I recently traveled with my husband and some friends of ours to Great Basin National Park, where we attended a friend’s wedding on a mountain. It was the most unique wedding I’ve ever experienced, complete with mountain hiking, a cave tour, s’mores around the campfire, and no cellular service. There was an excess of nice cameras, so I was invited to play amateur photographer, too, which was a lot of fun!
After two nights in the park, we drove a few hours and spent a couple of days visiting Salt Lake City. We explored the city, did even more mountain hiking, and just enjoyed spending grown-up time together without kids.
I could completely relax knowing that my two year old was having the time of her life with her grandparents. She got to feed the ducks, go to a butterfly exhibit, and get spoiled in general. We FaceTimed a couple of times once we got back into areas with cell service, but she was mostly having too much fun to miss us.
We came back home feeling renewed and calm.
When I spent some time reflecting on the trip, I found that the following three strategies contributed to the incredible feeling of peace I felt upon my return:
Once I got over a brief moment of discomfort at the thought of not having cell service for two days, it was actually very relaxing. I didn’t have that little voice in my mind telling me all the things I should be doing instead of what I was doing – because most of those things involve the internet in some capacity (blogging, checking email, updating the website, etc.). When we were sitting around the fire roasting s’mores and chatting with old friends, no one had their noses in their phones. I realized it had been a long time since I had connected with a group of people in such a way.
Focus on the joys of life right in front of you
Great Basin National Park is beautiful. I had never been in that part of the country before, so I couldn’t help but marvel at all the sights. The landscape was so different than what I’m used to seeing in Indiana, and spending time in the desolate Nevada mountains made me appreciate the flat, fertile ground of Indiana even more.
Ask for help when you need it
Being 20 weeks pregnant, I wasn’t sure how I would handle the altitude, hiking, and 100 mile stretches of road without bathrooms or restaurants. I wouldn’t say I was needy, but I asked for help when I needed it, and there was always someone willing to help me out. I felt a bit dizzy on the highest part of the mountain hike, and the groom himself took breaks with my husband and I on the way back down so that they could chat and keep an eye on me while I caught my breath. Everyone enjoyed stretch breaks and stocked up on snacks for the long car rides. We hiked at my pace in Salt Lake City, and at one point I waited behind in a beautiful part of the woods while the rest of the group went to the top of a waterfall.
I’ve been trying to keep this peaceful feeling with me as I integrate back into my normal routine. Working at the hospital, running my business, and mothering my toddler are things that can sometimes pull me away from that peace, but I’m learning ways to find the peace within the chaos. Taking walks, eating breakfast outside on the porch, and finding new things to explore in our hometown have been some things that have worked for me. I’m also trying to savor the times when I’m offline, and really appreciate the internet when I use it. If I have a few minutes to wait in a line, for example, I might find something beautiful to look at in my immediate environment before getting out my phone and mindlessly browsing Facebook.
How can you apply these strategies into your daily life? Let me know if you find some peace along your way.