Jervis Bay Campsite

Camping, Kangaroos & A Fine Looking Teepee

Derek Australia 31 Comments

Jervis Bay CampsiteFor the past two nights I slept in a teepee. This wasn’t any ordinary teepee either. It was the TeePee 2000, the mother of all modern day teepees, built with such skill and precision and with the comfort of potential inhabitants carefully considered with every stitch.

A friend of mine here in Sydney told me the story of how he and three others wandered into a Sydney Kmart one day and upon seeing the TeePee 2000 for the very first time, decided on the spot to split the $40 investment among them. And ever since that moment some three years ago, that teepee has accompanied him on every camping trip he has ever taken.

So naturally, the reason why I was sleeping in a TeePee 2000 this weekend is because I was camping. I know that might not sound so natural given my recent rant about the combination of camping and music festivals, but I assure you, nothing more than some tunes from an iPod could be heard around the campsite this time around.

After the positive results of my recent weekend stay at a sheep farm, I’ve found myself somewhat addicted to the idea of spending more time outdoors, right up close and personal with nature. So when the opportunity arose to join some friends for a camping trip to the Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay, a nature reserve located three hours south of Sydney, I stuffed a few clothing items into a daypack, cut my toenails, shaved my armpits and joined the group.

And as expected, I loved every minute of this nature break. Jervis Bay turned out to be quite the perfect camping destination.

Not only were the campsites ideally situated within a eucalyptus and mahogany forest, each site was also only a few minutes walk away from a quiet, yet long stretch of white sand beach. Add to this the dozens of kangaroos and wallabies hopping around and the hundreds of colorful Rosellas flying all throughout the forest and one can easily get the impression that they have reached some remote, completely unexplored corner of the globe. We even had a mother/daughter pair of kangaroos that spent twenty-four straight hours feeding on a grassy patch only five meters from our tents, practically never even taking notice of us at all.

For three days I ate good food, drank good wine, went to sleep early, slept soundly each night, swam in the ocean, hiked through the forests and went kayaking around the bay. And again, I felt more relaxed, more present in the moment and so much healthier overall than at any time in the past six months or perhaps even six years.

Waking up to the birds chirping away at sunrise and then sharing the beach with more kangaroos than human beings seems to have that powerful effect on me.

And of course, sleeping in a teepee in the thick of the forest, with the sound of waves gently tumbling against the shores of the bay in the near distance, is just awesome.


View Jervis Bay, Australia in a larger map

THE ONLY DOWNSIDE

However, in all seriousness, while these ‘breaks’ have proven to be quite therapeutic for me, I must also admit that they are terrible for my blog. I can’t help but notice that the number of visitors to this site plummet every time I step away from my laptop for two days or more. The natural instinct is therefore to stop taking these breaks in fear that such a trend will continue and before long I am again writing only to my family and closest friends. (Not that there is anything wrong with that but I do wish to write for a larger audience.)

But after some thought, I’ve chosen not to worry too much about this potential problem. Without these mini-breaks, I not only wouldn’t be able to maintain this blog much longer but I also wouldn’t be putting into practice what I believe is most important in life. How can I talk about the need to fill one’s life with whatever brings you the most happiness and the least amount of regrets when I am not doing so myself? I can’t. And considering that I love the feeling of being outdoors and more specifically, being away from my computer every now and then, these nature breaks must continue.

For now, I’ll be sticking around Sydney for six more days in order to attend the Sydney Travel Tribe meet-up this Thursday (where I look forward to meeting some great bloggers such as Caz & Craig of YTravelBlog.com and Brooke from BrookeVsTheWorld.com), then flying out to Perth on Saturday and finally, back to Chiang Mai, Thailand on March 2nd.

So as always, if any of you happen to be in any of these locations, let me know and perhaps we’ll have a chance to meet up at some point!

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Comments 31

  1. Dez

    Maybe this comment’s a little late, but I only just started reading your blog. It seems to me that you crave a more pure, natural way of life as much as the next traveler. If you feel so much pressure from something that you’re supposed to enjoy, then I don’t think you have a sustainable way of life, and the ability to adapt and change your way of thinking is what you need. By attaching so much value to what is essentially a way of making money (not that I’m saying you’re greedy or don’t enjoy it, don’t get me wrong!), you may be losing sight of what you set out to accomplish in the first place, which, from what I’ve understood, was to leave behind a ‘normal’ way of life in the pursuit of self-betterment. No matter how much love you put into your online work or blog, you shouldn’t let it cause you such worries. Good luck, in any case!

  2. Bluegreen Kirk

    I think taking a break from something is always important. You dont want you blogging to become the J word. Jobs are the reason most of us look to travel. Nice looking teepee i have yet to go camping.

  3. Verity

    *Sigh* you make me miss home so much. I really want to go camping in the outback again. I am sick of the freezing winters and the lack of sun.

    Jervis Bay is such a lovely place *sigh*. Crimson rosellas *sigh*. Kangaroos *sigh*.

    Man I need to get back home.

    1. Earl

      Sorry to make you homesick Verity! I can see how thoughts of Jervis Bay could have that effect. Hopefully a trip home is in your plans for the near future?

  4. Michael

    Hey Earl,

    We went camping in Jervis Bay over Christmas again. If the weather is on the money then it is one of the best places in Australia. Definitely some of the whitest beaches and lots of friendly wildlife.
    I will be at Travel Tribe tonight so looking forward to catching up with you while you are here.
    🙂

    1. Earl

      Hey Michael – I think the Green Patch down there in Jervis Bay is now one of my favorite camping locations! Such a good place to spend a few days. And it was excellent meeting you last night and having a chance to chat a bit! Looking forward to interacting with you and your site some more.

