Updated: Oct 19, 2019
I would never have described myself as an "outdoorsy" gal growing up. I liked reading books on couches and soft carpet and heaters. I threw dramatic tantrums at any mention of a school camp and most definitely feined at least one pretend sickness to try skip a camping trip. Growing up with three brothers I'd constantly be talking the talk about fishing and boating but when we actually got out on the boat with the fishing? I could think of nothing worse.
Now - I'm not proud of this by any means, I wish I had of been a girl who liked the outdoors more. And I wasn't the Queen either. I have no idea what any of the small cutlery is for and do not know what happens at a day spa still to this day. I sat somewhere comfortably within a 3-star kinda traveller. I like a good kitchenette but don't need a turndown service, ya feel?
When you date a new person, something bizarre happens to your brain -
- and you find yourself saying all kinds of weird things like:
I love camping, are you serious?
Rivers? The best!
I agree, powered sites are unnecessary.
And suddenly, you're just a few months into a new relationship, in the middle of South Australia, with no phone reception, (your mum minding your child), no shower to speak of, a campfire to cook any food you have and an unlocked caravan as your bed.
This was the trip I fell in love with Dave. And the outdoors.
Somewhere between the part where a fishing hook went clean through my skin and came out the other side, the half hour drive (including a car ferry) to the hospital nearest the Murray. The light conversation about the worst fishing injuries they'd seen in Younghusband and the part where they pulled the hook out of my finger the way it came in; I knew I wanted to spend my life with this person. And that I must confess this was perhaps my second only fishing trip.
A farm life.
That was now two years ago. The first year of our relationship was littered with farm visits, bush walks and wilderness excursions and I was growing quite fond of it all. Also- turns out small boys love dirt and animals and water and mud so it was suiting Archie perfectly.
Lucky, because my boyfriend had begun work on an agricultural product and my Aunty and Uncle have a sheep farm, so when I paired them together it was nothing but farm for he next forevermore.
Thinking back now - how stupid I was to not embrace this beautiful, scenic property set in regional Victoria before.
Our first stay at her farm as "adults" (I'd only ever been there as a teenager before) was amazing. I've never seen Archie have more fun. Every acre of it (I have NO idea what an acre is but it sounds super profess and farmy) is breathtaking and waking up there was more relaxing than any beach holiday you could pay for (still open for beach holidays if someone wants to send me on one, contact on website). I was absolutely smitten with their farm and could not believe I'd never embraced it earlier.
Well. This opened a whole new world for me. Camping and farms and agriculture and nature. I have never been so happy to be so wrong about something before (except MAFS, I'm sorry I put you through me watching that). The idea of no phone reception, no make up, no hair straighteners and nowhere to be is quite possibly the greatest thing I've ever encountered. Every single person in rural Victoria is the nicest person ever and ALL the produce is locally sourced. BECAUSE THEY LITERALLY MADE THE THING IN THEIR BACKYARD THAT DAY. Oh, and there are wineries everywhere. If you are uncertain about regional areas lemme tell you something: that's where the cheese is made. They have all your cheese and all your wine - how can you go wrong?
Gosh - I'm sorry. You're probably SO sick of me talking about Glamping at the Easter show but I actually have holiday withdrawal from all 24 hours of it. I am also aware this is still not camping - but I'm definitely almost there. Going in to the day before I was anxious -
because what's any event if you didn't spend days before it feeling anxious
- but I knew that Archie was going to absolutely love it. And he did. He has not stopped talking about it all week. He was retelling stories at school like a comedian on a world tour.
Five years ago the idea of sleeping overnight in a paddock surrounded by animals with a shower 100m away (no idea about metres, again, could be way off) would have been put in the no box for sure but last week I jumped at the chance. And can I ay - it was one of the best things I've ever done.
Archie woke at 6am to the sound of animals and woke me up "Mum! Mummy; can we get nutragrain?" A cereal bar and feeding animals breakfast are probably up there as his top two things in life at age three.
When we were packing out stuff on Saturday morning to go back out to the main showground he asked me where we were going
"We are finished the sleeping part now - we can go back out to the other fun part"
"This is the fun part. I want to live here with the sheep."
How insanely stoked I was to have a three year old that would rather run around asking Farmer Tim 7,000 questions about sheep butts than go on rides or look at showboats - I silently prayed please don't ever change!
However - to the five other tents that were looking for a quiet, 7am petting zoo experience, I am sorry. Archie does not do quiet, slow or tact a lot of the time. I also pray that doesn't change. Farmer Tim, I hope that his questions were your most unique yet and I believe he thinks you live there at the show, and it's now a toss up between being a farmer and a policeman as the best job ever.
The things we do for love, sometimes end up in new loves. I luckily now have an entire now world to explore and I KNOW I am very late to the game and feel free to I told you so me.
Thanks to a boyfriend who loves to assume I'll slide down every rock face, a son who would happily find any puddle to play in and a family I should have listened to YEARS ago - farms are my new favourite thing.
Be prepared to be dirty, maybe not shower as much (although my Aunty has an OUTSTANDING home on her farm) and definitely inhale spiders in your sleep (is that an actual thing, or a myth?) but LOVE every second of it.
The farm -