Fun In A Campervan.

By Jabo
@jaboUK (48861)
United Kingdom
March 20, 2017 3:31pm CST
One summer my friend Val and I borrowed my father's campervan and took it on the ferry over the sea. The year was 1960, we were 20 years old and keen for adventure. . We had two weeks vacation from our jobs, no set plans, we were just going to go wherever the mood took us - France, Belgium, Germany - we were free as birds. One beautiful day we were tootling along on a quiet country road in France with the windows wide open, singing at the top of our voices, (we had no radio), when we were overtaken by a group of boys on motorbikes. They waved and smiled as they went by, and we waved back, whereupon they decided to be our escort, two of them in front of us, and three behind. If this happened today we would probably be terrified, but at that time we had not yet learnt to expect the worst from everybody. We went our different ways at the next village, but later we to find that not all Frenchmen were as nice. We were parked up for the night and two men tried to break into the van. We managed to discourage them by pretending we had a man in there with us! A day or two later we were woken in the early morning to find the van rocking wildly. Fearing a repetition of the previous incident, we peeped cautiously out of the window to find that we were surrounded by cows, who were using the van as a rubbing post! Another incident occurred a few days later when there was a terrific thunderstorm, followed by torrential rain. We had parked up for the night in a riverside camp, and even though the rain was hammering on the roof we had no difficulty getting to sleep as we were tired. In the morning the van was noticeably lower at the back, and on investigation we found that it had sunk axle-deep in the rain-softened ground. Fortunately , the site owner pulled us out with a tractor. All-in-all, it was a wonderful holiday, though our friends thought us mad to be so adventurous. It was only many years later, when my daughter decided to go trekking round India, that I had an inkling of the trepidation our own parents must have felt. Have you ever toured a foreign country in a campervan? (Photo is of me standing by the campervan, and my sister and her husband are fooling around on my motorbike. I wrote previously of my adventures on that bike.)
64 people like this
63 responses
@DianneN (49865)
• United States
20 Mar
Your photo is so lovely! You all look like models. My father was very overprotective of me. However, he did put me on an airplane and sent me off to California to visit my grandmother, aunt, uncle, and cousins, when I was 12 years old, for the entire summer My uncle had a camper and took us to Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains for several days. It was a fabulous summer. And no, although I've traveled all over Europe many times, I haven't been in a camper since I was 12. You girls must have had the time of your lives! I'm sure you will never forget that adventure!
8 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
20 Mar
@DianneN Goodness - models? . Yes we certainly had the time of our lives, we were young and fancy free. Your trip to Lake Tahoe sounds wonderful.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
21 Mar
@DianneN - Isn't it amazing how well we remember those adventures when we were young? I have encouraged all our daughters to have a few adventures ... they make us happy the rest of our life! I'm sure you enjoyed that summer in California when you were 12.
2 people like this
@DianneN (49865)
• United States
23 Mar
@DeborahDiane I've enjoyed California many times since! We were just talking about visiting again. Thanks, Deb.
2 people like this
@Juliaacv (18209)
• Canada
20 Mar
I'm sure that you both had your share of laughs over this trip! I never really went anywhere with anyone that would make for an interesting story, not until our honeymoon.
8 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
20 Mar
@Juliaacv Yes, it was such fun, I'm glad we did it before we each settled down and got married.
5 people like this
@andriaperry (22336)
• Anniston, Alabama
20 Mar
I absolutely love that photo. Yes I have had adventures like this, going out west is like another country around here. In the USA.
7 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
20 Mar
Yes your country is so big that just going to another state is like going to a foreign country to us. I don't quite know why that photo was taken, but I think my Dad took it.
2 people like this
@TRBRocks420 (54803)
• Banks, Oregon
20 Mar
Sounds a good time and, love the camper van and, bike pretty cool.
5 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
20 Mar
@TRBRocks420 This is the only photo I've got of either the campervan or the bike. Kind of cool to have them both in the same picture.
3 people like this
@garymarsh6 (11777)
• United Kingdom
20 Mar
My father had a camper van for a couple of years and we only ever toured around the UK. It was great fun!
4 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
20 Mar
I remember going with my parents to Norway in that van when I was 16, and we also went on the continent. This was my first trip in it without them - I'd not long passed my test.
