Best First Camping Trip Ever

Best First Camping Trip Ever

Let me first start off by expressing gratitude to the Wonderful Women of Waxahachie, Sisters on the Fly and Girl Campers that made my first camping trip an experience that I will never forget. These ladies embraced me with warm hugs, kindness, and tips and tricks for camping. What I experienced was true sisterhood at its finest. I thought camping meant that I had to get dirty, sleep in an uncomfortable tent and have restless nights worrying about being mauled by a bear. But, that is not so! These fantastic women showed me how to camp and in style! Wither it is in a vintage trailer, minivan or back of an SUV the possibilities are endless.

For the last few years, I have been dreaming of going camping, but no one I know camps or was enthusiastic about the idea when I mentioned the word camping or sleeping in a tent. I wanted to know what it felt like to sleep under the stars. So, I decided that I would go camping by myself that I had nothing to fear but fear itself! I did my research, planned my trip and purchased a tent! But before I was to leave for my trip, I was invited to an all-girls camping trip from Janine Pettit who is a girl camper, a jewel and a person with a heart of gold. I packed my bags and hit the road! Waxahachie, Texas here I come!

Being a newbie camper, I did not know what to pack for my trip other than toiletries, tent, pillows and a fan. It never crossed my mind that the night temperatures might drop below 30 degrees which it did and I never got to use my fan. Ha! Not to worry though, Janine and several women had me covered. Offering their extra blankets, portable heaters, and trailers to sleep in. I was blown away by so much kindness which I experienced from everyone that I met including the city workers of Waxahachie that was assisting us in any way that we needed.

I was the only black person that I saw and never did I feel like my color was an issue. I got so many warm greetings and compliments that I am still basking in them. At no time did I feel unwanted or unsafe and as you can imagine, safety is always a top priority for me since I travel solo. I am a person that does not see color. I feel that we are all God’s children and that we come in different shapes, sizes, and shades. We would be boring if we all looked the same, right? When I researched Sisters on the Fly and browsed through photos, I did not see anyone that looked like me, and I could have allowed that to be my excuse not to go. But I did not! I love learning from others especially in how they live, beliefs and cultures.

As a very introverted person, I use to live in a cocoon where it was always safe only hanging out with the same people doing the same thing. After a while, it got boring especially when I was ready to spread my wings and fly, and everyone else wanted to stay nestled in the nest. We live in a beautiful world with some great people regardless of all the hate and crime that we see in the media. I have been very fortunate to meet some of those great people in the last four years of traveling solo. I have learned that on the other side of your comfort zone is where great things happen. Were strangers treat you better than some lifelong friends. We do not meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason. Remember, that every new friend is a new adventure and the start of more great memories.

As I lied down for the night, curled under a warm fluffy down comforter, crunching on Doritos praying that a squirrel did not maul me to death for my late-night snack. I pondered back on the day and became overwhelmed with emotions for my bravery and courageous self for stepping out of my comfort zone which allowed me to have the best first camping experience ever. To meeting amazing people and allowing them to meet me. I will never forget the laughter and good conversation shared with like-minded people from the dinner table to the firepit where we sat in our pj’s, robes, blankets and fuzzy slippers laughing the night away. I will never forget the morning greetings that everyone expressed to each other as we made our way across the campground with bedhead and missing eyelashes. One by one we head to the bathroom to brush our teeth and wash our faces. Each person was as pleasant as the night before. Spending one last time around the breakfast table or neighbors tent for one last hug and well wishes before we went our separate ways!

If you are looking for a sweet retreat where you can laugh the worries of life away with good people I recommend you check out the “Sisters on the Fly” webpage, and Janine’s podcast “Girl Campers” to learn more about these fabulous ladies that go places and do things!

“It is the friends that we meet along the way that bring new energy to our soul and help us appreciate the journey.”
– Tiffany

Special Thanks:

Janine, thank you for the invitation and fluffy down comforter. I am forever grateful that you invited me on this camping trip. It was an experience that I will never forget. I get tickled everything I think about sleeping under a down comforter in a tent. Life is good!

