the afternoon entertainment. But we did well. There was no cursing (well, not at each other). We kept our defeatist fantasies to ourselves until afterwards. What a sense of accomplishment!

By then it was time to start dinner before dark. The vacuum-packed steaks never tasted so good. They cooked on our tiny butane stove in two minutes. I barely had time to make the salad with feta. Just as we finished dinner, it started to rain. The worst had happened. We took our tiny stove into the annex and made a cup of tea and listened to the rain. And smiled.

The rain got heavy overnight. Drops hit my face. My boyfriend fixed it with a teatowel above the inner skin of the tent. It worked. Eventually we got used to the sound of the rain and slept. In the morning we went for a walk, climbed a rocky outcrop and saw a pod of dolphins playing in the swell.

We walked the wide curve of the beach, overcast and deserted except for fishing enthusiasts and packs of young teens. We climbed the slab of rock at the end and got caught in the rain on the way back. Soggy but alive.

Back at camp, we had hot showers and heated up the soup for lunch (that annex was gold). A nap and then a walk to the lighthouse in the afternoon when the rain stopped again. We saw more dolphins swimming close to land on the next beach over. Dolphin’s galore but a thrill every time.

The final day was glorious. Bright and sunny. It helped to dry our tent before we packed it away. We had a couple of hours at the beach and an optimistic swim in freezing surf. Yes, it is still spring. Does it count that no one got their hair wet? I think so. It was cold enough to count. And we didn’t want to leave…

So that dreaded thing happened, it rained and rained. But we had a great time anyway. It was awkward and uncomfortable and lovely. We slowed down. We walked. We slept. We made meals. Very simple.

I’ve written about this before… some good things happen in your uncomfort zone.

What about you? What happens when you step into your uncomfort zone?

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