“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, To roam the roads of lands remote, To travel is to live.” -Hans Christian Andersen
Like many of you, we have stayed very close to home since the initial lockdown in our corner of the USA in March of 2020. Many plans were placed and dashed and we finally settled into the beautiful Pacific Northwest, knowing when the time was right we would know it. That time is now. We have sold and donated everything we own, again, and packed our five carry-on bags.
Since there are still many travel restrictions in place, and those regulations change daily, travel right now takes determination. When we voted on where we would like to start this new chapter or our international adventure, Eurocamping in Italy was the unanimous decision.
I have written a great deal about our experience with Eurocamp over the years because it is truly magical for families. We have spent almost 200 days in more than five countries at various Eurocamp parcs. Eurocamp uses existing campground facilities around Europe and leases a portion of that campground for its sites. The sites may house anything from RV and tent sites to holiday homes, lodges and bungalows. While Eurocampers have access to all the facilities, they also have a holiday courier dedicated just to Eurocamp who is the intermediary between their guest and the main campground.
They almost always offer special amenities, games, kids clubs, and camps, designed and delivered by Eurocamp for their customers. For example, we checked kayaks out daily at the Jura, France camp, our kids did animal feedings at the zoo on-site in Noja, Spain and when chasing the Tour de France, we planned a multiparc holiday that allowed us to see the French countryside and three stages of Le Tour! We have stayed in everything from a safari tent at Lake Bolsena, Italy to a three-bedroom holiday home in Maisson Lafitte, France.
On this trip, we headed for Camping Village Fabulous in Rome because we wanted to spend some time in the sun before heading to the Italian Alps for the winter.
Why Wander Now?
Over the past few years, there have been so many blurred boundaries rendering the “vacation” mentality non-existent. With three teens doing school online at home, while we worked and cooked and kept everyone healthy, it was challenging to carve out time to just play together.
We knew Eurocamp would give us this time before settling into “real” life in our next destination. The beauty of Eurocamp is they think of everything so we simply don’t have to. The vacation starts at the moment we check-in. We showed up with our carry-on bags and everything else was taken care of. Need to rest? The linens and towels were ready in our accommodation. Need a snack? Head to the pool bar, piazza café, or beautiful restaurant nestled in the pine forest. Need any tips for seeing Rome? The front desk has transport tickets, maps, and insider tips. Need to cool off? There is a beautiful lagoon pool as well as an additional pool lined with breezy cabanas. Need some groceries? There is a market just inside the parc gate that has everything a family could possibly need. We were able to get right down to relaxing and didn’t waste a moment on logistics as they were all taken care of.
Because many people are not traveling right now, destinations like Rome that were previously drowning in tourism, are now very accessible and, dare I say, peaceful? Camping Village Fabulous is only a metro ride to the center of Rome making it the perfect solution for families that want to explore the sites but also spend lazy days poolside.
On our last visit to Rome in 2014, we waited hours in line to see the Colosseum, Forum, and Pantheon. The Sistine Chapel took all day. On this trip, we sailed through every site, not a line to be seen. At night it was even more peaceful as the few tour operators that were running had gone home for the day. We wandered the streets during sunset as the open-air museum that is Rome illuminated seemingly just for us. We sat by the Trevi fountain eating gelato and listening to the birds chirping on their way to bed feeling like this was the first time we had ever really seen Rome for all its beauty. It is amazing what reveals itself when you don’t have to wade through throngs of people. We truly had room to roam and it was glorious and indulging for all of our senses.
We questioned our decision to leave the USA many times as we prepared for this international journey. We wondered if it was the right time and if everything would be ok. We knew at some level it was time for us and our week in Rome confirmed that we were on the right path. The time together as a family, wandering never before seen streets in Rome one day, and playing games in the pool the next, seemed to give us a renewed feeling of hope and excitement that we haven’t felt in a while.
The hoops to jump through to travel are a deterrent for many but the second we landed in Rome, we knew it was worth it. To minimize our belongings, carry what we own with us, listen to a foreign language, taste new flavors, run for trains, linger over a cappuccino, wander and get lost, these things bring us to life in a new way that we appreciate even more perhaps, after the experience of the past few years.
“To travel is to live” and sometimes we move closer to home and sometimes further away but one thing remains the same … For our family, all roads lead to roaming.
Here is a link to a blog we posted in 2018 with a video that will give you insight into time spent at various Eurocamp parcs from the beaches of Spain to the French Pyrenees.