Neiena, thank you for teaching me how to pitch my tent and being the best tent neighbor, any gal could wish for. And sharing your special gift of humor with us.

Laurie, you represent the city of Waxahachie very well. You went above and beyond the call of duty to take good care of us – thank you. I also want to thank you for being so kind to me and helping me find the perfect camping spot next to the best tent neighbor ever!

I look forward to camping with the beautiful SOTF again. Thank you all for making my first camping trip a success and one that I will never forget!

32 thoughts on “Best First Camping Trip Ever

  1. Tiffany, Thank you so much for sharing your Wonderful Women in Waxahachie experience with the world! It was an honor to meet you, and I am still humbled that you chose to drive all the way to Waxahachie, Texas to be with us. I look forward to keeping up with your adventures. Be safe in your travels, and I hope to see you again soon!

    Laurie

    1. I had to share. I had a wonderful time hanging out with you ladies. I will never forget Waxahachie, Tx! I made some great memories there. Thank you for following my crazy adventures. 💕 I mailed something to your office yesterday to express my gratitude to you for being so kind to me. Should be arriving by tomorrow. Enjoy!

  2. Dear, Sweet, Tiffany,

    It was such an honor to meet you at the Wonderful Women of Waxahachie. I though I was a real trooper with my heater blaring all night. But, I think you got the “Sleep in the Cold” badge. And, I still hear your words in my head, “I was determined.” You did it! You camped for the very first time. In your own tent, on the ground, surrounded by wild things!

    I can’t wait to see what you Sisters of the Fly number is going to be when you join. I am going to a function at the end of May for a few nights. I hope you can meet up with SOTF in Haskell, Texas. There is going to be a rodeo. So, dust off your boots.

    Thank you for inviting me to your blog. It is wonderful. And, your stories keep me grounded.

    Love, always,
    Niena

    1. It was a pleasure meeting you as well. I was determined to sleep under the stars and I did it. It blows my mind every time I think about my bravery, courage, and determination. I’m so proud of me. Lol
      The kindness I felt from everyone made me feel very safe and you as a tent neighbor was the icing on the cake. I knew that if anything popped off Niena has my back!

      I would love to camp with you ladies again. I will see if the dates fit my schedule and let you know. I can see us laughing til the sun come up! You are a pleasure to be around. I love how we instantly bonded together. We are truly sisters from another mister!

      Thank you for reading my stories. I’m no writer but I do my best to convey my travel experiences to others.

      Blessings to you, Niena. 💕

  3. Hi, Tiffany. It was great to meet you at W3- I am just sorry I never got a chance to just sit and get to learn more about you (but I did read your “ABOUT” page and “MY STORY” page here). You are brave and fearless! Love that you had a life time “first” at such a wonderful event among such wonderful women. I would love to link this blog article to our Sisters on the fly blog and encourage other women to be strong and follow their hearts & minds as well. Let me know…
    xo,
    Ceci Bennett, Sister on the Fly # 127

    1. Thank you. I wish I had more time to spend with everyone as well. I hope our paths cross again and we get a chance to camp out or hangout. I enjoyed my time hanging out with so many likeminded people. I walked away with a whole new perspective and love for camping. Yes, please share. I created the blog to inspire, encourage and give hope to those that dream of traveling or traveling solo. Thank you for reading my story. Part 2 will be up on May 13.

  4. Hi Tiffany, wow… that was truly a great story… We did not get to visit and hang out… each night we were dancing up a storm
    then shuffled off to our hotel (we flew in from Idaho and Arizona. ) Sitting around the fire is a highlight of campers… Ceci, lets
    put this story on our News Letter for the world to see. Great courage..

    Tiffany, come to Montana and hang out with me… and our Montana girls…
    Thank you Janine for her invitation and thank you for accepting it…

    Maurrie, Sister # 1
    maurrie@sistersonthefly.com

    1. Thank you. I had a wonderful experience, so I had to share! I wish I had more time to hang out with everyone too, but I know our paths will cross again.   I would love to come to Montana that’s a state I’ve never been too.
      I visit a different state each year, and this year it’s Utah and Wyoming. Hopefully, I can swing up to Montana when I go to Wyoming later this year. 
      Thank you for sharing my story. Blessings to you!
       

