For the past two nights I slept in a teepee. This wasn’t any ordinary teepee either. It was the TeePee 2000, the mother of all modern day teepees, built with such skill and precision and with the comfort of potential inhabitants carefully considered with every stitch.
A friend of mine here in Sydney told me the story of how he and three others wandered into a Sydney Kmart one day and upon seeing the TeePee 2000 for the very first time, decided on the spot to split the $40 investment among them. And ever since that moment some three years ago, that teepee has accompanied him on every camping trip he has ever taken.
So naturally, the reason why I was sleeping in a TeePee 2000 this weekend is because I was camping. I know that might not sound so natural given my recent rant about the combination of camping and music festivals, but I assure you, nothing more than some tunes from an iPod could be heard around the campsite this time around.
After the positive results of my recent weekend stay at a sheep farm, I’ve found myself somewhat addicted to the idea of spending more time outdoors, right up close and personal with nature. So when the opportunity arose to join some friends for a camping trip to the Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay, a nature reserve located three hours south of Sydney, I stuffed a few clothing items into a daypack, cut my toenails, shaved my armpits and joined the group.
And as expected, I loved every minute of this nature break. Jervis Bay turned out to be quite the perfect camping destination.
Not only were the campsites ideally situated within a eucalyptus and mahogany forest, each site was also only a few minutes walk away from a quiet, yet long stretch of white sand beach. Add to this the dozens of kangaroos and wallabies hopping around and the hundreds of colorful Rosellas flying all throughout the forest and one can easily get the impression that they have reached some remote, completely unexplored corner of the globe. We even had a mother/daughter pair of kangaroos that spent twenty-four straight hours feeding on a grassy patch only five meters from our tents, practically never even taking notice of us at all.
For three days I ate good food, drank good wine, went to sleep early, slept soundly each night, swam in the ocean, hiked through the forests and went kayaking around the bay. And again, I felt more relaxed, more present in the moment and so much healthier overall than at any time in the past six months or perhaps even six years.
Waking up to the birds chirping away at sunrise and then sharing the beach with more kangaroos than human beings seems to have that powerful effect on me.
And of course, sleeping in a teepee in the thick of the forest, with the sound of waves gently tumbling against the shores of the bay in the near distance, is just awesome.
View Jervis Bay, Australia in a larger map
THE ONLY DOWNSIDE
However, in all seriousness, while these ‘breaks’ have proven to be quite therapeutic for me, I must also admit that they are terrible for my blog. I can’t help but notice that the number of visitors to this site plummet every time I step away from my laptop for two days or more. The natural instinct is therefore to stop taking these breaks in fear that such a trend will continue and before long I am again writing only to my family and closest friends. (Not that there is anything wrong with that but I do wish to write for a larger audience.)
But after some thought, I’ve chosen not to worry too much about this potential problem. Without these mini-breaks, I not only wouldn’t be able to maintain this blog much longer but I also wouldn’t be putting into practice what I believe is most important in life. How can I talk about the need to fill one’s life with whatever brings you the most happiness and the least amount of regrets when I am not doing so myself? I can’t. And considering that I love the feeling of being outdoors and more specifically, being away from my computer every now and then, these nature breaks must continue.
For now, I’ll be sticking around Sydney for six more days in order to attend the Sydney Travel Tribe meet-up this Thursday (where I look forward to meeting some great bloggers such as Caz & Craig of YTravelBlog.com and Brooke from BrookeVsTheWorld.com), then flying out to Perth on Saturday and finally, back to Chiang Mai, Thailand on March 2nd.
So as always, if any of you happen to be in any of these locations, let me know and perhaps we’ll have a chance to meet up at some point!