My wife and I are camping. Our tenth anniversary is coming up this August 15. We decided to camp because it was something we enjoyed before we had kids. And it was cheap. In fact, the most expensive part of this trip is the gas, but that is a subject for a different post.
I’m typing on the computer (Yes, I know I’m camping, but I’m a writer. Writers write. Enough said.) My wife is reading next to me. The wind is blowing, and I successfully percolated coffee over a Colman stove for the first time. This is a perfect moment.
Because I’m me, I decided to list things we did to create this moment. I hope they help you plan perfect moments of your own.
We created time
The nice thing about anniversaries is that they come at the same time every year. Ten year anniversaries are equally predictable. We set aside the time and blocked it off on both our calendars. If anyone wanted that time, we apologized and explained that the time was unavailable. In every instance we were able to schedule things around our anniversary without compromising the time we set aside almost a year ago.
The time for experiences does not just happen. You have to create it and protect it.
We removed distractions.
While I obviously have my computer along with me, I do not have internet access. (To post this, I will have to drive about 15 miles into town. We will do that at the hottest part of the day, to cool off.) I have a cellphone, but I only have enough bars to get text messages. My mother-in-law (The blessed saint who is keeping my kids – thank you!) will text us if there is an emergency.
In other words, we made a point to get away from things that distract us so that we can focus on each other and doing things we love.
This experience is cash-only.
Because we operate on a cash-only system, I do not have to regret anything we spend on this trip. I think a cash-only, no regrets approach to vacations is the only way to go. Once again, we planned far enough in advance to set aside the money for the trip.
You should never regret a wonderful experience. Debt will kill your joy faster than almost anything else.
We had an adventure.
We are in a different state, in a new environment, doing something that we haven’t done in a long time. Everything is a discovery. We are on a grand adventure.
We agreed this was something we wanted to do. I didn’t persuade her that it was a good idea. She didn’t persuade me. There is no room for resentment or blame because we both own the experience. Additionally we own the outcome as well. Because we agreed, both of us are working to make this the best experience possible.
I’m sorry the writing is a little rough – I am roughing-it you know, with my laptop and everything! I hope to get some pictures and share them with you tomorrow. (Maybe I will take one of the beehive in the hollow of the tree above where we first pitched our tent…)