Mental health resets in nature
I love a bougie experience. A nice hotel, a nice restaurant. But I also love a grueling hike that leads to some truly stunning nature that isn't accessible to many people. Growing up in Washington and spending the last 16 years in Bellingham and Seattle placed me in the midst of premium access to some of the best nature.
I particularly love harsh landscapes. Iceland and the Scottish Highlands are some of my favorite places to have visited. I like feeling small in the midst of some overwhelmingly barren landscape. It readjusts my perspective.
My dad booked a weekend away for me, my mom and him in the Grand Canyon. October has been a particularly difficult month for multiple reasons and this was supposed to be a way to get us all out of the house.
We took the train from Williams, AZ and spent the night at one of the lodges in the national park. It was a nice and chill ride up to the canyon. We were in one of the dome cars where you sit up top and have a view all around. As part of the package that was booked, there was a sunset tour that took you along points along the east of the South Rim from the train depot drop off.
On our way back to the lodge, after sunset, we were met with a full moon rising over the canyon and that felt particularly special. It wasn't planned and here I get to watch the most stunning moonrise over a most stunning and sacred landscape. Photos don't do it just but I tried.
While I didn't get to properly hike, we did walk the paved South Rim trail from Mather Point to Bright Angel. I walked a little ways down Bright Angel just to say I went into the canyon but I want to come back one day and hike properly down into it.
After a ridiculously stressful month it was nice to reset in such grand scenery. I tried to be as present as possible and realized that getting out into nature is a priority for me. Not just a walk to the park, which is just as important, but actually getting out where your cell phone signal is half what it normally is.
I need that moment to step away from a screen and be consumed by the natural world for a little bit. So as I get ready to settle into life in the UK, this is something that becomes a priority for me and I am looking forward to 2024 and finding places to hike around Britain.