One summer I was working on campsites in Europe. I love the feeling of working in holiday situations. It’s almost like you’re on a holiday yourself. When the season ended, I wasn’t finished yet. I wanted more. So I decided to stay to join the team that cleaned and packed all the tents and inventory. It was a man’s world and according to some, especially the men from Southern Europe, a man’s job. Even as a girl I had the best time. I got to do and see stuff I never would have done and met some awesome people. Moving around Italy and Croatia was like one big road trip. I especially loved the ferries. There’s just something about being on the water that makes me very happy.
I was cleaning tents in Viareggio when our team leader decided he wanted to do the camp on Sardinia first. Normally I am all for proper planning and structure, but there was no time for that. I could only go with the flow. We received a phone call to pack up and pack our bags. That night we would take the ferry. There was no time for showers or anything for that matter. We put everything that was lying around the camp inside the tents and left. I was driving one of the cars. It wasn’t mine and I had some trouble adjusting. You had to turn the key with a sort of shaking Parkinson hand otherwise it wouldn’t work. When I finally got it going, we drove to Livorno, where we drove around in circles trying to find a place to park. It was Saturday night and Italians love to go out for dinner, but we were hungry too.
In a corner of the town we found a quirky Mexican restaurant. It was fast food, but good food, even though it was just heated up in the microwave and wasn’t all that fast. Bellies full, we went to the harbor. I parked my car in the long line, waiting for boarding to begin. I’d never been on a ferry with a car and the organisation on big blue deck was a mystery to me. After what seemed like forever, the line started moving and we drove into the belly of the big ship. As soon as we got on board, one of the guys raced out with our sleeping stuff to find a good spot on one of the benches. Since we had one truck we had one space in a shared truckers cabin, but the other three would have to sleep on the deck.
I was the lucky winner for the cabin since I was the only girl. When I entered the cabin there was one guy in it. He was already in bed, looked up, saw I was a girl, looked a bit startled, and went back to sleep. All the truck drivers share cabins. I guess he was surprised to see a female. It was a short night and the next morning I left the ferry with sleepy eyes. We continued our drive to Santa Lucia to start packing up another camp. On the way back to the mainland we would take the day ferry. Travelling by boat is always exciting. It just adds something special to a trip!