Vacation with Vitality: Natural Refreshment

 
I won’t pose as a great outdoorswoman. I’m a okayish indoorswoman, at best. But something in me yearns to unlock myself from walls, to venture out of my citiscape, and let my skin drink rays not filtered through a window pane.
Nature refreshes the soul. When we immerse ourselves in creation, beauty at its simplest and most complex expands the synergistic function of our minds. If we invite ourselves into the prayerful spaces of a love-portrait sculpted for us across the surface of our planet, the experience of God saturates our hearts. When we step out of our manmade chaos and take time to rest in the serenity of creation, the fresh air does more than heal our bodies. Where we meet the Creator’s vitalizing breath, His life renews our lungs.
Some adventures succeed as revitalizing journeys. Others can serve as a litany of unfortunate events. As a city girl, I’m not naturally inclined to plunge out into the wilderness and fare well. In fact, I know myself too well to venture further than a few miles’ walk from civilization. So for other urbanites who might long for a taste of nature, I’m listing a few tips to avert disaster.

  • If heading out alone, be sure to tell someone where you’re going and when to expect you home.
  • Research local terrain and possible pitfalls. Know which plants and wildlife to enjoy and which ones to avoid.
  • Don’t let the bed bugs bite (15-30 percent DEET to repel ticks and mosquitos, but thermocell or lemon-eucalyptus are alternatives).
  • Tuck pantlegs into your shoes and wear hats.
  • Guard your skin–use sunscreen even when it’s overcast.
  • Wear layers.
  • Comfortable might not suffice. Get the appropriate footwear for your adventure (maybe even a walking stick).
  • Hydrate and bring snacks.
  • Bring a backup map. GPS only works where signals are strong enough to equip the device.
  • First aid kits aren’t optional. Duct tape, a flashlight and a pocket knife can also serve as handy emergency kit items.
  • Prepare for allergies.
  • Know thyself. Don’t try to tackle a superhero’s trail if you’re more of a sidekick-in-training.
  • Pace for the return walk.
  • Rest when needed. Accidents increase when we’re tired.
  • Take time to reflect and meditate. Invite God to walk hand in hand with you. The experience only revitalizes those who choose to seek life within it.
  • Consider bringing a sketchpad, journal, or devotional material.
  • Take photos.
  • Contemplate your adventure afterward. Post a gratitude list or journal about the experience. Ongoing reflection deepens the effect.
  • Share your renewal. Blessings increase exponentially when we pour them into others.

What are your favorite tips for outdoor adventures? I’d love to read your comments.
Until next week, be encouraged!
– Tina

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