July 21, 2015

The One Place I Can Always Find Myself.

alone outside

There is something so magical about a place cars can’t get to.

The kind of place we reach solely on self-power. A place where we can be truly free; where once we step out of our comfort zone, our heart, mind, thoughts and spirits are all able to let go of the heaviness that normally holds us back. No one tells us how to live, and the only person who limits what we can do is our own self through the dictations of our minds.

This place is our medicine land, our Zen meditation spot or our relaxation cove (perhaps it is something we have yet to find a word or a feeling for to describe its truest significance). It’s the place where we go to ask questions and get answers. This could be the beach, up a mountain, on its foothills, a valley or any location where the combination of oxygen, sunlight and physical activity give space for us to forget where we came from and become the person we truly are.

With friends or on a solo trip, being in the wild allows for our emotions to reason with our minds and get in touch with our truest heart desires.

Its pure, surreal, relaxed environment is filled with crazy positive vibes that go through our bodies reenergizing every last cell. We feel the wind around dancing to the sound of nothingness but the beating of our own hearts and the electricity of the moment. It is a feeling that we have a hard time describing or putting into words for others. Somehow there are not enough words to truly explain or do justice to what being in the outdoors does for our souls.

Yet, outdoor living is always not as glamourous and idealistic as it may sound. The mosquitos and black flies that swarm our face, the lack of oxygen when we are high-up in the mountains or the intensive sweat fest that we may experience near the coast are not always all that pleasant. Yet why do we put ourselves through this exhilarating yet not always appealing lifestyle? Why do we undergo the pain, the exhaustion, the lack of bathrooms, food and sleep deprivation? The answer is simple: because it is the place we can connect to the most. Where we truly find ourselves. Where everything makes sense, including ourselves. It is the place where for once our minds learn to quiet down and open up space for our hearts to speak and breathe. It is living a simple life where nothing matters other than the moment we are in.

Whether it is going for a bike ride until our legs can’t pedal anymore, running through a trail while skipping over rocks and sticks humming to the ecstasy of the moment, trekking up a mountain witnessing as our lungs adjust to the lack of oxygen with every new step we take, paddling down a river where every turn brings with it a new experience or catching that perfect wave we waited for all morning, life is summed up in those moments of pure adrenaline. Leaving everything that doesn’t matter behind, because when we are in the outdoors, we quickly learn to realize how little we need the stuff we have. Even our thoughts, our pains and our aches become too heavy a load to carry and we start shedding them the farther we go in. What we ultimately stay with is in fact all we will ever need.

Life goes by too fast as we continuously search for purpose in this world. But where we chose to live and go sometimes is not aligned to where our heart rhythmically encourages us to be. We know deep down in our core what is important, who we want to be and how we want to live. We are reminded of it every time we leave the comfort of our homes into the beauty of the backcountry.

Yet excuses are sometimes easier than actions and following dreams sometimes requires going against that status quo accepted by so many. Living out of a car, in a tent, out in the wild with no material goods but a good tarp, rain jacket and stove to heat up water is all you need. And we realize this every time we come back from the wild, where even for a second, the smell of bonfire in our hair, the dirt on our faces and the pain in our backs is a reason to smile and keep coming back for more.


Author: Carolina Arcila

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Photo: Flickr

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