I'm not a happy camper. My idea of spending time in a tent is preferably more like this

and a lot less like this

tortuous hell under a blue tarp

I have lived in two un-renovated houses as an adult for years at a time, so I don't think I'm precious. Frankly, they were quite like camping at times, with holes in the wall, no electricity to the bathroom for 6 months, and showering with thongs (flip flops) on for 6 months as the shower that came with the house probably harboured horrible fungal bacteria, despite dousing a crate load of bleach around. I don't need the experience of communal showers to make my life complete.

 I also prefer to come back from a holiday feeling like I've had one. This doesn't happen when you're woken at 5am by dawn/ it's freezing/ everything you cook has sand in it/ you come home with 10 days worth of dirt encrusted on your skin that requires an acid bath to remove.

Our children are desperate to go Caravaning somewhere. Needless to say, I'm not terribly keen. But when I saw these images below, and read about this Caravan I though, I could probably do this....

This couple, Interior Designer Rachel Horn and her husband and business partner Justin Kreizel bought a 1969 Airstream and gutted and renovated it to quite a high, and stylish standard.

There is a consistent aesthetic throughout - neutrals, chrome, animal print, marble and mirrored surfaces.

love these upholstered bedheads

lots of attention to detail, even the foot washing bucket is a stylish galvanised iron, and those lovely chrome hurricane lanterns are not put there for a photo shoot... they travel with them at all times.

Not a spec of plastic, polyester or laminated walls to be seen.

So, never thought I'd say that I've found my dream caravan, but I have. There's just one little problem. It doesn't look like it has room for the kids dammit. So unfortunately it looks like the camping's going to have to wait a while longer for me.

What do you think? Would you camp in this or do you really love to commune with the great outdoors and prefer the blue tent to feel like you've made a break from the world?



  1. Oh Heidi, do NOT be seduced.....there is nothing glam about motorhoming even in that stunning, gorgeously converted Airstream as the problems would be 1) where are you going to park it and 2) how are you going to find even five minutes respite from your children and 3) unfortunately the toilet canister will need to be emptied at some stage.... these are the overriding factors that make motorhoming unpleasant full stop. I know what I'm talking about as I endured a 10 day motorhoming holiday through the Cotswalds and Cornwall with my family.....our first stop was a Tesco carpark for a picnic and I knew without a doubt from that minute that it had been a terrible, terrible mistake. At one stage when I couldn't take it any more I pleaded with my husband to leave it in the trailer park for the night and negotiate us a suite at the beautiful Edwardian villa perched above the sea in Lynmouth where we were having a cream tea.....there was room for us....however they didn't take children! Don't do it! Rx

    1. Dying laughing Romy - Please, please PLEASE blog about your trip... it sounds hilarious. My parent's took us in a campervan around Europe when I was 4. It's left me with the sense that it's not a lot of fun for the adults on the trip. I remember my Father frequently going off on walks on his own in the dark to escape the campervan mayhem behind him. I think it was my mother's idea... as I said in a previous blog post by the last family holiday in the USA/ Canada when I was 9, Dad vowed never to go on another one (so mum took us to Europe on her own). We used to play "hide from the border guards" at passport control points, and also put signs up on the back windows saying "help, we have been kidnapped" and wave at the cars behind us trying to look distressed (back in the days when you could just roam around freely without being strapped into a carseat). Fun times. Needless to say I'm not that keen to let my children have the same experience....!

    2. I'm with Romy. I don't camp and I certainly don't caravan. I'd rather stab myself in the foot with a fork than subject myself to either!
      I'd certainly go glamping at that Aman Resort, but no no no to proper camping. My children think I'm a total killjoy. Perhaps I am, but I Will Not Camp.
      a good girlfriend has been seduced by the charms of airstream caravans recently since receiving a book on vintage caravans. She too is deluding herself that going on a caravan holiday would be fun.....

      Just say no!!!

    3. Oh that Aman resort is right up my alley... if not my budget. Whenever a caravan goes past on the road and the kids start asking if we can get one, I tell them they are very expensive and we can't afford one. No doubt they drive past caravan parks and look at the inhabitants and think they are multi millionaires! xx

    4. Oh also in a most deluded moment had a family holiday in the South Pacific on a cruise ship and don't recommend that either! Again, it was my husbands idea & I was seduced by the idea of drinks in a coconut.....knew it was a mistake when the Neil Diamond impersonator got going up on deck! Rx

    5. Neil Diamond impersonator?? Oh dear! Cruises don't appeal hugely to me. Yachts do, but cruising with hundreds of other people doesn't really strike me as fun. You really should blog about this. It would be therapy, and make for an interesting series on what to avoid for the rest of us. xx

    6. I've done the yacht thing. Less glamorous than it sounds. A tiny bit like a caravan on water unless it is a huge glamorous boat with crew.

