by Michel Van Devender

Travel + Lodging – A Space

Oh, travel and lodging… I could write an entire blog post about how where we stay plays a big role in our travel experience. Honestly, it can make or break a trip for me. In the early days of our marriage, it was a point of contention for my husband and me. We would arrive somewhere and need to switch rooms or even hotels. And, by the way, it was not him! I so clearly remember when my husband and I were dating, and we travelled to Atlanta, GA, to see David Gray in concert (and wow, what a concert it was!). I was in charge of the concert tickets and my husband’s task was to secure the hotel. Easy, right? Well, what an experience it ended up being, in the process learning so much about the other! The room reeked of stale cigarette smoke, and there were soiled and stained textiles in most areas of the room… bedding, carpet, drapes, even the walls. Yuck…it was a stomach-churning kind of disgusting! This is a rather drastic example as we’ve also switched hotel rooms for lesser offenses. My husband could probably rattle off the list, recounting each instance with vivid detail. Spouses are always good like that, right?!

Interior Environments

Over time though, I’ve come to recognize that I am a person who is deeply affected by the spaces where I live and spend time. It’s indeed a real thing. There is a rather large body of research out there that has been conducted by behavioral scientists on how our interior spaces have a significant affect on how humans think, feel and behave. We are impacted, even if we aren’t consciously aware, by our surroundings. There’s also a continuum so some people are more sensitive to their environments than others. Where would you fall on the spectrum? I would fall in the “keenly aware” category. For me, it’s everything about a space –  lighting (both natural and artificial), spatial layout, furnishings, textiles, colors, even the smell of the space. I have an awareness around this and try to plan as much as I can, especially when traveling. Out of necessity and the thoughtful, kind regard for those around me, I’ve also learned to be flexible when my surroundings are not working for me (and spend as much time outside of the space as possible!).

Our Yosemite Stay

Securing lodging in and near national parks can sometimes be tricky. Accommodations inside the parks are usually more limited and get booked pretty far in advance. Since our AutoCamp, Santa Barbara, visit several years back I had been following their social media accounts. Once they announced their plans to build a sister property outside of Yosemite, I hoped a visit was on our travel horizon. The property is located about thirty-five minutes outside of Yosemite in the historic town of Mariposa. I followed the progress and crossed my fingers that they’d be ready for visitors well before our summer visit. They officially opened in the spring and in plenty of time to work through any grand opening kinks before our July arrival. And indeed, we enjoyed a stylish, comfortable and relaxing stay! Thank you AutoCamp Yosemite! Now, if we can figure how to get to your other two properties, AutoCamp Russian Creek and AutoCamp Cape Cod! (recently announced as the first East Coast location and opening in the fall of 2020).



Lodging Style

We initially thought we’d stay in a beloved AirStream (as I’m obsessed with these metal bullet campers); however, with our middle and youngest sons being older and bigger, we decided we might be a little more comfortable in one of the modern cabins. That was definitely a good call… still small and cozy with a little extra room to move around.

Our Little Black Cabin

The Club House

Okay, in few words, I could live here! With its clean, modern, warm and dreamy interiors and exterior, I felt right at home hanging here. The clubhouse is comprised of a beverage bar, event spaces, a camp store and indoor/outdoor gathering spaces, including a pool.


A Look Around the AutoCamp


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