“Every lonely city where I lay my hat, ain’t as half as pretty as where my baby’s at” – Howard Greenfield / Neil Sedaka.
Down the years of my travels, and also in my teenage life I have done a fair bit of camping. This even goes back to family holidays as a kid, school trips, Boy’s Brigade trips and even camping out in my own back garden with mates as a teenager! However, once wanderlust took over, the accommodation options increased and I love mixing it up. I hate the mundaneness of sleeping in the same places every night. As such, my sleeping career has included sleeping in well over 1,000 (and counting) different places.
This has ranged from bus shelters to aeroplanes to cars to buses to train to minibuses to lorries to ferries to ships to yachts to train stations to bus stations to airports to ferry terminals. It has also ranged from hostels to hotel to friend’s flats to bed and breakfasts to couchsurfing to volunteerships to sheds to barns and of course…to tents! I really hope I can document all those places I have slept one day. It would be a great document for me to reflect on. So many beds, so many cities.
I thought I would share some of my favourite camping memories here.
1.Boy’s Brigade trips in NORTHERN IRELAND
Aged 10 – 18 I enjoyed many crazy trips as a member of 10th Bangor Boy’s Brigade. During those days we also had trips to Republic of Ireland, England and Scotland. Some we stays in lodges, churches and dorm rooms. But often we went camping in places like Guysmere (Castlerock), Ganaway (Millisle) and in Larne. Those times went fast and photos don’t really remain, but I loved the adventure of it, even if nights could be cold and without much comfort.
I also played football for the BB and attended many events. The photos on this post remain some of the rare ones that survive.
2.Camping in Poatina, Tasmania, AUSTRALIA
When I lived in Australia, I was offered jobs on farms. My favourite was the broccoli harvesting but as we were located in the middle of nowhere, and to save money, I decided to sleep in a tent. So I bought a tent and that was a great way to work while camping out, and saving money. You can find reviews of such tents online and they are easy to buy and assemble. I was mostly based in Poatina though I camped out all over Tasmania in that tent! Crazy days.
3.Camping in the Serengeti, TANZANIA
From Tasmania to Tanzania! I loved spending a few nights in the desert and jungles of Africa. We stayed in the famous Serengeti in Tanzania. We saw a lot of wild animals including 4 of the “big 5” and we were sleeping within yards of wild hyenas. You can read about my Serengeti Safari here and also about my luxury night in one of the world’s most famous jungles, with Shadows of Africa.
4.Camping by the Darvaza Gas Crater, TURKMENISTAN
The final memory I want to include comes from Turkmenistan, a country that is pretty difficult to visit. Once I finally got my visa to complete my long awaited Soviet Union jigsaw, I had a few sights in mind – the Darvaza Gas Crater, Merv. Mary, Ashgabat and Konye Urgench in the north. We managed to see them all, some still unwritten about. My highlights were touring the city of the future, Ashgabat – a stunner, but more impressive was our night in the middle of nowhere camping out. We had tents only a few hundred metres from the Darvaza Gas Crater. It is an amazing experience.
Safe travels and good luck camping around the world.