Unplugged Camping - Old School is the New Cool

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As part of the FreewayCamper family, I basically make unforgettable camping experiences possible for other people. But my own camping adventures don't come too short neither, so every now and then I grab a camper and live out my own wanderlust.

Camping old school

Last year I already reported about a road trip in Namibia and explained the concept of "Digital Detox" in more detail. This year, the trip took me to the Balkans and I was again completely gripped by this special way of traveling, which I now affectionately call "unplugged camping".


For many people, travel planning is an important part of the complete experience, but already here you can approach things completely different than usual. For us the following things were fixed on the day of departure: 3 weeks time and a camper as a companion. Everything else we wanted to leave to chance or fate (depending on what you want to believe in). According to our feeling we were drawn to the south and the sea, for this the integrated compass of our Bulli was quite handy.

In keeping with the concept of being completely unplugged, the smartphones stayed at home and the vehicle's navigation system was turned off. So the first challenge was to find a paper road map, most of the gas station employees answered our search request with astonished and confused looks - to find a detailed road map was not as easy as we had expected. A bit of orientation by a much too undetailed road map, some decisions by feel and a large portion of absolutely warm-hearted and helpful local people resulted in our ideal (maybe sometimes a bit awkward and not quite logical) itinerary: Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia and Slovenia.

Camping old school

What I like most about being offline is the way to capture moments and share them with others. With my parents' old analog camera in my luggage, I deliberately took only pictures that I would later want to have in front of me in the form of a developed photo. Meanwhile, we are so trained to always immediately pull out the smartphone and capture everything in a digital way. But are we actually looking at all those shots ever again or does it all disappear into a vast digital universe of collected memories and moments? Another nice thing is that the pressure for perfection is lost.

When traveling, you sometimes enter completely new and fascinating spheres that you absolutely want to capture for the future and others. At the same time, trying to capture it as realistically as possible can cost a lot of time and nerves. With analog photography, you consciously decide on a particular image, pull the trigger, and then find out sometime in the future whether it actually turned out to be something. For me, it always feels like Christmas when I finally hold the pictures in my hand and can review the entire trip. Then, for example, you sit together with your roomies, pass the photos around and tell a little story about each of them. For example, I associate the picture of the wooden hut with a unique day when we spontaneously went on a little adventure trip with a group of Albanians - a story I always like to tell.

Camping old school

These are exactly the kind of experiences that make traveling special for me. With this I don't want to say that you can only experience something when unplugged camping, but I have the feeling that one (or in this personal case I) is more spontaneous and open without a distraction of technical devices. These 3 weeks belonged only to us and the trip. We were neither distracted by news from everyday life, nor directed by previous strict plans. Of course you have to be able to do and like that, but it felt really good to just drive and let everything come to you. Orientation problems and being lost in nowhere led to incredibly helpful and warm acquaintances and exciting insider tips. A confused encounter led to a happy evening with an Albanian couple in their home and the attempt to communicate with hands and feet. The mission of a new ear piercing took us to a variety of cities and awakened a newfound love for the city of Ljubljana. And these are just a few of many possible examples. Sometimes it just takes a small idea or moment and the willingness to go for it to write really good stories.

Old school is the new cool - things from the past keep coming back into trends. Clothes from parents' generations are being dug up again and reinterpreted, music is playing on record players and the keyword vintage is booming in all areas. New things are of course innovative and exciting, but sometimes it is also worth a little rummage in the past and the enjoyment of old things. You can combine a trip with the camper with a little journey through time and be on the road again (or even for the first time) in a really nice old-school kinda way.

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