Love the outdoors but can't live without air-con? Glamping, aka luxury camping, could be your thing.

8 DAYS: What’s your top tip for people who are planning a glamping trip?

Know your threshold for comfort and find the right kind of balance you're after as glamping offers a wide range of options. Other factors to consider are the toilet facilities, access to hot showers, shared or private amenities, guided [itinerary] or not, and if food is included [in the package].

You stayed in an RV when you attended Burning Man in the Nevada desert. What’s that like?

When you decide to go to Burning Man, you're agreeing to live by several key tenets including radical self-reliance and adopting a gifting economy, ie. there’s no commerce so you can’t pay for anything when you’re there. This means bringing everything you need for that week with you and leave the place without leaving a trace. As there was limited access to water, I only showered twice that week, and each time with less than half a bucket of water. The temperature fluctuated from day to night, and the dust storms were extreme too. So we were in shorts one minute, bundled up in winter wear the next, and always wearing goggles and a scarf to keep the dust at bay. 

That’s a very different glamping experience from Moyo Island.

After attending Burning Man, my friends and I took our RVs in search of water and trees, after being in a desert for a week. We chose to stay at campsites that were right by a lake we could swim in and located near National Parks we could go hike in. They were camps with access to proper toilets, showers, where we could patch into power and empty our dark water, and there was a BBQ pit and fresh wood we could collect nearby so we could eat outside under the stars and have a proper shower after. It was basic but comfortable enough and so nice to be so close to nature. 

Glamping experiences don’t always come with wi-fi connectivity. How do you handle that? If it’s a retreat or in a place with no wi-fi, I’ve already mentally prepared myself so I actually enjoy being offline. I’ve done a Vipassana retreat, which is basically taking a vow of silence and meditating for the duration of the trip — no reading, no notebooks or mobile phones. It was for 10 days and was the longest I’ve gone without being connected. It’s more challenging when you’re not expecting it, as was the case in Moyo where the wi-fi signal was so slow that it could take an entire day to send one photo to Instagram.

Watch In Pursuit of Magic on demand at www.channelnewsasia.com/pursuit-of-magic.

Photos: Channel NewsAsia & Tracy Phillips

 

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