It’s no surprise that most RV’ers and most campers spend their time in rural campgrounds. There are metropolitan campgrounds — you have to look harder to find them, but they exist: private RV parks, fairgrounds, sometimes even gas stations/truckstops within the city limits. But most RV’ers I know, and almost all the campers I know aren’t interested in them — except for the odd, extraordinary circumstantial situation. I’ll venture a guess to say it’s because of the people you meet in the other campgrounds.
The everyday kindness of the back roads
more than makes up for
the acts of greed in the headlines.
– Charles Kuralt
I know I’ve talked about this from several points of view in the past but the single most abiding memory of RV’ing has been amazing people we meet along the way. Twice this past week we have been the recipients of gifts of kindess from people we’ve barely met: one gift of cookies, another gift of fresh corn right out of the farmer’s field.
It strikes me that a fundamental difference between RV’ing and one’s old city life, and between rural living and city dwellers is that on the one hand you are isolated from your neighbors and people in general by walls, and the pace of life separates us from others — making it difficult to really know anyone in the city. On the other hand, while camping or if you live rurally your are more accessible to others, your activities are hardly hidden and your character/personality is much more evident to all around you.
In town your house tells others who you are. Your garden — or lack of garden does as well. How high and how secure your fence is speaks quite loudly too, as does your automobile. Observing all those tells a neighbor or a stranger a lot more about who you are than you might ever guess.
In a camper, tent, or motorhome there may be clues in how fancy your equipment looks but it’s not all that easy to tell the age of an RV and the value of camping equipment is a little harder to assess. Your presence in the campground, or RV park, is more limited. The space you occupy is small, you may not be free to make permanent changes so you don’t settle in as much as you might in a house. What is left upon which to base the judgements that you know people want to make is your behavior — visible and invisible — within the campground. Do you spend all your time in your camper? Or outside? Do you interact with people as they pass by? How do your pets interact with passersby? You are a lot more on display than you might think.
If you ask me, that’s a good thing. People can see who you are. They can react to your kindness, to your friendship, to your polite behavior — and it surely seems to me that when you smile at someone else, they are much more likely to smile back. If you treat them nicely, they are a lot more likely to treat you well too.
Have yourself a great day. I’m going to stay out of the rain and it being a Friday as I write I’ll be busy greeting a campground full of campers today! Talk to you tomorrow.