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Summer Adventures & Learning

I discovered during July that camping in a tent- which sounds great in my mind is not actually “my thing”. The fact that it took me from one trip in high school until my mid 40’s to go camping again is probably an indicator. The thing I thought I wished for was not really what I wanted and my spirit kept me from chasing that. I have always associated being out in nature and getting away from the world with camping, but the reality is something quite different.

We bought a tent used and it had a strong smell to it. My husband thought we could just wash it and it would be fine, but I am super sensitive to mold. And so is my son. So we got this tent and ended up spending two days trying to clean it and taking the train back and forth to a summer house so we could setup up (and clean) as there was no place by our apartment. And we headed out for our adventure. On the road to our camping, we saw this glorious rainbow. It was sunny when we were packing so we put the raincoats in a suitcase and we stuffed all our stuff in this little car share electric car. And then when we stopped to get a snack- the rain started. Following the downpour was this beautiful rainbow. Sometimes the storms come out of nowhere and rock your world - but hold on and keep going. The rainbow child is a reward for getting to the other side of loss/infertility. And I am certainly grateful for my rainbow kid who will soon turn 3 years old.

I will backtrack a bit here so you can understand why we went where we did on our vacation. . .

If you don’t know this about me, one of the reasons I landed in Sweden was because of lindy hop. My husband and I met on the dance floor when I was on travels to Sweden in 2010 and we both happen to dance a subset dance called balboa. We found each other on the dance floor because I saw him dancing balboa that first fateful night and then it took us 4 years before we really started to date online. Sweden is known for Herrang dance camp. It’s THE place that every lind hop dancer wishes to go to at some point as it’s the biggest camp in the world. When I told my dance friends I was moving to Sweden, they all assumed I met someone on the dance floor and that I was going to go to this dance camp every summer. And they were all jealous that I would live so close (within a few hours by car/bus). So, having moved to Stockholm 4 years ago, you would think that I would have danced a lot at this camp. However, when I moved to Sweden I had a really big goal of getting pregnant as soon as possible. And so with some help of acupuncture and some grounding and journaling and meditation - I was pregnant within 5 months of moving to this country from Seattle, WA. That was such a blessing after 10 years of waiting that it was my big priority. But, when the summer time rolled around and I was 7 months pregnant - I went to my first week of dance camp at Herrang. That year, my belly was huge and I had the need for a lot of rest and so I think I danced a few songs and took one evening class. The rest of the time I hung out in a nice place with some fun people.

The two years ago, I felt too exhausted and overwhelmed with parenting a 1-year-old to think of having all three of us go up there so I sent my husband to do a weekend on his own and I skipped out. Last summer, neither of us went and we did more adventures local to our place. So, needless to say, there has been a big build-up of excitement to FINALLY go to this camp when I could actually dance.

But, we had this musty tent that smelled not so great and gave me a headache to be in. The camping spot we picked had no shade from trees or anything so at about 2 am it was freezing cold - put on all your extra clothes and zip up the sleeping bag cold. At 7 or 8am, the tent was so hot that we were un-layering clothes and unzipping the windows for ventilation.

The first night my son ran around inside the tent super excited, but also a bit too hyper I think also from the musty smell / whatever toxins we were taking in. I went off to dance for about an hour or so before I got quite tired and wandered back to wake up my husband so he could dance for a bit. During the day I actually enjoyed wandering around to different areas with my son and checking out the play areas and digging in the sand. We met some nice people and enjoyed the sun. The second night, my son started running around in circles and was super upset and tired and ended up crying for about 3 hours before falling asleep. He was so upset that when he woke up at 3 am and would normally fall easily back asleep, he started crying again and only wanting to have me hold him. I was glad I chose not to go dancing the second night as I still got hardly any sleep.

We also got nibbled on quite a bit by all the mosquitoes. It was an exciting adventure and I think we are going to have to either stay with someone in a house next year or we will borrow an RV / motorhome.

I learned that I really don’t want to own a different tent. I would prefer to sleep in a bed and that I still can enjoy nature without carrying around so much stuff to enjoy nature with. I reaffirmed that I prefer dancing at a local event most of the time, to dancing at a camp when the dance floor is too crowded. But, I do enjoy international gatherings for a chance to meet new people and be social.

I’m continuing to learn about my limits and what will work for me and what won’t. And that I need to be very careful about exposing myself to toxins - mold, dust, heavy metals as my reaction can be much more extreme than for other people. I experience brain fog and more tiredness and headaches. It’s a lot of the symptoms I dealt with for years when trying to conceive. I guess I feel frustrated when I have to backtrack and recover from something again, but that is part of life. When stressed out by toxins or by situations in my life, I try to remember to drink more water, eat really well and make time to get extra sleep.

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