Sleeping outside, waking up in nature

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I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. There’s just something to waking up out in nature that nourishes my soul. That tickles my toes.

I’ve woken up in a sleeping bag in a tent on South Manitou Island in Lake Michigan; tucked somewhere behind the Tetons in Grand Teton National Park; in camping spots in Big Sur, on Mt. Tam and overlooking the Pacific near Jenner, California – sometimes with LBK, my lovable deaf cat; among thousands of other campers in Yellowstone and Yosemite; in a cave in the Sierra de la Ventana in Argentina; and – perhaps my favorite – in a sleeping bag and nothing more in between two towering walls of rock alongside the Colorado River in the mighty, beautiful, breathtaking Grand Canyon.

This morning I find myself snuggled beneath three fleece blankets in a hammock on the second-floor porch of a cabaña in the Andes Mountains near Jardín, Colombia. From where I rest my head, I can see the top of a mountain. A few clouds are creeping over it, hanging out. No one is in a hurry here. Not even the clouds.

The town of Jardín lies in a valley below the mountain on which I’m perched. I can see it through the turquoise, corn-yellow and royal-blue railing of the balcony. Roosters are crowing. Dogs are barking. Birds are chirping. Someone has started a bonfire nearby, presumably to cook breakfast. Ahh, bonfire. One of my favorite – favorite – smells.

The morning is still and silent. Coming alive slowly. I’m waking up with it, and I love it. It feels natural. I love these moments where everything we think we need in life gets stripped back.

The moments in which we realize life is so simple – and beautiful because of its simplicity.

We often overcomplicate it with material things, with everything we think we need but don’t. I love moments like this, that ground and center me, that make me feel good, that make me feel fresh, alive and real. So here’s to more mornings waking up in hammocks, tents and sleeping bags out in nature. Here’s to more moments like this.

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