Monday, 18 January 2010

Where are the people like us?

Colin and I have been pondering the demographics of caravan parks. (The following are simply observations and in no way judgements) It seems to us, in our limited experience, that holidaying in caravan parks is a very anglo kind of thing to do. (Colin was greatly surprised the other day to see a Muslim woman appropriately covered from head to toe) Even more than that, it is a very ‘working class’ kind of thing to do. When you have four weeks annual leave, most ‘professionals’ are holidaying in apartments and holiday houses, not caravan parks. Many of the people we have met come to the same caravan park year after year at the same time of the year. For these ‘working class’ families this is their annual holiday. It is a lot cheaper than an apartment or holiday house!

There is also a slight difference between those caravan parks centred around lakes and waterways, where boats, fishing and jet skis are the go, and those that are centred around surf beaches. There is perhaps a wider demographic at surf beaches. Of course there are also National Park and free camping kind of parks, of which we have no experience. And the lack of amenities means it will probably stay that way!

This helps explain why we often feel the odd ones out. Most places we go we realise that we don’t have much in common with our neighbours. (The exception being the four couples we spent New Years Eve with and consequently the rest of the week) Our caravanning is not our annual holiday, it is a lifestyle choice. The same was true for our new found friends in Coffs, they chase the surf and choose to spend as much time as possible each year travelling. (they had a fair degree of ‘holiday’ discretion time)

We also have a fair degree of flexibility and choose to spend as much of it as possible experiencing a more nomadic and simple lifestyle. Surfing also features highly for some! The grey nomads are likewise making  lifestyle choices. It seems to us that there is a difference between those who have their holidays at a caravan park and those who are making a lifestyle choice to be there.

We don’t fit with the ‘working class’ holiday makers, we don’t fit with the grey nomads and in the places we have stayed so far we have not come across many others similar to ourselves. That is why it was such a joy to spend time with our new friends in Coffs – finally some other people similar to ourselves. They will be together again, with some others, in Byron Bay in July; surfing of course. We are planning to join them. Spending some time with kindred spirits is something worth pursuing.