Research now shows that being out in nature has many physical and mental benefits. But finding ways to experience the great outdoors can be difficult, especially if you live in a big city.
Thankfully, people are more aware than ever of the importance of one’s mental health, but many of us, for one reason or another, are unable to heed the overwhelming majority of expert advice. Hobbies provide the perfect excuse to make time for ourselves and engage in an activity that pays off in so many ways.
We’ve explored some great examples of hobbies that will get you packing your bags and starting a long-term, healthy relationship with nature.
As a species, we have always had a special relationship with water – it has been a source of food and a mode of transportation and recreation for thousands of years. Many cultures still have a symbiotic and spiritual connection to the waterways they inhabit, but for those of us who live in the industrialized world, learning to sail is a great way to rekindle that connection.
It may seem overwhelming at first, but you can learn the basics at your local sailing club. Small two-person boats with tiller steering can teach you the ropes. Once you get the hang of the lingo and have the basics down, you can start upgrading to larger containers.
These skills are especially useful while on vacation. Impress everyone in your group by chartering a catamaran or yacht and cleverly planning your route from island to island. You’ll find countless undiscovered locations that are only accessible by water, so you can enjoy exclusive itineraries away from the hustle and bustle.
Popular destinations for holidays in the waves are the Greek Islands, Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast and North America’s Chesapeake Bay. Companies like Borrow A Boat also offer captained charters if you’re not quite ready for sailing yet.
They say with good reason that travel is the only thing that will make you richer. Seeing and experiencing the rest of the world is uniquely nourishing and helps overcome the sometimes inevitable monotony of home familiarity.
The excitement begins with the planning stage and choosing the areas you most want to visit. Factors include your budget, the time of year you plan to travel, and when you can fly.
Flight price comparison sites like Skyscanner offer a feature where you can leave the destination and date fields blank and it will give you the results of the cheapest countries to fly from your home country and the month when they are cheapest – here is A great way to generate some ideas if you’re lucky enough to have that flexibility.
Double-check the weather in the locations on your shortlist to make sure it matches your hopes and expectations; some warm countries experience unusually harsh winters and sweltering summers.
Comparing exotic flora and fauna to those you’re used to back home is an exciting part of any adventure for outdoor enthusiasts. Don’t forget to capture all these memories with your camera – flip through your snaps and be back in paradise in no time.
You don’t even need to get on a plane to discover new experiences in nature. The phrase “vacation at home” has become popular in recent years, and indeed, we often have an abundance of natural beauty on our doorstep.
If you’re new to hiking, it’s best to start within your comfort zone. Find a list of local trails with frequent stops (or coffee shops) along the way to replenish your canteen and grab a bite.
For those delving into the world of hiking, there’s a wealth of information available, especially on YouTube, including the equipment you’ll need and tips for staying safe and respectful in nature. If you really like it, you might consider upgrading your experience to include backcountry camping.
Camping laws vary widely from country to country, so it’s inevitable that further planning necessary will be needed to ensure you’re not trespassing or breaking any laws, but once you’ve found some suitable spots for camping, you’ll see What Waking Up In Nature Does To Us Remain primally connected to the great outdoors.
Our feet can only go so far, and if we really want to drive on the open road, four wheels are sometimes the way to go. As the trend of going back to basics (without sacrificing too much comfort) continues, camper vans are on the rise in popularity.
The most dedicated nomads among us will have their own vans converted to their exacting specifications before even hitting the tarmac and seeing where their journey takes them. When planning your route across continents, there’s no limit to where you can travel.
For many of us, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise how important nature is to our emotional well-being. Try one of your hobbies to reap the many benefits the outdoors has to offer us.