    7. Definitely boat with crew. Although I could do a family yacht holiday once they're older and have less risk of drowning... otherwise the entire holiday I would spend on edge.

  2. and I suspect not having for room for the kids is what would keep it so sleek! (but where's the fun in that???) x

    1. quite true Virginia - I'm not so sure fingerprints on all the reflective surfaces would make it look quite so sleek?! x

  3. Dear Heidi

    Agree with Romy, don't do it! Love the tale of your Campervan holiday with parents in the US. No wonder it weas their last!

    We camped around Western Europe for holidays when husband was studying/working in the UK, for 5 years. I remember driving from camp to camp in France in April looking for places with Hot Showers! Even ones with signs boasting this turned out not to offer hot water in April. I guess they thought if you were camping then you had to be mad - or Aussies or Kiwis - and they were right. Still it was all we could afford and enabled us to go everywhere from the slopes of Ben Nevis to a baked earth place in Marrakesh, with cold showers, but fine in the heat. The major downside was that the showers for men and women faced directly into each other separated only by bamboo poles about 1 foot apart. I remember being eyeball to eyeball with a large Frenchman who was busy soaping his unmentionables. I quickly averted horrified gaze and always wore a swimsuit to shower which the French thought was quite strange and eccentric.
    But on the whole people everywhere were really friendly and we had some good evenings in the camp bar when we were pretty much still kids, with other students producing guitars and singing folk and Beatle songs. We all shared info on good places to go. In Tarragona another Aussie couple took us to a working man's bar for lunch. We'd meant to leave later that day for our next port of call. But. We were trapped (though not in a bad way) by all the Spanish guys (no other women there) talking in sign language about Australia and doing skippy hops. We were just about to leave when another round of red wine and tapas (fabuous local seafood) that we hadn't ordered turned up. We told the waiter it was a mistake and he just pointed to all the guys in the bar. So then we had to return the shout. Honour of Oz and all that. Went on all afternoon. They were so friendly and sang and played guitars and we were all best friends by evening. We finally managed to drag ourselves away despite their protests. They wanted to take us to a bullfight the next day but by then we were on the road to Valencia.
    At the end of the five years we sold the tent and all the camping equipment to the Cambridge boy scout troop after I told husband I Was Never Camping Again. And never have! Stick to your guns Heidi, would be a horror with kids. If they really insist, let it be a Dad and kids camping weekend and you go to a spa.
    PS Love your blingy necklace in last post - who was designer/shop? Best wishes, Pamela

    1. Necklace was Kate Spade - bought it on eBay for 1/5th retail price.
      Love your camping stories Pamela - you were very adventurous. I've never backpacked either... we travel with suitcases. Large ones.
      Actually, Mr AV decided to try soft camping with the kids last year. He bought a small tent and air matresses and he took the oldest two with him to my Dad's place - they camped down the bottom of the garden in the forest. I had a nice peaceful night at home with only the little one in bed. Around 6.45 am the next morning they returned. They went to bed around midnight and woke up around 5am. He said there was nothing to do to keep them entertained, so by 6.30am they drove home. My Dad wandered down around 7.30am to find the campsite deserted which he and mum found hilarious. So I don't think we'll try again soon! xx

  4. The stepkis once asked to go camping but I explained it wasn't possible - we are Resort People I'm afraid.

    My sister's daughter asked to camp- she was told they were Hotel Folk.

    So my dad set up a tent in the garden for her. Which is suffice.

    We camped as kids and I liked some of it but as I age I am dependant on electricity and foxtel. I don't even like to visit people's homes who have incomplete channel packages.

    I wish you lived here, I'd make you meet for lunch to work shoppe Mad Men x

    1. I can't imagine you in camping clothing. You wouldn't own anything suitable - Pucci caftans don't work in the dirt.

      Laughing at incomplete channel packages. You'll get along well with Mr AV. We have every channel, just in case he ever wants to watch something. Then he downloads it all on his ipad anyway.

      Would love a lunch to workshop Mad Men, last night's episode was v interesting. Am thinking of stylistically themeing our joint 40th around it. Which is not for a while mind you. I might be in Brisbane in October... we could do dinner instead (unless you feel like coming to Adelaide before then?) xx

  5. Oh all the various stories about camping are so funny!

    I camped properly as a girl scout one night - just isn't me.

    But I have a wonderful memory of taking a caravan from Melbourne to Sydney when I was around 6 or 7. We were delivering the caravan from Melbourne to another friend who was borrowing all the way along the NSW coast. It was stunning and I just loooooved it.

