I absolutely love being outside. It’s my zen, my refreshment and what grounds me. Naturally, I love camping. I haven’t done much of it in a few years because I’ve been raising babies. Now that those babies have grown into kids, it’s time to get back out there and explore the beautiful state of Georgia. I grew up at the beach in North Carolina, so there’s a lot of Georgia I’ve never seen. We live north of Atlanta, not too far from the North Georgia mountains, and we’re lucky to have such a beautiful part of America right in our backyard. This weekend we camped at Sweetwater Creek campground on Lake Allatoona with two other couples and their kids. We had three tents, six adults and five kids on a campsite right next to the lake. It was Memorial Day weekend and I thought it was cool that we were participating in a traditional American activity on a patriotic holiday. We really do live in a beautiful country. From deserts to mountains to beaches, America is a vast and inviting playground for those of us willing to pitch a tent and build a fire.
I think people who live in the city or the suburbs don’t realize how stressful that lifestyle is until they escape it for a little while. When I get away from traffic and schedules and look up at pine trees and watch the moon rise, I realize how important it is to unplug and connect with nature. I especially think kids need outside time. Whether it’s beach, forest, lake or mountains, kids need to run around, get dirty, splash, climb, get a sunburn and some fresh air. They need to learn about tide pools and songbirds. Less video games, lessons and helmets. More mud puddles and salt air.
It sounds cheesy, but I believe there is something in the human soul that is squashed when we are deprived of time spent outside. If you’re a Christian you believe that God created the Earth for us to enjoy. How sad that so many of us don’t pause to appreciate it.
If you haven’t tried camping in a while, or ever at all, I encourage you to go for it. There’s nothing better than hanging out around a campfire with the moon glowing and the trees rustling in the breeze. Whether you’re roasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories or playing a drinking game, it’s fun just be outside and unplugged for a while. Disney Land is great and a Caribbean vacation is great too, but there sometimes the simplest, cheapest vacations are the ones we remember the most.