My partner and I have just returned from a wonderful weekend camping and I am feeling very relaxed and rested and my work is flowing. So today I have been pondering exactly what it is about camping that I enjoy so much and gives me such a ‘feel good’ factor.
Firstly, I love the ‘getting back to nature’ element, cooking outside, hearing and seeing animals nearby, the sound of the birds, the feel of the wind and the sights and smells of the countryside, it really engages all the senses which is profoundly healing and relaxing.
Secondly, camping has many happy connotations for me. It reminds me of my childhood camping experiences with the girl guides, friends, youth camps and with family. The sun was always shining and we had good times.
Most profoundly, however, because there is always so much to do when camping, such as buying food, cooking, washing up, tidying the site, and lots to engage with; birds, animals, other campers, I realise that I find camping to be mindful, that is it keeps me constantly in the present moment, thus making me oblivious to past and future worries. The experience, therefore, becomes meditative, restful and reinvigorating. We had great weather and that really helps, but tucking down with a good book and rain beating on the outside of the tent with none of the distractions of modern life can also be highly therapeutic.
Finally, the weekend was also something of an escape from all things electronic which was another great thing. I was a bit disappointed on arrival to find that the campsite now had ‘wi-fi available’, but even so, the lack of mains power to charge my Iphone meant I minimised my on-line time to a quick email catch up once a day and a few Facebook posts. I realised that we don’t need to be electronically connected all the time and this mini ‘digital detox’ also contributed to my overall positive experience and feelings of well being.
To me, therefore, camping is a fantastic way to have a low cost, restful, therapeutic, mindful experience and it’s one that I highly recommend.