I love weekends. Who doesn’t, anyway. Well, also me. Or so it turns out.

On weekends, I am always stoked to go out and pack the van and stay wherever we want to go. It hardly even matters where. Anywhere. As long as it’s not at home.

We usually do exactly that. It’s the sole reason we bought a camper in the first place. We often drag the kids to the beautiful mountains, to forests, to other scenic places. Ah well, if you’re a regular here, I don’t have to tell you this. You should know.

For the past two weekends, we have been at home, and a strong agitation brewed up inside me. Last weekend, Heike and I had our wedding anniversary, but part of the family was sick, so we could barely celebrate. For most of the week, we were all sick. It looked as if this was going to be another weekend at home. Another weekend that I had hoped to spend in a nicer way.

Heike is generally okayish at accepting a weekend at home. I’m not.

I’m fine with being home during the work week. If we have daycare for the kids, it’s manageable. If I am not around, things are quiet with the kids. The same is true when Heike leaves. When we’re both there, the kids are a recipe for disaster. It’s absolute mayhem.

So, in the weekend, if all are at home and we stay inside, it’s a volcano waiting to erupt. We all feel the tension increase from the moment we wake up.

The most important reason for this tension is that we feel guilty. Our kids cry, our kids jump, and our kids run through the house. Our daughter is nine months old. Of those nine, we almost spent three months away from home. There’s a reason for that beyond the fact that we like traveling. They may score just 5/10 on the noisy kid scale, but our kids’ noise is enough to bother the neighbor. I don’t like bothering people, and certainly not people that react to every possible thing we do wrong. I just want to be left alone, and therefore we do all we can to not disturb them.

Mostly, our getaways are because we want to escape the guilt we feel.

The sense of freedom I feel when we escape our neighbor – and I think this is true for Heike and the kids as well – is what brings me true peace.

Today, at 2pm, we left the house to go for a walk at a close by lake. We both felt so liberated – even after just an hour if being gone – that we drove back, packed a bag of sleeping clothes, and drove off to our next destination to spend the rest of the weekend.

We’re now staying at a farm, 40 minutes from home, in the middle of fucking nowhere.

The kids can run, scream, jump and cry all they want here. Tomorrow we will wake up no one.

Tonight we can finally sleep without guilt.

Here we are free.

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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