  5. Sounds like a wonderful time, keep it up, you will see the world and have experiences that will carry you the rest of your life. These are great adventure stories for you grandchildren.

    1. It was amazing. I enjoyed every part of it from the beginning to the end. I do look forward to the day I can share my travel stories with my sweet babies. All I want for them is to be happy, be kind and travel! I hope they choose experiences over stuff when they get older. I hope the travel seeds that I’ve planted in them continue to grow and blossom into something beautiful! Thanks for following my adventures.

  6. W O W. I have been a member for two years and have not gone anywhere yet. ( How’s THAT for introvert ). But your beautiful blog has motivated. If you can do it, why not me ? Thank you ….
    Sister Debe

    1. Debe, I haven’t either, but Tiffany’s beautifully inspiring and heartwarming story of her adventure with the WWOW has also motivated me to do so as well. :).

      Tiffany, I hope that our paths will cross soon, and that you will me among your new sister campers! Its never easy to step outside our comfort zones, and I applaud your courageous and adventurous spirit. Blessings to you as you venture out on your next journey. Sister #2664

      1. Karen: What part of the country are you? I’m in San Diego, CA.
        Sister #8445 (aka Debe)
        And lets make it happen…..we really need to f/u on this motivation !
        I am trying to look at upcoming events but having trouble. (Story of my life). Which ones are you thinking about ?

      2. Thank you so much for the kind words. You would have a great time. I do hope you get a chance to camp out at least once this year. I have a jammed pack schedule this summer, but I will squeeze in one more trip if not two. So our paths might cross you never know. I look forward to meeting more of the SOTF. Blessing to you as well, Karen.

    2. You can do it, and I promise you will have a great time. I understand the struggle when it comes to social events. It can be an introverts worst nightmare, but I’ve learned over the years to set limits and pace myself. When I feel my battery draining, I take a quiet break and recharge. Thank you for checking out my blog. If you get a chance read “my story” and hear how my traveling started. Thanks

  7. Tiffany,
    What a joy to read your post! And congratulations on “finding your brave”!!! You now know the wonderful world of camping – something a lot of people don’t quite understand. If the world could all just go camping together, and have the experience you had, maybe there would be no more hate, no more wars, but a lot of joy and happiness!
    Love and Laughter to you, – Lisa G. Sister #: 3228

    1. Thank you, Lisa. Camping is terrific and very relaxing! I look forward to many more camping adventures with SOTF. I hope our paths cross and we get a chance to camp out together. I’m currently on a 9-day road trip; traveling through four states visiting seven national parks and camping out at least five nights – solo! I think I have the camping bug. Lol

  8. I agree with you, the Sisters are THE BEST! I have so enjoyed my trips thus far and love the spirit of inclusion and love that each and every person exhibits! Hope to meet you soon, Tiffany, and thank you for sharing your “virgin trip” with us!
    Kathy

    1. Yes, they are! They gave me the best first camping experience ever!. I will continue to share my experience every chance I get. Inclusion was representative very well which I am very grateful for. I plan on squeezing in at least one more trip this summer so our paths might cross! Thank you for reading my story! Blessing to you, Kathy.

  9. Thank you for sharing! I hope to meet you, I have no camper, so tenting is the way to go right now. You are braver than I and I am glad you jumped right in and enjoyed every moment. I hope to soon follow.

    1. A tent is all you need! 😉 I had the smallest tent there and it suited me just fine. I was only in it to sleep. Lol being surrounded by so many nice women helped. But I told myself before I went that I wasn’t going to be scared until there was a reason to be scared. And I never felt scared. Hope you do get a chance to go. I think ypy will have a great time. Thank you, Cheryl, for reading my story.