  5. Little House

    I think it’s important to balance your blogging time with your “you” time. So getting away every now and then is good for you and your blog, not detrimental. Your camping trip sounds awesome and a much needed break.

    1. Earl

      @Little House: Thank you for that. Even though it seems obvious that taking breaks is important, it doesn’t really sink in until I hear other people confirm it 🙂

  6. Kirsty

    This location sounds awesome – I used to go camping a lot when I was younger but haven’t done it so far on this trip! I think you need to step away from the internet once in a while, right now I am spending far too long on here rather than exploring – but we’re heading into southern laos on Friday so I will be forced to give up the habit!
    Shame we didn’t meet before we left CM

    1. Earl

      Hey Kirsty – It is a shame we didn’t get a chance to meet up again. I’ll be heading back to CM in a week from today actually. Perhaps you guys should pass through CM one more time at some point! And glad to hear you’re about to take a break (even if it’s forced) as well. If there’s a perfect place out there to take a break, southern Laos just might be it!

  7. Jennifer Barry

    Hi Earl, I wouldn’t worry too much about your blog stats. If they go down for a little while, they will come right back. It’s not going to be you and crickets. 😉

    I totally believe in resting and recharging. You won’t have anything interesting to say if you spend all your time in front of a monitor! There’s no point to having a travel lifestyle if you don’t enjoy it.

    1. Earl

      Hey Jennifer – That is exactly what I want to avoid and sometimes I do find myself working so much that I forget to actually explore the places I’m visiting 🙂 And thank you for your support as always. It’s wonderful to know that there will always be a few readers around if I take a few breaks!

    1. Earl

      Thanks for that Ayngelina. It does help knowing that you found your break to be well worth it. And scheduled posting begins this week!

  8. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    Sounds like a relaxing couple of days!

    And randomly, my partner spent the first year of his life living in an actual teepee! He doesn’t think it’s a big deal (probably cuz he also spent a few years living in a yurt), but I think it’s pretty neat. 🙂

    1. Earl

      Hey Christy – He lived in a teepee and a yurt? I’d have to agree with you that it is quite neat 🙂 I was actually talking with a friend about a yurt community that exists in Colorado. Apparently there are over 50 yurts there these days and sometimes that seems like a very appealing place to live!

  9. jason

    Sounds like you had a good break up there mate. I wouldn’t worry about having some small time away from your blog, as it’s well established and a good read. People will always check back in, and when your up and about again it will be like you never left. Hope you’ve enjoyed your time in Australia, I enjoyed the catch up.

    1. Earl

      Hey Jason – Thanks for that comment. I think slowly I’ll come around to the idea that I won’t lose readers if I take a short break every now and then. Overall, my time here in Oz has been great and it was definitely good to meet up with you a couple of times. It’s always nice to chat with someone who’s been traveling for such a long time as well!

    1. Earl

      Hey Juno – It does feel good to sleep early every now and then, so hopefully you will have a chance to do so at some point soon 🙂 And you always seem peaceful to me so you must already have a good routine in place!

  10. Migrationology

    Nature breaks are can be such a glorious relief from staring into a computer. If I sit at my laptop too long and then go to the park, my eyes feel like they are still looking at a computer and my world remains slightly digital. I think a few days of relief is the key!

    1. Earl

      Hey Mark – That’s exactly what happens to me as well. It does take a couple of days to completely break out of the digital world. Sitting in a park while my brain is constantly thinking about emails and work doesn’t do me any good at all. These days it needs to be complete and long-lasting separation from my computer for there to be any true benefits.

      Looking forward to hopefully catching up with you in Thailand this time around!

  11. Sabina

    I think staying outside and away from the blog for a while is a very healthy idea. I’m glad that’s the road you’ve chosen. Maybe you can schedule some photo posts or something while you’re away. And may I ask, what does shaving your armpits have to do with camping? I have a guess, but I want to see if I’m right 😉

    1. Earl

      Hey Sabina – Well, shaving the armpits has very little to do with camping, but a) it happened to be time to shave my armpits (I do so every couple of weeks) and b) I just feel better when I’m running around the beach with clean shaven underarms 🙂

      And your idea of photo posts or something similar is a good one and is something that I will begin implementing soon.

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  13. palmersontheroad

    How long are you in Perth? We are 10 mins from the airport and you’re welcome to drop in for a beer.
    We are a big Aussie family and we love to travel, currently planning the next big one!
    Love the blog, and totally relate to the need to get away and hear the birds…..

    1. Earl

      @palmersontheroad: Thank you so much for the invitation! I’ll only be in Perth for two days (silly, I know but I wanted to have a quick look around at least) but I might have some free time to come out for a visit. I’ll send you an email in a few minutes!

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  15. Theodora

    First up, I think it’s ultra-important to have time away from your blog. Otherwise you might as well be working in an office…

    More practically, you can also set content up to post while you’re away, as I’m sure you know. Which might not be a bad way of keeping up your stats for a week or two offline…

    1. Earl

      Hey Theodora – Sometimes it already does feel as if I’m working in an office 🙂 And the scheduled posting is a good idea, one that I have yet to take full advantage of so far. Thanks for the reminder as now seems like a good time to start implementing it!

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