“Every risk is worth taking as long as it’s for a good cause and contributes to a good life.” – Richard Branson
My husband, kids and I are a family of campers. Camping has got to be by far one of our most favorite things to do together, and some of our most unforgettable and happiest memories as a family have been from our camping adventures.
For our upcoming trip this summer, we decided that we had outgrown the adorable little 15’ Scotty travel trailer we called home on all of our previous trips. When the kids were younger (and much smaller) the little camper treated us well, but now with bigger kids and two dogs added to the mix, it’s just not big enough.
And I should add for the sake of full disclosure that our family is not quite ready to delve into tent living for two and a half weeks just yet – call me crazy, but something about the idea of paper thin nylon walls, combined with four people plus two dogs that bark if someone breathes too loud, sounds like it would be fun for no one.
So this past weekend – after much deliberation – we invested in a new camper.
I’ll admit right off the bat that the thought of buying a new camper kind of made me cringe a bit at first, and we looked at the situation at just about every angle to avoid making this purchase. We looked into renting a camper but couldn’t find any light enough to tow with our vehicle. We then considered renting a truck large enough to tow the rented camper but the cost of renting both was almost as much as purchasing a camper. We even entertained the idea of asking one of our friends that own campers to borrow theirs – but as with any expensive item, we didn’t want to put that kind of pressure on us or our friends.
So after exploring all possible options, we decided it made the most sense to buy our own if we wanted to continue camping.
In theory, purchasing a camper was doable within our budget. Our progress toward living a more simplified life has improved our financial situation significantly and aside from our mortgage payment and 10 months left on a car payment, we’ve pretty much eliminated all of our debt. That freeing of debt and extra financial wiggle room would allow us the opportunity to buy our own.
But – and it’s a big BUT – it meant having to finance; being indebted to someone/something for an extended period of time. Ugh.
On top of that, this was a HUGE purchase. As a family trying to live more simply, here we are trying to get rid of all of the excessiveness and clutter in our lives and now we’re going to add a VERY LARGE item to the mix. We’ve come so far in our progress, and for a moment the idea of this investment made us feel as if we were taking two HUGE steps back in our progress.
But as we began to look at the other side of the coin, what would be the return on this investment?
The return would be creating unforgettable memories with our children and spending quality time together as a family – the very things that motivated us to work toward living a more simplified life to begin with.
And sure, this is another thing that we now own. But when we asked ourselves the question, “Will this add value to our lives?” – the same question we ask about anything that we consider purchasing since we started this journey – the answer to that question was an unequivocal YES.
It is situations such as this that made me realize that no matter how much you plan and strategize, there are moments when you have to take a risk to get to the ultimate reward. And as far as this situation is concerned, our risk – and ultimate reward – comes in the form of a little camper called Roo.