Well, I made it through a whole decade of adulthood. That’s right! Count em, 10 whole years of paying my bills on time, showing up to work, drinking coffee, and keeping the foil out of the damn microwave!!! With my 30th birthday quickly approaching, I knew I had to do something different. I did NOT want to go to a bar or a party. As time moves forward by I find myself yearning for a more simple, soulful life. This milestone birthday had to be celebrated away from it all.
“Take me to the mountains!”, I replied, after my husband asked me what I wanted to do for my special day. We packed up our cooler with yummy food, grabbed our one-burner propane stove, cooking utensils, two sleeping bags, a tent, some pillows and an axe. We set out on a drive just a few hours away from home here in Colorado.
We arrived at the camping spot at twilight. As we pull up to our designated campsite I see a moose off in the distance. These mountains are chock-full of wild animals such as moose, bear, deer and birds of prey. I knew they would keep their distance, but knowing that we were sleeping just feet away from wild animals was exciting and also terrifying! With the little bit of sunlight we had left, I quickly set up our tent as my husband got the fire started.
We managed to get everything set up just in the nick of time. We cuddled up next to the fire and ate dinner. Darkness surrounded us as we watched the shadows from the fire dance with the nearby trees. I see a flashing light in the corner of my eye. “Did you see that?” my husband asks. Lightning strikes and we hear thunder off in the distance. The wind began to pick up and the temperature started to drop. If anyone of you have ever spent anytime in the mountains then you know that the weather can change very quickly. A storm was on its way and it was coming fast!
The wind began to violently whip the fire around and blow embers all over our campsite. My husband frantically put out the fire and climbed into the tent just in time for a super intense rainstorm, rocky mountain style. We snuggled up underneath the sleeping bags and laid in silence as the rain pounded down onto our tent. The wind was crazy…really crazy. We were both a little freaked out. Would the wind tear our tent open? Will the rain flood us out?
Then it hit me. This is what we’re afraid of. We are all legitimately afraid of being stripped from our comfortable life. This is why we work jobs that we hate. This is why we pretend to care about the “mission” of a company that we both know is complete bullshit. I sold cars for a few years and I specifically remember trying to convince myself that the corporation that I worked for was a good and that we were actually helping people by selling them 15 year old cars for ridiculous amounts of money at 21% interest. Lies…all lies.
Here’s the scoop. We work jobs we hate because we need money. Lots of money…right? We need money for that beautiful big house, that super modern entertainment center with a brand new flat screen tv… oh and don’t forget you HAVE to get satellite TV with the HBO package so you can watch GOT every Sunday. Right? We do all of this because we are afraid of being uncomfortable.
But why? Why are we SO afraid of breaking away from our comforts? Well, I’m really glad you asked! Spoiler alert!!! I am about to get a bit conspiracy theory-ish on you. Regardless of your view of the system, you are a part of it and most likely you depend on it. We need to realize that we are capable of survival without the “help” of corporations, and governments. “They” are distracting us with useless information so that we are always under the impression that we need them.
The sad truth is that we are no longer WILD. Here in the US, we have been raised to live in this unnatural environment. By building these unnatural systems, we block ourselves off from nature. Nature provides us with everything we truly need. It gives us water, food and sustains its inhabitants. We need to return to nature, and live more natural lifestyles.
Let the rewilding commence…
I understand that in this day and age it can be hard for many people(and in some states illegal) to completely break away from the system but here are a few things that I know will help you become less dependent.
1) Grow your own food – There are endless benefits to growing your own food. When you grow your own food, you know what goes into it: how it’s fertilized, what pesticides are used, and overall care. You can literally cut the grocery bill in half or not have one at all!
2) Water – Collect rainwater, reuse water like in the earthship water system and learn how to purify water in the wild.
3) Let thy food be thy medicine – Use foods and herbs to heal. Don’t run to the doctor or pharmacy for every single thing that pops up. Do some research and figure out the homeopathic remedy for what ails you. Pharmaceuticals usually do more damage than provide benefits. Check out my favorite go-to natural healing book: Prescription for Nutritional Healing. Obviously, if you have a serious illness or there is an emergency, you should seek help from a doctor.
4) Get handy – Gain basic knowledge on how to build. Do you know how to use tools? Would you know how to make a basic shelter if you needed to?
5) Off grid heating, cooling and electricity – Learn how to keep you home cool without air conditioning. A wood burning stove is a great off grid option that does not require additional power. Harness the energy from the sun with solar panels, they might be more expensive upfront but will save you in the long run!
6) Appreciate what you have – By appreciating what you have, you become content, and do not feel like you need more things. This is a big one.