Would you believe that Americans on average spend 93% of their lives indoors? You’re probably thinking something like “well that statistic can’t be about me…” In actuality it is about all of us… to an extent.
Of the 93%, 87% is spent inside, whether that be home, workplace, etc., and the other 6% is spent in some sort of automobile. There are obviously many factors that would effect this statistic. Such as the region you live in, and the seasons. But the overarching theme is that over the last 100 years or so Americans have come to prefer the indoors more and more.
When was the last time you went camping? Camping is a perfect example of what it’s like to face discomfort in order to obtain the greater reward of experiences. Camping can be dirty, wet, and uncomfortable. It can make you tired, sore, and sometimes you will be hungry, and maybe even thirsty. This is especially true if you are backpacking on a multi day trip. The object is to remove yourself from your “normal” everyday surroundings and find peace in the simplicity of the outdoors. No phone service, no TV, no internet, and… no Facebook (GAAAASP!!!).
Like with camping, when you remove the distractions in your life you are met with a different kind of experience. This experience is not centered around “wasting” or “buying” time to make it through the day by utilizing technology, or material possessions. Instead this experience is built on the things that are necessary in life. It’s in these experiences that we learn to truly capture the moments that matter, and enjoy every single day to the fullest.
These experiences sound enticing, and let me reassure you they are worth going after. But in all honesty we hear about these great experiences and we often just make excuses why we shouldn’t or can’t do it.
93% of our lives are spent indoors, and this has to change. When was the last time you made a memorable, lasting experience at your house, or at work, or in your vehicle? I’m not saying it’s impossible, or that it’s even unlikely. I’m saying that the probability of making memorable experiences is much greater if you go outside and leave the normalities behind. When you do so you are allowing yourself to fully engage in the experience which enables you to create those lasting memories we all seek.
Kids are a good example of this. When we try to have fun nights at home, our children hardly remember them. But if we take our kids on a day trip somewhere, or take them camping, or on a fishing trip, they remember every single detail for years. This is because they have been removed from their “normal” and are being placed in an environment that demands their full attention. They are fully engaging in the experiences and they will remember the fun they have doing it.
Why do you think the outdoor conglomerate REI has the slogan “Opt Outside”? Besides the fact that they’re selling useless stuff to use while you’re outside like 15 person tents with separate rooms, their slogan rings true. When given the choice to stay indoors and watch television, or go outdoors to make new experiences, they say choose the outdoors. They believe that spending time outdoors making new experiences will lead to a happier and healthier life, and so do we.
Now let’s try and make this practicable. We are not saying to go climb the nearest 14’er, or to go buy a tent and go camping every weekend. We understand that these experiences are often difficult to execute for many reasons, and are unrealistic for most people. So let us offer a simpler challenge. When you’re planning your week or month, instead of planning every night or weekend at home, try planning one or two nights out. Go have a picnic in a park, or go visit a museum and have dinner afterwards. Want to go bigger? Plan monthly getaways to bed and breakfasts near you. Single? Grab friends and go on weekend adventures. In college it was very easy to load up a car full of friends and go on a road trip for chicken wings at BoBos. Have kids? Take them camping, or fishing, or to an amusement park for a day.
Simply put, let’s spend less time indoors and more time outdoors so that we can make more lasting experiences. Breaking up the mundane and including more fresh air in your day will surely lead to a happier life!
Remember, there is a real peace to be found while reading a book next to a Colorado river at the end of July. The sound of the soft flowing water against the rocks and the sun beaming through the aspen trees will make anyone’s life more blissful.
We hope you enjoy this footage from Part 3 of our Summer Adventure!
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