You Can Take the Girl Out of the City...
The word ‘camping’ used to send shivers down my spine and, even as a carefree kid, I never joined the Girl Guides because I was afraid of the great unknown. As much as I love the idea of nature and animals, my version of hell is having nothing between my bare feet and the wet jungle floor—not that I will put myself in that situation in the first place. I’m the sort of person who uses rocks as stepping stones if I have to cross muddy paths and sprays on enough insect repellent to form a DEET force field. You get my drift; I’m more of a concrete jungle girl than the kind with actual trees.
I don’t want to blame my parents, but a big part of me being so afraid of the great outdoors is a combination of having an overprotective, OCD mum who wouldn’t even let us play in our own backyard because she was afraid something would attack us or that we would fall down and hurt ourselves. Then there was my dad who would scare us silly with stories about flesh-eating creatures to stop us from doing stuff that would incur our mum’s wrath. Once that fear of critters and unknown dangers was created, they were then used to frighten us kids into behaving.
Over the years, I’ve learned to appreciate nature more. I think a huge part of me just wanted to get past that fear that stopped me from doing fun and adventurous stuff. Of course, I still do all this on the down low without my parents’ knowledge (yup, I’m still that kid!). And I also still wear enough insect repellent to hopefully stop a swarm— dengue, malaria and other insect-borne diseases are real in the tropics—but I am participating in more outings that bring me closer to nature. I’m basically taking it one step at a time, and gradually building myself up for an actual camping trip one of these days. Wish me luck!