    I know I can be a bit like a gypsy so probably why I felt so at home. Mother didn't like it though. We never did it again.

    I don't think I would camp in the UK - have you seen my gypsy weddings? it was a huge hit last year - it was amazing viewing - but if you went around in a caravan you would be seen of as a gypsy unless you were in the lake district. it's not that being seen as a gypsy is the issue but Mr AV might get challenged a bare knuckle fight and all the other women would be tsk tsking you because you aren't wiping down the exterior with Dettol - they are fastidious housewives! xx

    1. Yes, always watch the gypsy shows on Foxtel! Quite eye opening i have to say. I always remember when I was living in London there was a news story unfolding over a two week period, a group of travellers/ gypsies were going on a cheap package holiday to somewhere like Tenerife, and they got completely drunk on the plane, so the pilot diverted to a nearby airport in the middle of nowhere and ejected them. They were then stuck on some random island with all major carriers refusing to take them back to the UK. They eventually made it home after a week or two in an airport, to find they were being investigated by Inland Revenue as they were all on disability pensions etc and yet had paid cash for a reasonably expensive holiday...

  6. No blue tent for me Heidi - tortuous hell is an understatement!! The only "stars" I want to see are a 5-Star resort!! My husband and two boys (17 and 19) love camping and go regularly. I get the absolute privilege of staying home alone and that is a true holiday in itself!! Jo xx

    1. Haha - very funny Jo! I think you're onto a good thing by encouraging your boys to go camping... and if Mr AV can get over his first camping experiences with the kids I will definitely be encouraging them all to go again, without me of course xx

  7. I love camping! It's such a great way to clear your mind, feel what it's like to live with less and enjoy the outdoors. I always come home from a trip with a new perspective on "stuff" and needs. Over Easter, I camped for five days in below freezing weather. It's key to be well-equipped, though. We have a fantastic tent and all of the right clothes and sleeping bags to actually stay warm and comfortable.

    I rock climb, and for me camping is part of the aesthetic of the sport. In North America, that's definitely true, but in Europe there is a higher expectation of comfort and not as much expectation that one be "hardcore." Nonetheless, I love camping because I love being in remote areas and not going indoors for days at a time. I don't like to camp just for the fun of it - what do you do all day? For me it's a vehicle for being close to good climbing.

    I am an infrequent commenter here, but an avid reader - I really enjoy your blog.

    1. Hi Abby, glad to hear from someone who enjoys camping to give another perspective! It is the only way to see some beautiful and remote places in this world, I'm very impressed by your commitment though to camp in sub freezing temps... camping and rock climbing go hand in hand I think- my brother in law rock climbed until a bad fall (he's fine now, but it was very scary at the time) and you do have to camp out of necessity to get to the best spots. xx

  8. oh yes Id go caravanning in that though so much depends on who with!

    Ah camping , I actually did quite alot of it about 17 yeara ago ..I did survive each time although there was a memorable 17K walk when the car broke down ..needless to say I put up with it for the sake of a MAN

  9. I can camp - but it is not my favourite. Short camping trips are best. Any longer and I start wondering why I chose a holiday where day to day jobs (like feeding my family and providing them with cleanish clothes etc which I am trying to escape from) are harder.

    I think at heart I am a resort girl.

    That is a very shiny caravan. You would still have to tow it though! The Farmer hates caravans with a passion on the towing basis. For some reason he will happily tow our boat though.....

    Hope all well with you. horrible and hot here today. Will autumn ever come?

    1. I think the Farmer has worked out his priorities, and the boat is a better investment of time for him... a caravan is not. I like a resort, but I loath the 5.30am wakeup from overexcited children who want to be in the pool right that very moment. All our photos of resort holidays I have bags under my eyes...!
      Very warm here too, although not as hot as in WA... you should see how dry the ground is that they are digging down into for Mr AV's office basement room - 3 meters down and bone dry. xx

  10. I went on a school camp in year ... 8 maybe? That was the first and last time. Not my kindda thing, which is a shame because MrB loves it and camped with his family since he was a baby!!! His parents were very brave...

    Each to their own I guess :)


  11. Hi Heidi
    I have found the best way to go camping is with some other friends and to a location that is prettier than your average campground. Then it's actually fun! We found Melrose was a lovely one for families - and the pub nearby is great for a family friendly meal. And Moonta Bay, with the view straight out over the beach.
    I know how much the kids adore these trips, so I'm glad we did it when they were young. But honestly, I feel I've paid my camping dues now...I would love to think I never have to do it again!
    Cheers, Renie


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