Riley and I love to pack up our gear and head out to see new places. Last weekend we had our sights set on Lassen National Park for a weekend getaway. We realize the value of these trips and our time spent outdoors, we also realized that we are having these experiences in the most affordable way so it is a win-win.
If you are not into camping, then you aren't doing it right ;) We are amazed at our ability to go anywhere, and see anything, as long as we bring a small pack filled with our green "tiny home." We use the REI half dome tent that we bought a few years ago and LOVE it (newer versions are available now). It is small and light enough for backpacking but we also appreciate the easy set up and room for two when we are camping with our car nearby at an established campsite.
This weekend in Lassen NP was incredible. We arrived late and set up the tent before completely crashing and sleeping for a solid 8 hours. I woke up next to my best friend, we were breathing in that cool morning air, birds were chirping, the sun was rising, and the trees were gently swaying in the breeze. These are my favorite type of weekend getaways and they just so happen to be the cheapest.
We bring food from home, avoiding the overpriced and poor quality options in the park cafes. Here is an idea of the type of food that we pack for a short trip away. We choose to hike and explore throughout the day which leads to amazing memories, exercise, and a great night's sleep out in the middle of the woods.
We spent the weekend reading, hiking, sitting around the fire, chilling in the hammock, and staying grounded, of course. This is such a difference from the usual work week. Stressors in life can change who we are, making us anxious, overworked, and unhappy. We have to get away, often, and this is the best way for us to do that. Vacations or getaways are valuable for our wellbeing and mental health. With relaxation comes more meaningful connections with those around us, quality time, reduced blood pressure, heart rate, cortisol levels, etc. Day dreamers also happen to be more creative, allowing our mind to wander from a to-do list and focus on the beauty around us will certainly help to get the creative juices flowing. Individuals who go on many small vacations report feeling happier than those that go on one big vacation per year, or those that don't vacation at all.
We have to guard and protect our health. We have to make that a priority. Our employers won't, our coworkers won't, that's on us. There is something so beautiful about being out there, completely connected to nature, beauty, and simplicity. Wellness is mental, physical, and spiritual health, and this is the best way for me to nurture all three.