There’s no getting around it. My feet need to be submerged in the dirt on an organic farm. My hands need to feel the running water of a fresh hot spring. My eyes need to be peeled to the dark, vast and open sky.
My mind, body, and spirit are in desperate need to feel connected to the Earth. Here are the amazing ways I plan on traveling this summer:
Me, Toe Deep in the Dirt with Plants
Ever gone WWOOFING? Me neither, but that’s gong to change this summer. World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF), one of many interpretations, presents an opportunity to live on an organic farm and learn about what it takes to sustain it. Volunteers are paired with organic farmers to extend educational and cultural experiences.
No money is exchanged. It’s earnest hard work in exchange for a valuable experience with your host farm, as you learn and help out for a number of part-time hours. Host farms are all over the world, based in such countries as the United States, Finland, France, Japan, Morocco, and Paraguay.
Most farmers are said to provide linens and such, and the volunteers still have to pay for normal expenses incurred traveling. I’m looking forward to getting my toes in the dirt and have less tech time, to be honest. I want to sow seeds from hand and get real survival skills. Every organic farm is unique, as is every location — So will each experience be, too.
Me, a Yurt and a Hot Spring
In the ancient days of Rome and Greece, there were sacred springs and public baths generating various gods. I’ve decided that it’s time that I give back to this glorious temple, a.k.a. my body, and visit a natural hot spring.
I won’t be traveling to Rome or Greece this time, but staying rather local on an adventure to Virginia, where over a hundred beautiful hot springs abound by the Blue Ridge Mountains. The hot temperatures of the springs dissolve minerals more easily, making absorption also easy as pie and super relaxing.
I have my eye on a yurt, glamping near the hot springs. I want to be closer to nature while feeling like I’m sleeping in a temple. I’m excited to experience the healing powers of the hot springs, for mind, body, and soul.
Me, a Tent, Good Friends and the Stars
When it comes to amazing travels, sometimes all you need is a good fire and friends. I’m going to stick with the classic adventure of camping, with a twist.
I want you to close your eyes, no matter if you’re in an office or at home if it’s day or night. Listen. What do you hear? You likely hear the sounds of the computer, fridge or AC running or the whoosh of traffic on a busy road. Where’s nature?
How many stars can you see when you go outside? If you let your eyes adjust to the light pollution, you may be lucky to see a few hundred stars, at most. What about thousands? What about the shifting shapes of the Milky Way? I want to see the celestial sky in all its glory.
So, with friends, I plan on visiting a state park that’s designated as a dark sky sanctuary, dedicated to keeping light pollution out and preserving the natural night sky. These dark sky sanctuaries are found all over the world. We’re going to pick a nearby state, pack up the Jeep with snacks and gear — and go.
Though it’s close to home and what people think of as a childhood cliche, this is the trip I’m the most excited about. It’s on my bucket list to see a truly dark sky, and let’s face it: While the desert is beautiful and haunting, those temperatures fluctuate too much for me.
This is the kind of awe you must sit in mindful silence with loved ones within. It’s an experience I know I will never forget. Such travels will be where I will relearn vital life tenets: