Living in the city can deprive us of our basic needs. The need to breathe fresh air, to enjoy wide open and green spaces, to fall asleep as the day fades away and the moon rises.
Us city dwellers snooze to the glow of laptops and Netflix at night, we are constantly connected to social media, and we rarely get through dinner without the ping of a notification or email.
It’s time we unlearn all of this. Strip it all back to basics, to connect IRL with the people we love, rather than over Whatsapp, to spend time in wild places and jump into freezing rivers. We can’t live when we’re always looking at our phones.
So, with the summer holidays just around the corner, here are four things I love when I get outside, turn off my phone, spend some time under canvas, and unlearn the city.
Night skies are small in cities, but in the country they are huge and open and littered with sparkles, all the way from one horizon to the other. No interruptions, little light pollution, no cars tearing around corners blasting out Kanye.
The night is lighter than you think too – in the mountains, snowy peaks glimmer in the moonlight, waves shimmer under the stars at the beach, and rivers ripple with reflections. In the city, behind the neon and lit up windows, the night seems formidable, but take away the synthetic and the world is much brighter than it once seemed. Need some inspo for star-gazing in the UK? Check out this list by The Guardian.
There’s something about camping, or sleeping in the van, or a hammock, that make me sleep deeper than anywhere else. Maybe it’s the sound of the ocean, birds and rivers outside. Maybe it’s my body clock resetting to the time of the sun and the moon. Maybe it’s just where we are supposed to be, rather than between bricks and mortar, tapping away at laptops and looking at screens. If you’re exhausted this summer, get outside, if only to sleep.
Head to a camping spot with no 3G, turn off your phones and have a conversation. Seems crazy, right? I always find that, even though the wild makes you disconnected from the internet, it creates a deeper connection with the people you are with, and the world around you. Facebook can wait, Instagram is not important, the out of office is on (and staying on until you get back to the office) and you are a whole load happier for it. Ammirite or ammirite?
For better health
I don’t know about you, but life can be pretty stressful at times, but getting outside and shutting it all out always does me the world of good. There’s a science behind why time outdoors is great for both our physical and mental health, and we can’t argue with science, right? The outdoors is good for, and not limited to; improved creativity and concentration, immune system boosting, and relaxation.
How are you going to unlearn your city this summer?