Backyard Camping

About this time, five years ago, Frank and I were driving around, running wedding errands. We were dreaming about our future and all the amazing things we planned to do over the years together. We started talking about things we wanted to do and see in Yellowstone, where we were honeymooning. Suddenly, my eyes filled with tears and I started crying.

I was so worried that, because we were driving to our honeymoon, I would never leave the country again for adventures. Ever since I was in high school, there have only been two or three years I have not taken a vacation outside of the United States. From my first solo trip to Estonia to living in Paris for four years to making international travel a priority once I got a job, I had only missed a couple years.

In the years since that meltdown, we have traveled internationally. Frank’s planned style of travel is so different from my show-up-and-see-what-happens method and we’ve had some amazing adventures, hiking the West Highland Way and going on a safari in southern Africa. Our new goal is to visit all seven continents. (I only have Antarctica left, but Frank won’t go until he’s caught up with Asia and Australia.)

Victoria Falls, Zambia
Victoria Falls, Zambia

For so long vacation only counted if my passport was stamped. And then, two summers ago, Bea was born. Not only did we not leave the country, I barely wanted to leave the city. We ended up babymooning at a fancy hotel in town. Bea was born at the end of July, so even after her birth we just nested at home. Last summer, we went on our first road trip with her to Utah, one of my favorite states. It was fun and filled with hiking, but my passport still lay dormant.

This year, we have no plans of leaving Colorado. For Christmas, we caved and purchased a behemoth 8-person tent. Compared with our two-person backpacking tent, this feels as big as our house. Our goal is to figure out amazing car camping so that Bea falls in love with the outdoors in the same ways we have. We’ll start in the backyard, move up to the Reservoir, and perhaps, by August we’ll make it into the mountains with her.

Trying out the new tent
Trying out the new tent

It’s taken some time, but I’m finally ok with viewing vacation differently. With a toddler, adventures happen in our backyard. I know that one day, my passport will be stamped again and until then, I’ll enjoy all the amazing places I haven’t yet discovered within driving distance of our home.

Where is your favorite vacation spot? Do you like roadtripping or international travel best?

Linked with The High Calling’s Best Vacation Stories linkup.


Published by

Annie Rim

Welcome! I live in Colorado with my family and have taught in the classroom, at an art museum, and now in the playroom. I reflect about life, faith, and books here on my blog.

14 thoughts on “Backyard Camping”

  1. Hey Annie, found you via Addie Zierman. I have tightened my circle of exploration with a toddler too, and I have found contentment and peace in that smaller life. We enjoy road trips to places a few hours away, camping, even staycations.

    1. I never thought I’d use the word staycation until we had Bea. And now I love them! 😉 I’m learning that smaller can be deeper. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. What a terrific lesson, and perspective, Annie. I loved this —

    “With a toddler, adventures happen in our backyard. I know that one day, my passport will be stamped again and until then, I’ll enjoy all the amazing places I haven’t yet discovered within driving distance of our home.”

    It was a joy to have you link with us at The High Calling.

  3. Annie – Your vacations and traveling around the world sound amazing. I have been out of the country twice, and am so thankful for those adventures. I’d love to travel internationally a few more times, at least. There are places I’d love to see. But I agree that there are amazing adventures – and actually the rest and relaxation of vacation – to be had in the simple, unexpected places. Your lesson is one we can all take to heart.

    1. I always need to remember that people travel here on vacation! So many amazing places still to see within driving distance. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. The three holidays that will live forever in our family history were all in North America. One began in Calgary, then we drove an RV (a terrifying beast of a thing, but we loved it) into the badlands, through the mountains and on to Vancouver. Another time we started in Los Angeles, drove through the desert to Vegas, on through amazing National Parks, visited the Grand Canyon, Brice, Zion and then went on to San Francisco and down the coast back to LA. Last summer we flew to Ottawa spent a week in Canada and then drove down through Seneca Falls, visited battlefields, learnt about the Civil War, stayed with friends in Washington, had five amazing days in New York and then wove up through beautiful countryside in Vermont on our way back to Ottawa. We love staying home in England, and have enjoyed trips to mainland Europe but North America has so much variety, natural beauty that never fails to awe and stun, the best museums anywhere, probably the best art collections, incredibly hospitable people and an amazing and inspiring history. Your daughter is very lucky that she’s going to be staycationing with you!

    1. We are so lucky to live close to such amazing places! Bryce and Zion are some of my favorite places. I think National Parks are such treasures.

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