Life is quick. The world zooms past us in the blink of an eye. One day you’re waking up rushing to work, the next day you’re driving your kids from soccer to ballet practice. One day you wake up and realize you haven’t had a chance to lay back and just think in years. How is an individual supposed to relax when their phone is constantly buzzing with calls from their boss? It’s difficult to wake up one day completely slaved to a little machine with no way to break free. You walk outside and there is humidity in the air and the sound of car horns obnoxiously going at it with one another. These aren’t nice sounds, or nice feelings. Do you know how to relax? Do you know how to wake up one day and decide you won’t be a slave and that you’ll give yourself a mental break? Mental breaks are important in protecting a person’s individual sanity. Mental breaks are what reboots the power in an individual and pushes them to keep going. My mental break took place during spring break last week, and I’ll tell you, it was a much needed vacation.
I am a third year college student going into my fourth year in just a few weeks. College is tough, and it seems that no matter how much work I put into it, I’m afraid of entering into the real world slaved to my phone and feeling trapped as though I will end up in a job that I hate. I am doing my best to make sure that doesn’t happen, and I realize that all I can do is be determined and find a way to be happy with wherever I end up. To get myself into the positive mindset about my future, I take a mental break. It can be a break that lasts a couple hours, or it can even be a break that lasts a month. Whatever it is, it will refresh my persona. For a short mental break, I will spend the day at the beach, I’ll pray, and I’ll eat whatever food I want. For a long mental break, I will go on vacation, and in this case, I went camping.
For those of you who think camping is disgusting and showers are a must, let me just stop you right there. There are plenty of campsites that have showers, actually pretty much all of them do. Camping is not something I do to get down and dirty. I go camping to spend time away from technology, heavy workloads and the sounds of car horns in the morning. It is a way to give my mind peaceful rest, and give my heart a whole new sense of positivity for life. Last week I went camping for four days in the Tallulah Gorge State Park. It is located in northern Georgia, and it is one of the most impressive places I have ever been to. That opinion may be a stretch, because I’ve been to places like Hawaii and Germany, but this place was a different kind of impressive. It was peaceful yet beautiful.
The drive up to Tallulah was 6-7 hours. As I was driving, I started noticing mountains and hills, and the excitement started to flow through me. I grew up in Orlando, Florida, so it’s easy to understand why someone who is used to flatlands and humidity is excited to experience fresh air and mountains. Being Canadian born, I’ve always had an appreciation for the seasons, and this trip made me realize I would love to settle in the north. The campsite I picked out with my friends was set on a cliff, and it overlooked a beautiful mountain. I think the best thing about this trip was sitting by the campfire every night and watching the sunset fall behind the mountain. Every morning, I would open the zip window in my tent, and I would have the pleasure of staring out that window to see the mountains and feel the brisk Georgian air. It was truly liberating.
The hiking was what officially pulled me into Tallulah. The best hiking spot was about a mile and a half long, and it brought us around the gorge of Tallulah. There were many overlook spots where you would get to peer down and see the running waterfalls and massive mountain rock. Everywhere we looked was completely natural. I have never seen anything like it. There was no technology, no man made ruins, just pure serenity and a way for me to express my mental refreshment. I could tell my friends were amazed too. There is nothing more relaxing than spending hours peering into a naturally made heap of wonderment.
The day that I left Tallulah, I felt refreshed. I felt like I regained strength and I was able to make my way back to Florida with confidence to finish out the semester. Of course, I never wanted to leave Tallulah, but mental breaks aren’t supposed to last forever. If they could last forever, society would collapse. The point of me writing this article is not necessarily to convince you to go camping. It is to convince you to find your happy place, and actually go there instead of going there mentally. Take your mental state and physically step foot into your happy place. You’re entire soul will be revitalized. The first thing I did when I entered Tallulah, was I got out of the car, stretched my legs and took a huge deep breath. I immediately fell into a state of complete restfulness.