  10. Hi Tiffany,
    I’ve been wanting to join SOTF for a while now but I don’t have a trailer. Now I know I can just get a tent and go for it! You are exactly the kind of fun lady I hope to meet and camp with. Thank you for sharing your story and being brave so others can too!
    Blessings,
    Clara

    1. Hi, Clara
      Sorry for the delay in responding to your message. I’m currently on a 9-day roadtrip and only have internet 10% of the time.

      All you need is a tent! If you’ve never camped out before doing it with an organized group like SOTF is the way to go. I hope you get a chance to go and we get to meet. You’ll have a blast! Thank you for reading my story. Blessings to you as well.

    2. Hello Clara & Tiffany. I absolutely loved your story Tiffany!! Clara-join the club! If you’re willing to take that first step it’ll be life changing. I’ve been a Sister for 1-1/2 years now and I don’t have a trailer either. 3 trips were in my little yellow tent and on 4 trips I’ve shared cabins with other Sisters. In my tent, after hours of fun and food and conversations, I love snuggling down at night listening to the crickets and waking up to the sounds of birds. When I’m sharing a cabin with new friends I go to sleep to sounds of giggles like we’re teenagers then we wake up and start having fun again. One day I’ll get a camper but for now this life–and just being out there–is pretty fabulous!
      Barbara SOTF# 7841

    3. Hi Clara and Tiffany,

      I am sister 4242 and have tent camped with SOTF for the past 4 years. I just bought a trailer this past year. My first trip was to Saddle up in 2014 and my tent blew away in the storm we had. Luckily I wasn’t in it. Not sure where y’all are but we are camping in Elkmont and Cades cove Tennesse in June stop by and say hello if you’re in the area.

      Clara, these women are amazing and you will learn tons and have more fun than anyone in the process.
      Tiffany I plan on following your blog as you have a great way of writing that captures my interest and has heart behind it. Look forward to meeting you on the road.

      Donna

      1. Thank you, Donna. I appreciate you following my travel journey. I share to inspire others to travel or travel solo. I’m working on part 2 of “my story” and should have it up in about a week or so. If you haven’t read part one please do. It’s a long story but a good read. I just returned home from a 9-day road trip -solo so be on the lookout for that post as well. Hope we do get a chance to meet on the road. Thanks

    1. Thank you, Gail! I’ve never been to Vermont before. I heard that it’s beautiful. I would love to go in the fall. I take a solo trip each year visit a different state each timer
      and this year it’s Utah and New Mexico. I’m currently on a 9-day road trip visiting 7 National Parks. Hopefully I can visit Vermont next year!

  11. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story, Tiffany. I admire your courage to take the first steps toward acting on your dream of “sleeping under the stars”, even if you had to go it alone. Thank goodness you found SOTF and tripled the fun!! My first SOTF experience up here in the Pacific Northwest was just as welcoming as you described. I was astonished at the warmth and friendliness that exudes from the gals I met. So down-to-earth, creative, funny and genuinely caring! The weather is getting gorgeous up here now and your story motivated me to get on the SOTF website, find a fun event, and get involved soon!! And to whomever took the great photos, thanks! Really colorful and creative stuff!!

    1. My experience was so great that I had to share! Lol It was a big step of courage to do what I did and one that I’m so grateful to have taken. I hope others steps outside of there comfort zones and experience what we did with these amazing ladies. My camping experience will never be the same without the SOTF being around. Lol You described them well! I look forward to hanging out with them again soon. Hopefully, I can, convenience my friends to join me next time. Thank you for reading my story!

  12. Tiffany, thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve been wanting to join SOTF for a few years now, even bought a vintage trailer. I came up short each time I searched to find a few images of Black woman associated with the organization, until today. I’m less nervous about joining because of your experience. Again, thank you for sharing!

    1. I am so glad to hear you enjoyed my post. Joining the SOTF is the best way to get out there and have a great camping experience! I am forever grateful that I did not allow fear or the color of my skin to prevent me from going. I had the best camping experience ever and met so many amazing ladies that I still stay in touch with today and look forwarding to camping out with them again. I know you will have a wonderful experience with the SOTF so please come back and share with me the awesome time you had! 💕 thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *