When I tell people I camp in a teardrop camper, their questions are almost always the same:
“By yourself?” Yes.
“Do you have a gun?” No. I tried to get through a concealed carry class and learned that I’m really not comfortable around guns.
“Aren’t you afraid?” This question has really surprised me. Am I supposed to be afraid? Because I’m not. I think I’m pretty savvy about where I stay (creepy gas station in Nebraska aside) but really, what is there to be afraid of? Scary people? Ok, yeah, but I don’t think I’ll meet more of them while camping than I do in my real life.
“Who hooks up the camper for you?” This is where I worry an eyeroll will escape before I can catch it. I met a very nice man on Friday who was fascinated to learn that I can hitch the camper to the car myself. (Please don’t ask me about backing up, though.) But then I met his wife and I kind of understood. I don’t think she does a lot without his help.
Look, I’m not a feminist. I realize that statement pisses off a lot of women who will now want to make me understand that as a woman, I’m automatically a feminist. Whatever. I love when guys hold doors for me and yesterday I let a sweet man set up my camper for me because it was important to him to do that for me. He and I both knew he didn’t have to do it but it was a big deal to him and I have nothing to prove.
But I can handle it. It’s not hard and a little dirt and grease never hurt anyone.
So here’s my question.
The comment I often get still amazes me:
You’re so brave.
Really, help me understand this. I’m not brave. I’m not this wild adventurer. I like to get out, see the country, and meet new people. You know what I did today? Ate lunch with 4 people, two of whom I met yesterday. Between them, they’ve lived in dozens of countries and hail from 4 different nations: China, Cambodia, Puerto Rico, and the United States. I was fascinated and challenged.
Given the choice to talk to them versus watch TV, heck yeah, I’ll choose them.
But brave? I’m not and I don’t get it.
So my question: Is it really brave to get out of our comfort zones a bit?
Maybe we’re using the word “brave” too casually when we mean something else.
Or have we become so isolated that we really believe it’s brave to step out a little?
I’d love your input because this one has been on my mind for awhile now.