2 people like this
@garymarsh6 (11777)
• United Kingdom
20 Mar
@jaboUK Life was so much nicer then Janet. It is a bit different now. I don't think I would like to do something like that these days! Well not in the care free attitude we had back then!
2 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
21 Mar
@garymarsh6 We may not have had so much materially as young people today, but I think we had more freedom.
2 people like this
@Gillygirl (14746)
• Sutton, England
20 Mar
Touring around must have been great fun. It was clever of you to pretend you had a man with you when the men were trying to break in. I love the photo. My dad had a caravan and we toured around the UK.
4 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
21 Mar
@Gillygirl It really was a lot of fun. You must have enjoyed going round in your Dad's caravan.
3 people like this
@Gillygirl (14746)
• Sutton, England
21 Mar
@jaboUK We had six weeks touring through Wales one summer. I would have been about 11. It was a great experience. There were no plans as to which place we would visit next.
3 people like this
@pgntwo (19085)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
20 Mar
Ah, that spirit of adventure ;) Have van, will travel, a bit like Jamie Oliver in his van traversing Italy... Or Ewan McGregor and his motor bike across Russia. Without the camera crew, of course. I must ask how did you imitate a man to scare off the thieves? Snoring?
4 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
20 Mar
@pgntwo We just called out "Tom, some men are trying to break in", hoping that they would get the gist even if they didn't speak English. Then we did a bit of grunting. Anyway, they gave in and went away.
2 people like this
@pgntwo (19085)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
20 Mar
@jaboUK Full marks for quick-wittedness
2 people like this
@Courtlynn (31370)
• United States
20 Mar
No, never even been in one
4 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
20 Mar
@Courtlynn You've never been in a foreign country, or never been in a campervan? Could be both of course
@Courtlynn (31370)
• United States
21 Mar
@jaboUK both. Lol.
1 person likes this
• Jacksonville, Florida
20 Mar
No but that sounds like it was a great adventurous trip! That picture is awesome too. =)
4 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
20 Mar
@LovingMyBabies It was such fun to do that, just the two of us. I'd been on trips in the campervan with my parents, but this was the first time I'd driven it without my Dad being there.
2 people like this
@SIMPLYD (72454)
• Philippines
21 Mar
Wow, that was fun and so adventurous of you and your friends. As for me, maybe when a group of motorbikers would go along with us, I will be nervous. Good thing , in those days, there are no such things as gangs. No, I haven't done that ever, though we have always travelled to Manila by road trip . It's a happy journey too, because we stop at places we would like to further explore.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
21 Mar
@SIMPLYD In those days it didn't even occur to us to be nervous of the bikers, they were just laughing and waving. Helmets weren't compulsory in those days, so we could see their faces. Your trips to Manila sound fun.
1 person likes this
@SIMPLYD (72454)
• Philippines
22 Mar
@jaboUK Yes, without the helmets you can discern if they are kind persons. That was really fun because you traveled with a lot of companions. It would have been so nice too, that you take pictures. Had the smartphone a thing already on those days, for sure you have lots of pictures. Yes, they were fun. We also did other road trips to Tagaytay, Batangas and Baguio. It's so nice to do a road trip indeed.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
24 Mar
@SIMPLYD We didn't even possess an ordinary basic camera. My father took the shot I've used on this post.
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (28908)
• Portland, Connecticut
20 Mar
I have never done anything nearly as exciting
3 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
20 Mar
@BelleStarr I'm surprised at you saying that Isabelle, as I know you are a great traveller.
2 people like this
@BelleStarr (28908)
• Portland, Connecticut
20 Mar
@jaboUK yes and I did travel with a camper but as a mother with hubs and kids in tow
2 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
21 Mar
@BelleStarr Ah, that would be a different sort of fun
2 people like this
@Morleyhunt (14230)
• Canada
20 Mar
My youngest daughter and a friend went backbacking in Europe about ten years ago. They slept on the train and sometimes managed to get a room. They started in London.....Amsterdam, Barcelona, Prague, Vienna, Rome and ended up in Paris. They had an unforgettable two weeks. When they arrived home....they went for several months if not speaking....they are great friends again now.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
20 Mar
@Morleyhunt That sounds like a great adventure that your daughter had. Did they get fed up with each other's company? My friend and I were even better friends after our trip than we'd been before.
