I live in a city. Sure it's not NYC or Chicago, but Saint Paul, Minnesota (and neighboring Minneapolis) combine to create a pretty bustling urban environment.
While I love living in a city, the experience of riding light rails, getting stuck in traffic, and constantly being "plugged in" is radically different than the experience found while traveling through wilderness spaces.
As an outdoorsy urbanite who frequently bounces between these two identities, I undergo the continuous challenge of:
1. Having experienced wilderness
2. Having it become part of my mindset and identity
3. Finding myself spending the majority of my time in urban areas
While it can be a struggle to reconcile these two mindsets (outdoorsy and urban), there are certainly activities, practices and spaces (compatible with city life) that can mimic the qualities I value most in backcountry life: increased mindfulness, simple routines and physical challenge.
The below list is comprised of ideas from myself, friends, co-workers, ambassadors, and customers.
While it is certainly not comprehensive or applicable to all, hopefully it spurs some good thoughts about how to slow down, reflect more, and replicate that unique feeling of physical challenge and exploration.
Please share your thoughts, practices, or experiences in the comments!
In no particular order ...
Practices for the Outdoorsy City Dweller
- Journal before you go to bed
- Go for walks on your lunch break
- Do basic tasks without your phone, music, or any other source of input
- Write down interesting ideas/reflections/conversations throughout the day in a notebook
- Go for an early morning run
- Go to bed before you're tired and then stay up and contemplate
- Walk around a part of the city you haven't been to before
- Sit on your roof and look up
- Pitch a tent, hammock or shelter in your backyard and spend the night
- Visit nearby state parks
- Check your phone at the door
- Climb a tree
- Spend time reading books that make you think
- Go for a swim in a nearby lake
- Drive to familiar places on roads you haven't traveled
- Find a nice view? Stop and appreciate it for a couple minutes
- Pitch a hammock in a park, near a river, or on your porch
- Ride your bike to work
- Find a mantra you like and make it your own
- Do your workout outside
- Eat slowly and savor your food as if you were 20 miles for nowhere
- Make the most of your weekends. Embrace the "weekend warrior."