Why a Jucy Campa is the perfect retreat for those who want to stay connected
When journalist and author Amy Molloy set off on a Jucy adventure of New Zealand, she discovered the perfect getaway for her split personality.
I am the first to admit I am a total contradiction. On the one hand I am a workaholic, who thrives on my career as a journalist, and is thrown into a state of panic if I’m away from my computer for more than eight hours. On the other hand, I am a free-spirited adventure-seeker, who’s ideal day out is hiking un-trodden paths, with no human in sight except my boyfriend, and no civilization a distance memory.
These aren’t my only contradicting personality traits. I love camping but, as the former editor of a fashion magazine I also like creature comforts and have been known to ‘travel light’ with a china teapot so that I can brew a proper cup of tea even when roughing it. I love camping but like my head on a real pillow, and I love the way my skin tingles in the cold, but only when I know I can get warm afterwards.
To sum it up I want to be remote but plugged in. Off the grid but within reach of wi-fi. Pushed to my limits, but also wrapped up in warm and comfortable. So, you can see why sometimes booking a trip away can be tricky. Well, gather all my split personalities, because Jucy had the answers.
My boyfriend and I picked up our Jucy Cabana in Wellington, New Zealand, where we flew in from Sydney, opting for the 2-berth ‘Jucy Cabana’. We did think about the 4-man Condo but, to be honest, we’re pretty sickeningly in love and have a ‘no personal’ space rule anyway, so we’re more than happy get up close and person.
In fact, the van had even more room than we expected, with a double bed, gas cooker, fold-out and even a kitchen sink. Oh, and a kettle. I checked this first, like a hotel guest who heads straight for the mini bar. It passed the test. I was happy.
Whenever my boyfriend and I travel we work to a ‘no-plan-plan’, which basically means we wing it, hope for the best, and always end up in wonderful, chaotic, unexpected situations. It can be tricky not planning when you’re in a new country, but our Jucy made it easy, as we didn’t have to worry about booking accommodation or getting from A-to-B before nightfall.
We simply headed up the North Island of New Zealand and, at every major town with an information center, we stopped to pick the brains of employees who looked like they shared our ‘follow the road less travelled’ attitude. We did think twice about taking tourist advice from the guy with his arm in a sling, working in an information center in Tongariro National Park, who admitted he couldn’t quite remember how he broke his arm. A responsible role model?
But he turned out to be an absolute goldmine of adventure advice, directing us to some local caves that we’d have never found on our own and advising us to hike further up the thermal streams at Huka falls, away from the tourist spot, so we could nudey dip (we did, you should, it’s epic!)
Our Jucy van felt like a magical teleporter, taking us in one single day from the bottom of snow-covered mountains where we hiked through a blizzard, to thick rainforest where we discovered a rain-water lagoon and then to the Putangirua pinnacles, which are huge towering rocks that feature in Lord of the Rings. It was such a shift in landscape that my senses couldn’t take it in, and I felt like we’d fitted multiple holidays into one trip.
Our home on wheels also offered us just the right amount of technology– not too little and not too much. We didn’t have phone reception all the time, which was good as I was forced to switch off from work and couldn’t be tempted to check my emails (until we drove past a McDonalds with free wi-fi and I got my work fix).
As we drove through the amazing New Zealand countryside, the CD player and AV cord that we bought for $5 from the Jucy depot, meant that we could pump out the tunes (Busby Marou and Benjalu provided the soundtrack for our holiday). What’s more, every evening, when we were exhausted from a day’s hiking, we could nestle in the back of the van, eating tinned fruit under our doonah, and watch a boxset of Scrubs on the in-build DVD player. I was amazed the Jucy was so insulated as I’ve slept in cars before and been freezing, but even in the snow I was sleeping in shorts and a vest top.
The workaholic within me was happy because once a day I could still check in with my emails. The adventurer in my was ecstatic because my body, my mind, my spirit was seeing, scaling and exploring landscapes I never could have imagined. My week in a Jucy camper made me want to sell my house immediately, give away all my possessions and just keep on driving forever…. although maybe I’ll keep my laptop and teapot.