No matter how many times I acknowledge that getting away from home can be a positive stress buster, I don’t always take my own advice. But this weekend, despite the list of nagging chores waiting to be addressed, my husband and I took a couple of days to go up to fresh air, freedom and some independence—camping. Well, we are in a trailer, not tent, but compared with the luxury of the “big rigs” all around us, we are definitely scaled down and modest.
We have gone up the highway between Banning and Idyllwild to Silent Valley, a nice little “camping resort” only an hour and a half from home, since our children were small. While there we can consider ourselves removed from the high impact activity of weekend responsibility, but close enough to come back down the mountain and easily re-enter prepared for Monday morning call to duty.
In all former trips I’ve used the open time to walk a bit more, finish a book or two, even take a nap. It is difficult to concentrate on whatever is stressing us out when we have cheap and easy access to walking, swimming, and generally lazing around. We tune out. Or we used to. It’s only been a short time that we have even had good cell reception while there, but this time we had Internet service—and I had my iPad.
Through the years I’ve watched as motor homes with RV enthusiasts set up camp and set out their satellite dishes. What? Can’t they unplug and just enjoy the quiet? We didn’t need all that additional entertainment. Sure I brought my Ipad with me, but only for my traveling library and some music. Imagine my surprise when we discovered what we never anticipated… Wi-Fi reception.
This was indeed my moment of truth. If you sit in the great outdoors getting caught up on email, reading Salon.com and even downloading another book, not because you are taking the time to read, but just because you can, perhaps I need to think a second time.
It’s probably best to just admit that sometimes the disparity between the paces we keep during the week and complete unplugging is just too much to overcome when given the temptation to browse and surf. A change in scenery provided a great backdrop to pleasant activity, our spirits revived and that’s always a good contribution to overall well-being. Despite electronic distraction we still fed anxious squirrels the remainder of our pita chips and even spied some baby quail. We returned less stressed and tired than when we left town on Friday. So camping or not, it’s all good.