Why is it that when summer comes, the vast majority of us flee the city in search of a natural environment in which to disconnect from technology and relax?
People travel to the beach, mountains, a river, or a rural area, almost always subconsciously wanting to reconnect to the original source, which is nature. We all desire to leave the artificial world that we have created behind and soak up sun, clean air, and natural water, while savouring delicious local foods of the places we visit, and ultimately, rebalancing ourselves again.
Last July, we ventured south to spend a couple of weeks with our Spanish family at the beach, which we all enjoyed to the fullest. At first glance, it might seem easier to live a more natural lifestyle at a beach environment than in a city. But upon analysing people’s doings, one realises that instead of soaking up the natural elements, they maintain the same lifestyle as back home – they keep right on running the rat race. Even at the beach, they keep running that race. They run it in a different way, but at the end of the day, it’s still a rat race.
On holiday, the rat race continues, trying to do and see as much possible as a family in a short period, and returning to work even more exhausted than pre-vacation! Some even bring their work along with them, hoping to keep that competitive edge while on vacation.
We at rewilding drum want to demonstrate that a less domesticated and a more human (rewilding) lifestyle is possible in any environment. It is, as always, about a change of habits and being more present in what we do.
We are now back home, but maybe you’re about to leave or you’re already enjoying your holidays. Therefore we want to share some very easy tricks to try. If you put them into practice, we would love to hear about your experience!
#1. Eat local and seasonal
Most coastal sites in Spain are full of pizzerias, burger joints and cheap food for tourists, both local and foreign. However there are still some places where you can discover local delicacies. Try the abundance of different local foods. Food is a good way to connect with the region.
On the other hand, it shouldn’t be complicated or expensive: watermelons, peaches, cherries, melons, tomatoes … I love the Mediterranean fruit and every bite I take makes me profoundly happy.
#2. Sleep under the stars
Sleeping a night with no other roof than the moon and the stars is an extraordinary experience. Most of us sleep 365 days a year indoors with controlled temperature: heating or air conditioning. Sleeping outdoors let you breath fresh and cool night air in an atmosphere free of electromagnetic pollution. Try it, and you will feel rejuvenated.
#3 Contemplate the stunning sunrise and sunset as often as possible.
If you ask me what experiences are the most overwhelming on a summer beach holiday, I definitely go for the sunrise and sunset, a daily spectacle that is generously offered to us for free.
In the morning, the powerful light of a new day that begins before your eyes recharges and energizes you. And in the evening, the orange light of the day which is almost behind us calms us down. It is a unique way of living in the only moment that exists: the present.
#4. Practice wild beauty
The other day, when walking along the beach, I heard a girl tell her friend that she didn’t want to bathe because she didn’t want to spoil her just-painted nails. How can one complicate his/her life in such a way!
To me practicing wild beauty means making use of all what nature offers us, and in the summer months, that is a lot. For example:
- Breathing the fresh sea air rejuvenates your health due to the concentration of negative ions that loosen up the nerves and promote good humour. It also contains lots of trace elements that, by breathing, help to strengthen the immune system.
- Sunbathing with some cautions naturally beautifies! (check here and here how to naturally sunbathe). Forget the makeup!
- Leave behind lotions and creams, and instead take advantage of sea sand to make a natural skin scrub. Your skin will be as smooth as a baby’s bum, and when you get back home (not under the sun), you can apply coconut oil. The effect you get is spectacular.
- Washing your hair in the sea is a unique feeling. To keep from contaminating it with ingredients that are harmful to the environment (and for you), you can make a homemade shampoo by beating an egg with a concentrated nettle and rosemary infusion. Massage your hair with the mixture and rinse in the sea. The result will be surprising.
#5. Barefoot please
We have already spoken several times about the benefits of this practice, and summer is the best season to give it a first try. Today, I’ll tell you a little recent anecdote.
A couple of weeks ago, I walked down a street near the sea to the place where we stayed with relatives. A passer-by coming from behind accidentally stepped on my flip-flop, and it broke. I decided to put the two flip-flops in my bag and go barefoot. My 10-year-old niece who accompanied me asked me if she could also go barefoot. Of course, my love! She stared at me in disbelief, being used to hearing everyone constantly stressing the importance of putting on shoes. She felt happy and free. I could definitely and clearly hear my inner, wild, little voice (that we all have inside, but which is constantly silenced by the way we are supposed to behave).
#7. Move, move, move!
Move all day without stopping – outdoors, if possible. It’s now or never! Working with computers robs us of too many hours of motion. Summer holidays are the ideal moment to recover some of that motion and movement.
The possibilities are endless, and your adventurous spirit will adore walking, running, and exploring new trails (if the heat scares you as much as me, there is always the early-morning and night possibility), swimming, sailing, surfing, diving, dancing, and practicing Movnat.
The beach offers a lot of natural movement possibilities such as yoga and Tai chi. There are no more excuses. But above all, make sure you have fun.
If you are someone who moves daily, your challenge may be to motivate others to move. For us it was very encouraging to see how children who were with us this summer were excited and willing to drop their mobile phone to join us on a Movnat session first thing in the morning. Their faces of happiness and pride the first time they went kayaking or riding a surfboard were worth more than all the money in the world.
We are social beings, and we need human contact. I recommend that you turn off your electronic devices, that you stop hunting Pokémon, and start having real relationships with people around you:
- Listen to their stories
- Play with your kids
- Talk with the person next to you
- Learn expressions and traditions from the locals, not your phone
- Befriend the waiter
Those little moments lead you more to happiness than observing the world through a screen.
#8. Make love
That, I guess, you know how to 🙂
Now, I will let you continue to enjoy your summer, but before you do, tell me!
How will you make your summer a little wilder?
PS: You might also be interested in reading last Bert’s article on the Bushcraft Journal Magazine about a similar topic.