Whether or not physical movement is a challenge for you, camping, especially with company, could be a great opportunity for emotional and spiritual growth. This experience helps you to stretch not only your muscles but also your soul. If you are ready to learn from yourself, here are some basic attitudes you may need for your next sleeping outdoor adventure.
Sense of humor: Living without a cozy bed, a toilet, hot shower, and your basic private space can be a nightmare if you usually have them. Laughter can be handy here. Be willing to enjoy the temporal lack of luxuries. Yes, you do not have a Starbucks near by or grandma to cook a soup for you. However, this does not mean that you can be grumpy and turn yourself into an undesirable company.
Tolerance: Allow yourself some neurotic behavior, you are human! Pick a small luxury you are not willing to give up and share that with your co-campers and listen theirs. The secret is that you forgive yourself and other people for being a little neurotic. For instance, in my last trip I wanted to take a shower at least once a day and my friend wanted to have everything super clean around food. We swam in a cold lake and I help her to super clean everything after we ate. We both were happy campers!
Curiosity: Explore, explore, explore! Unbelievably, but there is life in trees, animals, and rocks. You are their guest. They share some wisdom in their own language. It is important to listen what other people know about the place, but it is also important to be in silent and collect information yourself. Open your five or six senses. Listen the wind, enjoy the rain in your skin: be a curious child!
Openness: While it is important to plan with checklists and google maps, improvisation is a key attitude. Plans are merely suggestions when it comes to outdoors activities. Camping shakes our beloved fantasy of having the control. Be open to change route or the entire plan if necessary. Be open to other’s ideas as crazy as they may sound. Everything is permitted, as long as you feel safe and are protecting the environment. After all, you are at the mercy of the weather and the capricious mother earth. Isn’t it fascinating?
Creativity: Do the same things in very different forms. If you want to struggle less, accept the scarcity of the moment and be creative. As for entertainment; being bored is forbidden when drawing, singing, dancing, and journaling can be done with none or limited accessories.
Gratitude: Gratefulness enhances your spirit and makes you a better human being. Leave at home the preconceived ideas about what a lunch is or how a dinner table looks like. You may find yourself happily eating a cold soup or sun-heated oranges. Be grateful for the moon, the sun, the air, and even the lack of Internet or cell phone signal. Those great things make your camping trip an adventure. Don’t you think?
If you are not camping soon, do not worry; this emotional survival kit applies to everyday challenges. Until the next post . . . take care.