5 Outdoor Essays
Get Inspired to Go Outside With These 5 Essays
For me reading and the outdoors go hand in hand. Whether diving into a book on the beach or in a tent before falling asleep, it’s hard to imagine a trip without something to read. While at work or in between trips, I often find myself reading books or articles that inspire me to get back outside. It’s the circle of reading and outdoor life! While you’re stuck staring at a screen inside (you better not be outside reading this. Put the phone down!) here are five articles to inspire you to get out there again.
Writing for Mother Nature Network, Russell McLendon tries to translate the Norwegian word friluftsliv to English and explain how Americans can use it to cultivate a lifestyle that will help them reconnect with the natural world. It literally means “free air life” which I think sounds like an awesome life. The article describes the close relationship Norwegians have with nature and their “freedom to roam” attitude. They even passed a law saying anyone has the right to explore undeveloped private property as long as they obey a couple rules. Accompanied by stunning pictures, this article definitely got me ready to go explore some undeveloped woods.
This article combines three of my favorite things: hiking, yoga, and Prospect Park. Susan Stellin, writing in the New York Times, chronicles her experience with the Hiking Yoga studio. The class meets up in Prospect Park and hikes to lesser known parts of the park and stops along the way to do balancing poses. Aside from doing yoga in the fresh air, Stellin’s instructor points out that when barking dogs or baseball games distract you, it’s a great opportunity to refocus your mind. This article is almost three years old now but I always find myself coming back to it. Finding a new favorite spot in Prospect Park while getting exercise in the outdoors seems like a win-win to me.
While technically more of a photo gallery than article, I couldn’t deny you 10 gorgeous pictures of national parks at night. As co-authors Lynn Davis and Jennifer Errick point out for the National Parks Conservation Association, most Americans don’t have great stargazing opportunities where they live. From Nevada to Maine, this article lays out the places to pitch a tent and look up, and even highlights the best time of year to do so.
Wild has brought a new appreciation for using the outdoors to heal your soul. Writing in the New York Times’ Modern Love column, Aspen Matis writes about how she also found solace on the Pacific Crest Trail. Wanting to walk and be alone in the wilderness after getting raped in college, her essay is equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring. Aspen’s emotional journey is supplemented by her beautiful descriptions of the desert and the kindness of the people she meets on the trail. If you’re going through a tough time, don’t forget the immense healing power of going for a walk.
Drinking coffee outside is one of life’s simplest pleasures. The cup of coffee first thing in the morning, while it’s still cool enough to warrant a sweatshirt, is one of my absolute favorite things about camping. So Catherine, writing in Misadventures Magazine, pulls me in right away with her description of finishing her coffee before she sets out for a day of hiking in the desert. Add hot springs and the moment you realize nature can help you forget all your worries, and you’ve got me packing my bags for my next trip outdoors.
By Susan Torres - check out her blog here.