The Happy Glamper. By Janelle Dumalaon ~ Weekly Exclusive - Global Views On Recent Trends Monday, 5th May 2014
Exclusive Feature: Do you want to camp in the wild but cannot do without your five-star luxuries? Then 'glamping' – a portmanteau of 'glamorous' and 'camping,' or camping in comfort – is for you.
Yes, outdoor purists and camping enthusiasts may shudder at such a thing, saying what's the point? After all, you only get that fruitful encounter with your own self when you are away from it all, possessions stripped down to the essentials.
But getting closer to the sea and mountains and forests to breathe in the air and get lost in the wild is wonderful – and there is no reason one shouldn’t be lying on 10,000 thread count sheets while doing so, say happy glampers.
And their ranks are increasing.
As a result, many online booking services cater to whichever fancy camping digs – tree, yurt, or safari tent – travelers want. Or for that ultimate experience, one can even "glamp" in a bubble – literally a bubble, not just the bubble of luxury and comfort.
The French Attrap Reves (dream catcher), located on the Marseille countryside, allows guests to stay in transparent room-sized bubbles with all the trappings of hotel convenience – think of being in a snow globe without the well, snow.
However, if for some reason you wish to catch dreams in a bubble in a place other than the Marseille countryside, Casa Bubble has you covered. Not only can one obtain bubbles to sleep in, one can also rent the bubbles for events – with an imaginably limited guest list per bubble, though.
It is also possible to experience culture while glamping for example in a ger in Mongolia such as those offered by luxury ger camp Jalman Meadows, in the protected wilderness of Khan Khentii, 120 kilometers northeast of Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar.
Meanwhile, in Bali, sleep in an Indonesian lumbung, a traditional warehouse once used to store rice. According to Sandat Glamping’s website, it is the first glampsite operator on the Southeast Asian island beloved by sun-worshipers.
Some accommodations that aren't quite glamping but somewhat cater to similar needs are hotels surrounded with particularly spectacular natural beauty which offer beds out in the open.
For example, Hollywood favorite Las Ventanas al Paraiso – literally “windows to paradise” – in Los Cabos, Mexico - houses some visitors in a penthouse with a terrace equipped with a king-sized bed, allowing guests to fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves, and wake up to the mild breeze blowing from the Sea of Cortez.
Since most of us aren’t lucky enough to have a backyard overlooking a snow-capped mountain range where we could move a sleeping bag outside to be close to nature while still enjoying the comforts of home, glamping just might be the way to go.
After all, curling up in the open under the stars with the concierge a phone call away - just in case you need anything - sounds heavenly to me.
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Janelle Dumalaon is a correspondent based in Berlin, Germany. She has a Masters in Cultural Journalism from the University of Arts in Berlin and now works with journalists across the globe as part of international journalism organization, Associated Reporters Abroad (ARA). Janelle believes in traveling light, deviating from itineraries, and trying the street food.
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