The idea of glamping has become almost a punchline in itself. Theoretically the glamper is presented a decadent resort surrounded by wilderness; the best of both worlds, where you can indulge in luxuries while basking in nature. The pushback usually falls somewhere between “Why didn’t you just go camping?” and “Why didn’t you just go to a nice hotel somewhere?”
It’s a conundrum that Brandon Dickerson, owner of Green Acres — a glampground just east of Austin, Texas — is deeply familiar with. After moving with his family from Boston, MA to central Texas, Dickerson fell in love with the 25 acres of land that would eventually become Green Acres. He named the property for the idea that he and his family were city folks giving country living a try (there was 60s-era sitcom of the same title). The idea started off with a couple of Airstream trailers before he added yurts and a 700-square foot lodge. Eventually, it became “a glamping retreat space that kind of took off. In short: It became a thing.
“It’s a starter drug,” explained Dickerson. “It gives an opportunity for people to come and start to get in nature, and for me, it’s all about unplugging. All the banter about social media and all of that is about the fact that I believe strongly that you need times of no WiFi and no cell service, and you need just a moment to be. Boredom is gone. There’s no reflection, no boredom, so the idea of people unplugging in nature is what I’m inspired by.”
The notion of people looking to better their personal lives by tuning out for a spell is something Dickerson sees all the time when greeting his guests. It even inspired him to write and direct a movie set at Green Acres — Amanda And Jack Go Glamping, about a married couple (Amy Acker and David Arquette) looking to save their strained marriage of 15-years.
While I didn’t have any major life crises to tackle, or a failing marriage to fix, my wife and I went out earlier this week to Green Acres to spend a night unplugged and basking in nature. I even left my just-delivered iPhone X behind as a commitment to the endeavor.
Heading out along the narrow, two-lane roads, it’s easy to miss the small wooden sign hanging above the entrance to Green Acres. Luckily, my wife brought her phone with her, so the GPS was able to point out the exact location — an address you only get after your booking is confirmed, along with a quick rundown of the rules and a layout of the area.