We arrived home Saturday afternoon from an absolutely wonderful week of camping. Perfect weather all week, the company of good friends, and a warm campfire every evening made it one for the books. The week’s schedule kept us all busy, but not so busy that the week flew by.
Still, we were all ready to come home. By Friday night I was actually sick of the smell of woodsmoke (never thought I’d ever be saying that), tired of washing dishes outside and tired of all the dirt. I didn’t want to have to pay for the privilege of buying one more thing out at the coast. We all were longing for our own beds, own bathrooms, and the comfort of our own home.
The new car made the trip back and forth easy and comfortable. Instead of being packed into our old car like sardines, practically needing straws to find pockets of breathing space, this year everyone had a comfortable seat and there was plenty of room for all our stuff. It was especially nice not to have to worry about the car breaking down on the way down or coming home.
However, for all that we love about the campout, next year we will only be attending for three days. The week of camping has become expensive, and with WenYu’s school trip to China coming up next spring, a new car payment, a desire to take a special family vacation at the end of next year, and the never-ending debt repayment, we decided one evening, as we sat around the fire, that we could cut back on the campout. Instead of renting a trailer, we will again pitch a tent and “rough it” for the three days. I thought we’d hear a lot of complaints from the girls when we proposed the idea, but they’re all fine with it. Three days will give us enough time to connect with everyone and still participate in a variety of activities. And, we will save a ton of money.
So, we have hit the reset button and debt repayment is back on as Job #1, although we are continuing to save for a family vacation at the end of 2012. Mr. Losing It and I had several talks around the campfire about our dreams, our goals and our budget and he has decided that because of the car payment he will continue at his job for an additional six months in 2013 versus retiring at the end of 2012. The car won’t be paid off at that point, but we will be a lot closer toward it with the additional income.
In the meantime, we are going to enjoy all that we have, continue to live frugally, continue to downsize and prepare for eventual retirement and a possible move to Hawai’i. Hawai’i remains number one on our list of retirement locations, but we know we have a whole lot to do before then to make that dream a reality.