Summer thing to look forward to

Me and the kids at the dune de Pyla in 2012. Coming back up was a different story.

Regular readers of this blog will know that écovallée was created by me and (the former) Her Outdoors as the perfect yurt holiday for people with young children. More specifically, Guardianreading families who are interested in the environment. We’ve had Daily Mail readers – which I’ve found surprising and alarming – and this has taught me that that particular newspaper is very good for lighting fires. (Previously, I thought it had no use whatsoever.)

Now that we are no longer living together as a family, the question is: How does that change écovallée?

Since September, I’ve been wondering how it looks to have a family campsite run by someone who is, essentially, a single parent. I’m not even a single parent all the time, as my kids live with their mum, about 15 minutes away. I’ve imagined that this might put off families who are together.

That it might look a bit odd.

But – in the last day or so – I’ve realised the error in my thinking. I recognise that the worry exists only in my head as a not-very-useful thought. Past guests at écovallée have included people travelling on their own, with a sibling, or with up to three children, and couples who are together – with and without kids – kids they’ve had with each other and with other people… Basically, everyone. And that hasn’t changed.

We all have our own stories and we’re all at different places in those stories. So I’m not going to worry about how it looks any more. (Phew.)

I’ve tweaked the website to reflect this slight change. For example, I’m now calling the “couple’s yurt” a “small yurt” for solo travellers, couples and people with small families. It’s a bit embarrassing that I didn’t spot this before. Sometimes, you can get so focused on your “target audience” (I used to work in advertising – please forgive the jargon), that you exclude other people who may want to come. My previous word choice may have even put off some people travelling on their own. Or people who are single parents (is this even the best expression for this?). If you’re one of them, I apologise.

In fact, écovallée is for everyone who wants to experience living outside, in a beautiful environment, in a beautiful structure, with very low impact facilities. If that sounds like you, come on down/across/up/over. This summer is going to be fantastic. Come and share it with existing friends, make new ones, or just come here on your own.

And bring a good book.

And a head torch.

Head torches are cool.