@Morleyhunt (14230)
• Canada
21 Mar
@jaboUK we knew they were poorly matched before they left the country. My daughter had packed her backpack and walked with it for two weeks before she left...her friend....packed gets the night before.....took everything but the kitchen sink and could barely lift her pack.....let alone walk with it....she was also an extremely fussy eater.... The emails we got every couple of days gave us a clue....it was the things that weren't said.
2 people like this
@RubyHawk (16531)
• Atlanta, Georgia
21 Mar
I have never been to a foreign country. Wish it could have been possible. I'm glad you had such an experience
3 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
21 Mar
@RubyHawk Your own country is so big, and I expect you've seen a good bit of it.
@Platespinner (15601)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
20 Mar
Sounds like a great adventure with lots of vivid memories. It's sad that the world seems to be a much more dangerous place these days.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
20 Mar
@Platespinner Yes, that is the sad thing about today. Young people have so much of most things, but not so much freedom.
1 person likes this
• Midland, Michigan
21 Mar
@jaboUK There are still many that travel around without worry about what might befall them. I met a young man while waiting for the plane in Guatemala. He traveled with I think a guitar, skis and a suitcase type thing he carried on his back. He went between Guatemala, a place in North America and one other location and traveled in that manner throughout the year. I think he'd teach skiing in one of the location and I don't remember what else he did. He may have been in his late twenties. I was surprised at how carefree he was in our day and time.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
21 Mar
@MarshaMusselman i think it's a lot safer for the males than the females.
2 people like this
@rebelann (26359)
• El Paso, Texas
21 Mar
I didn't have the chance, I had to work and that kept me rooted. Oh, not in 1960, though, I was 11. I wish I had that campervan. I could almost see me taking off on a long trip with that .... but not til I figure out what to do with the cats.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
21 Mar
@rebelann Dogs would be a lot easier to take along than cats. We used to take our dog if we were staying in England.
1 person likes this
@rebelann (26359)
• El Paso, Texas
21 Mar
So true @jaboUK but I'll bet it would have been difficult when vacationing in Spain. Did the plains get any rain?
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
21 Mar
@rebelann Haha - we've actually had one day of rain since we've been here.
1 person likes this
@nanette64 (11278)
• Fairfield, Texas
21 Mar
It sounds like you had a blast even with the 'unexpected' happening @jaboUK .
2 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
21 Mar
@nanette64 Oh yes, we had a real blast Nanette, and the 'unexpected' gave us something to laugh about afterwards.
1 person likes this
@nanette64 (11278)
• Fairfield, Texas
21 Mar
@jaboUK Oh the stories we could tell about some of our adventures and that we actually survived them all.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (103615)
• Switzerland
21 Mar
I am sure you had a lot of fun and I would have loved to tour a foreign country with friends in a campervan. I never did.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
21 Mar
@LadyDuck I believe your upbringing was a bit more sheltered than mine Anna, but you probably did things I didn't do.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (103615)
• Switzerland
21 Mar
@jaboUK I do not know if I did thing you did not, but even if I had not a lot of freedom, I have spend very happy years when I was young.
1 person likes this
@megatron777 (3856)
• Guam
21 Mar
Old photographs and memories...nice!
2 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
21 Mar
@megatron777 Yes, there's nothing like a photo to evoke memories
• Guam
22 Mar
@jaboUK Ok. Good to hear that.
1 person likes this
@allen0187 (20788)
• Philippines
21 Mar
Those are great and interesting stories! The episode with the cows was hilarious!
2 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
21 Mar
@allen0187 I'm pleased that you found my tales interesting, thank you Allen.
1 person likes this
@allen0187 (20788)
• Philippines
22 Mar
1 person likes this
@thelme55 (8873)
• Germany
21 Mar
I love that photo and the clothes you wore. I have seen old German movies traveling to other European countries with a caravan. It sounds fun. I am sure you had a wonderful adventurous.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (48861)
• United Kingdom
21 Mar
@thelme55 Yes it was a lot of fun. Those clothes look very dated, don't they?
1 person likes this
@thelme55 (8873)
• Germany
22 Mar
@jaboUK yes, they did but still they are beautiful. I would wear it if I have.
1 person likes this