Last weekend I went camping at the Kanawha State Forest in Charleston, West Virginia. At first thought it may seem crazy to leave modern conveniences and sleep outside in the wilderness for a weekend, but my trip reminded me why camping is one of the best travel experiences.
Camping reminds us to:
- Live in the moment. Without technology, we are able to avoid distractions and notice our surroundings with all of our senses: the color of every tree leaf, the smell of crisp air, the taste of warm s’mores from the bonfire, the sound of crickets and squirrels, and the feeling of a cool breeze.
- Appreciate the small things. Without modern conveniences such as running water or television, we begin to appreciate the things that we do have. We can be entertained by playing Frisbee or talking with our loved ones instead of having to watch television.
- Play like a kid again. While camping, it is perfectly acceptable (even for adults!) to run around the woods, play on swing sets, skip rocks, jump in puddles, and get muddy. We become nostalgic of our childhood and are reminded that we are always kids at heart and can still have fun and play.
- Recharge. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of daily life. We may forget to go outside as often as we should or we may not get enough sleep. Camping helps us get more fresh air and have a natural sleep cycle; we may actually want to go to bed when the sun sets and wake up when the sun rises!
- Be humble. As we walk and sleep amongst giant trees, bugs, and wildlife, we are reminded that there is more to the world than us. The world does not center around us as people, we are just one small part of the circle of life.
- Care about the planet. When we actually have to live in nature, we begin to understand why it is important to take care of the environment. We need clean air, clean water, and healthy landscapes in order to survive and thrive.
My camping trip could not have come at a better time, as this week marks the United Nations Climate Summit, which unites leaders from UN Member States and local leaders from the public and private sectors. The summit promotes “action and solutions that are focused on accelerating progress in areas that can significantly contribute to reducing emissions and strengthening resilience – such as agriculture, cities, energy, financing, forests, pollutants, resilience and transportation.” Politics aside, the summit inspires us to think about how we are impacting the planet and what we can do to reduce our impact. Morgan Freeman narrated a powerful video to open the summit: What’s Possible: UN Climate Summit Opening Film. Camping brings these thoughts and discussions to life. I am inspired to think of how I can live sustainably and remember to be grateful for the nature that surrounds me.
Why do you like to go camping and how does it help you have an inspirNational mindset?