I generally enjoy being out in nature.
I wouldn’t call myself a hard-core survivalist, living inside animal carcasses and backpacking through the open country for months on end. But I like being outside, going on moderately demanding hikes, and exploring wild places.
Our family’s recent Idaho trip definitely fed my love of the outdoors. It’s one of those places where a good number of people are self-sufficient, living off the land sort of folk. I find a romantic appeal to that lifestyle, but, if I’m being honest, I’m still something of a city boy, having lived in San Diego and Los Angeles almost all my life.
I’ve found our new house in Arizona to be a blend of the two. It’s got plenty to offer in the great outdoors. I get to see the sun rise and set over mountains from my own house every day—something I hope never to take for granted. Yet it’s still got just about all the commercial offerings I’ve come to know and love.
My recent time out in the wilds reminded me of something I particularly enjoy about being outdoors: I think a lot less about myself when I’m out there.
I don’t worry so much about how I look and what I’m wearing (provided it’s weather/activity adequate). And, as you’ve probably experienced, most outdoorsy types don’t fret about fashion. That’s a city-person’s game.
But it goes beyond just outer wear. My awareness is turned away from many of my own inner struggles, doubts, anxieties, etc. and instead it’s focused on my immediate surroundings.
On a hike, a good part of my attention is given to just staying aware of the path ahead, taking it one step at a time without falling. After that, I try to enjoy the scenery. Be it trees, rocks, rivers, mountains, or plains—just about any place you go has something nice to look at. Even without a breathtaking view, the observant hiker is usually rewarded by something worth noticing like an animal sighting or particularly nice cloud formations.
Since the dawn of creativity, the outdoors have been a source of inspiration. As I’ve found, they share many similarities.
The act of creating is also an opportunity for me to lose myself, focus on my next steps, and enjoy the journey.
Whether you’re an axe wielding lumberjack or you prefer to enjoy nature from the safety of an RV or cabin, I hope you take time to experience the outdoors and let them fuel your creative drive.
Besides, sharing s’mores with friends around a campfire still remains one of the best ways to spend an evening, even if it means your clothes will smell like burning the next day.