Camping – My Unexpected Conscious Adventure

Camping – My Unexpected Conscious Adventure

Camping – My Unexpected Conscious Adventure 1920 1080 The Conscious Professional

“Camping is about re-connecting with our primordial selves. The reason that cooking humble food around a campfire, surrounded by family and friends, feels so good is that for eons that was the definition of life in the tribe. It is woven into our very DNA.” – Anonymous

My wife had always been opposed to the idea of camping. However, when we got to this year, and were in search of a good holiday to take our 3-year-old on when under a budget, she conceded.

I had always camped as a child. They are the holidays that have stayed with me. Don’t get me wrong, weeks in Greece or Spain, hanging out next to the sea was wonderful, but no holiday experience is as infused into my positive memories as camping near Dartmoor. Knowing how I felt about these trips, and wanting our son to enjoy some free and uncomplicated time away from the city, my wife suggested we give it a go.

I knew I could convince her to love it. I knew I’d love it. I took us to the very same campsite that I spent months of my life in as a child. What I didn’t expect was how profoundly content I’d feel there as an adult. Of course, there was nostalgia tied up with it… but now that I live the complicated and stressful life of a grown-up, I was astounded at just how much positive impact it had on my emotions, my inner peace, my anxiety, and my mindfulness.

1. Low Tech

When I was a kid in the 90s and 00s, a life consumed by tech was less of an issue. Now, as we know, our phones are in our faces all the time. And so, the absence of my tech was thrown into sharp focus. All notifications were off, and social media was completely uninteresting compared to the forested hills rising around us, and the ancient trees scattered across the fields.

2. Simplicity

There is something to be said for the removal of an abundance of choice. We had a small stove, a box of food, and a small cool bag. There was not much to do but run around the place, play games on their picnic blanket, or stare into the unobstructed distance with a cold drink in hand. Not having much of life’s clutter around was so decompressing.

3. Boring Tasks

Every task was made enjoyable. The ritual of taking a shower involved getting my stuff together and walking through the beautiful and near-deserted campsite (it was low season). Every trip to the amenities block was one of mindful contentment, an opportunity to just be in the place, with no pressure from either time or responsibility. Washing dishes was done overlooking an area of forest, where birds occasionally fluttered from the canopy into the air, and the sound of children playing could be heard. Yes, even washing up was quite enjoyable.

4. The Stars

The sky was crystal clear, and the stars were bright. I have always loved the night sky in this part of the country, and I still do. My wife and I stared and talked about the night sky for a full hour at least one night. It was awe-inspiring, and humbling, and managed to give us a little perspective about how big the universe is, and how we might put too much pressure on ourselves!

5. Musical Silence

When going to sleep, there is no white noise like the wind passing gently through the trees, accompanied by the rushing of a powerful river down in the valley next to you. There is also nothing like waking up to the sound of morning birds singing and the distant crackle of someone frying bacon a few pitches over.

6. Togetherness

There was something extra special about simply being together in this location. This was for a few reasons. Unlike other holidays, camping is an experience in which, mostly, you fend for yourself… no porters, no waiters, no advisers… no staff for miles. And so, this makes your unit feel more isolated… which, in this scenario, is a positive. You naturally focus on one another. There was also something immensely wonderful about watching my son experience something that I, myself, cherished so much as a child. He loved the freedom of nature, and relative nothingness, so much, and I’m delighted we could do for him what my parents did for me. I hope he feels as warmly towards that place as I do in years to come.

By Chris Thomson


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