Sunday, August 10, 2014

Camping: Simple Living at It's Finest

A few weeks ago I did something I haven't done in years, and something my husband and I have never experienced together.  We went camping! I can't tell you how excited I was about this getaway.  I grew up going camping with my family nearly every summer and I love the outdoors.  Memories of hiking, camp fires and smores made me giddy as I thought about how to recreate them as an adult.  We drove 4 hours south to Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois.  The scenery was breathtaking, our campsite modest.  No running water, only an outhouse and a fire pit.  We pitched a tent, unrolled our sleeping bags and started to make dinner around the camp fire with our friends.  I immediately felt relaxed.  My mind was clear.  The air was filled with the smell of smoke and barbecue.  People played guitar near by and kids squealed with laughter.  Forest noises of cicadas and crickets rose up and the twinkling of fire flies appeared.  We didn't need to rush anywhere or do any work. No to do lists, no errands, no plans.  We just got to sit by the crackling fire and be together.  Throughout the weekend we hiked, swam in a river and enjoyed more time around the camp fire.  We went to sleep when the stars came out and woke up with the sun.  We were completely disconnected from phone service or electricity.  We only had whatever belongings or food we had brought and we made due and even got creative with campfire recipes. There were no distractions at all.  Simple living at its finest.

We arrived back home and while I was sad to leave the wonderful weekend I was very thankful for my shower and flush-able toilet! Even after just 2 days living in such simplistic conditions, I was thankful for the things that I do have and have a renewed sense that I have all I need, and I have no desire for anything more.  This is one of the reasons I love minimalism.  You get rid of excess, and you stop having the constant desire for more.  You feel content with yourself, and more comfortable with where you are and who you are.

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