On page 68 of the book "Instant Influence
", by Michael Pantalon, there
is a description of a situation that seems nearly identical to what you
have described .... a husband who wanted to camp and a reluctant wife.
You can probably find that book in your local public library and you
might find it to be a worthwhile read?
In that book, Michael says that people do things or make changes for
their own internal reasons. Without being seriously manipulative, the
goal of "instant influence" is simply to help people find their own reasons
for doing something or making some change.
Some things to consider ....
1) If possible keep initial trips and destinations short .. like a weekend.
2) Go to a destination with activities that she will really enjoy outside of
the camping experience (i.e. craft/knitting festivals, flower/tulip/culture
festivals (Pella, Ia), music festivals (Bluegrass or other), theme parks
(Walt Disney World, Silver Dollar City), etc.
3) Offer to do all of the cooking/cleaning for the entire camping weekend
(or more) and to take her out to a very nice restaurant near the camping
destination (or when you get home?). Pamper her during the camping trip!
4) Choose a high quality campground (Good Sam or other) with water,
electricity, clean restrooms, hot showers, game/gathering/TV rooms,
5) Show sincere appreciation for her willingness to even try the camping
I do understand some of your wife's feelings.
When my wife first suggested camping, the mental picture that came
to my mind was primitive camping in a tent. (Not too appealing!) When
I realized that I could plug in the coffee pot while still laying in my pop-up
camper bunk, my perspectives changed. My wife suggested that we
really needed some time with our kids that was away from the distractions
of TV, telephone, job demands, etc. ..... I agreed.
Now near the end of our first year of retirement, we recently took a trip
out west to see the sequoia/redwood trees (one of my wife's long time
wishes). We anticipated that we would be gone for 6+ weeks. However,
on that and other trips, we found out that we both get a little anxious to
be back home after about 4 weeks. We miss grandkid activities, church
activities, friends around home, familiar surroundings (grocery stores,
barber shops, favorite restaurants, etc.)
Maybe later we will be more comfortable with longer outings. For now,
we enjoy shorter multi-week travels with no requirement to get back
home at any particular time.
During our travel out west, we encountered one campground that had
some cute/retro camping trailers that you could rent onsite. That could
mean no scary financial commitment to trailer purchase and no initial
concerns about towing/backing etc. Just a thought .....
I hope these ideas will help a little and be interesting "food for thought".
Best of luck to you!