Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Life in the United States has slowly gotten less uncomfortable within the past two weeks. I expected to have to deal with reverse culture shock, but I didn’t know it would be so challenging to cope with. It’s very hard to be the person I was in Italy while I’m in Vermont simply because I am no longer in Florence; I don’t have the same experiences, interactions, views and lattes, or routines. And I am not the same person I was before my grand freshman adventure. Trying to find a balance between the two is an ongoing obstacle, but I am working my hardest to discover a rhythm and feeling of satisfaction. I wrote an article about reverse culture shock for FlockU, and it was published yesterday. Please give it a read here. My internship at VCS started yesterday, so there is a consistent structure and schedule to my day. It is a true blessing! Nicki also visited for five days which kept me busy laughing and positive. We had a lot of fun together like we alway have. Reuniting with all three grandparents and spending time with my mom and dad have also proven to be beneficial and therapeutic.
A few days before I departed from Italy, my parents informed me (via phone) that they had bought a trailer. I knew they were looking at them, since my mom had started a new job at a new location (like she does every three months). For some reason, I had it in my head that they were renting a trailer for three months. That made sense to me. Rent a trailer, enjoy living in a small space, have fun the woods. Finally it registered that they bought it, and my reaction was “WHAT?! What are you going to do with a trailer?!” When I showed the picture to my friends (who don’t have much experience camping), they said something along the lines of, “OMG. ARE ALL VERMONTERS THIS CRAZY?!” Not all of them are– only a select few.
Turns out that this trailer is the cutest little thing! I went to the Adirondacks with my grandparents the day it was delivered, helped get it set up, and spent the night with my mom on the queen sized mattress, snuggled up in my sleeping bag. Although it’s small, it has everything one could possibly need to live comfortably. A bed, radio, microwave, shower, toilet, two sinks, table, two gas burners, heat and AC, and most importantly, friendly neighbors.
Since my mom moved in, we’ve decorated the place with colorful bedding, photos, and small decor items. I’ve also stayed with her for three nights! It’s a lot more relaxing and cozy than one may think. Nicki (who is not a big fan of the great outdoors) can attest to that! She slept in the camper last week. It was a new experience for her, but she said she would do it again.
My dad and I both visited my mom a couple weeks ago. It was tight with three, but we were content. I cooked us a camper’s dinner, and we all read before falling asleep.
To me, this is the perfect ratio of ‘glam’ and ‘camping’. Thus the coined term ‘glamping.’ There is magically wifi in some campgrounds now, and it’s more industrial compared to a tent. However, it’s still rustic being in the woods. There’s something so serene and refreshing about living outside with limited civilization and having lights out by 10. My mom lives there five days a week. So for her, the trailer is home. And it’ll be a transportable home attached with a minimalist lifestyle for when she moves around the country. It’s not ‘luxurious glamping’ but rather ‘realistic glamping.’ Somehow going to Camping World with my dad off I-87 South for a sewer hose appears to be well worth it.
Do yourself the favor and be one with nature this summer at some point– in a tent or in a cabin, cottage, or trailer. Mother Nature is calling! xo ~ e.
*My friend Talia is studying abroad in Copenhagen next semester! I wrote this guest post in honor of her for the Wonder Forest.