Many people love getting out of their homes and going somewhere exotic for vacations. They love going to beaches and resorts or cruises far away from home. They love to get out and party and leave all their worries behind.
Unfortunately, this does not apply to me. I have been to resorts and beaches. They can be a lot of fun and relaxing. Just the other day there was a photo that popped up on my Facebook timeline of my wife and me on our honeymoon in Mexico — on a beach.
It was a great vacation. We haggled with some locals, drank some awesome beverages and ate traditional Mexican cuisine. As awesome of a time as this way, it pales in comparison to my favorite time of the year — hunting season.
What makes this time so special, you ask?
In the fall, when all the leaves turn and the temperature starts to drop— I start to smile. I know my “getaway” is coming soon. I have the privilege of sitting in the woods — alone with nothing but nature surrounding me.
You enter this vast wilderness under the cover of darkness. You find a nice spot to sit or climb into a tree stand. You sit, wait, and hope for your opportunity to bag your trophy buck.
But then something fascinating happens while you sit there.
The sun begins to crest the horizon. This cold, but soothing, air fills every part of your body. You breathe deeply and bask in the glory of Mother Nature.
Soon, you hear the crow’s overhead clamoring as they circle looking for an easy meal. The squirrels emerge from their nests and begin scavenging through the leaves looking for any food they can find. Winter is coming and they have to prepare.
You sit there alone with nothing but your thoughts. No worries about what’s happening on social media. No thinking about what the world of politics. No news to scare you into believing that the world is burning all around. No. None of that is on your mind.
All you can think about is how this world, this wooded land you visit sparingly continues to live on. All of these animals continue to live their lives. They see you sitting there, but they don’t care. They have work to do to survive.
There is nothing quite like this experience.
I have written in length about the benefits of exercise and nutrition. Sure, these things do amazing things for us, but when I need to clear my head I turn to the wilderness. The best part is, its good for health too.
Spending Time in Nature is Good for Your Health
We as a society hardly take time to think about it. We hardly take time to put our life on hold, to leave electronics alone, to put our worries about work and family and friends on pause for a few short hours. I recently wrote about a technology fast my wife and I completed, it was invigorating.
There is a reason why so many retreats, that you may pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars to attend, take place in the wilderness. Science has shown that spending time in the wilderness helps to connect and center our minds.
A study completed at the University of East Anglia found that “Living close to nature and spending time outside has significant and wide-ranging health benefits.” Some of these benefits include reduced risk of diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, along with reducing stress and high blood pressure.
The best part is, you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars for this experience. Find a state park, preferably far away from other humans and just there for an hour or two. If you are unable to reach a park away from urban areas, the research has also shown that urban green areas can have similar results.
Feel the quieting of your mind as you listen to the relaxing noises. I promise you, a few hours of sitting in silence in the wild will help your mind clear. It’s almost a reminder about how small we are as individuals and how some of our problems can be trivial. Taking time to enjoy what this world offers is so important to your mind and body.
Always find time for nature.
At the end of the day, like many of you, I wouldn’t mind sitting on a beach enjoying a cocktail. Going to an all-inclusive resort and indulging myself for a week is fun. I would do it again. However, if I had a choice of going to a resort or sitting in the woods alone I would choose the latter every time.
Resorts have a sense of structure, a certain way you must do things and the obviousness of social cues you must follow. The wilderness has no rules, no specific way anyone must act. It is full of randomness. Life out in the wilderness is survival of the fittest, pure Darwinism.
That’s what makes it so special and unique.
You cannot predict what will happen next. You are just a fly on the wall watching the world at work.
Since we know that being outside and specifically in green spaces away from urban areas is good for our mental and physical health it is important to make time for getting out there. Enjoy all that the world can bring you in the vastness of the wild.
That is the reason why the wilderness is my getaway. A getaway of all my worries and problems. Alone, but surrounded by life. Appreciating everything that nature has to offer. That is special to me.