When life gets you down, hike up a mountain and stay there. When the impending election and essay deadlines are just too heavy a weight, don’t run away, retreat.
You should go on a mountain retreat to refocus, relax, and reassess what really matters.
You should go to the mountains because they are beautiful. The Rockies are a sight we get to see every day, a massive outline of the sky, standing as a reminder that there are things bigger than you. It is part of the human condition to find something tall and stand on top of it, and it feels great once you get up there.
You should go out into nature because it will clear your lungs from the smog and pollution; it will clear your head with the sound of babbling rivers and birds chirping. You might find a hot spring, or a beaver’s dam, or see a deer.
You should go on a retreat to the mountains for the quiet. You should go on a retreat to figure out what matters, and who you are when you are in the quiet. In the mountains, you will forget about grades and college and while on a hike, seriously consider becoming a professional adventurer.
You should go on a retreat because it will teach you how to brave the rain and stand strong against the wind and when the sun comes out, all you will want to do is be in it. On a retreat, you will see the stars more clearly than you ever could in suburbs and cities, and be amazed by how many stars there actually are. You will eat foods that you don’t really like, but it’s ok because you can go with friends and really get to know them outside of their daily stresses, as well as how savvy they are at opening a can of beans without that can opener you forgot.
Go into nature because it’s not healthy to always be staring at a screen, so for goodness sakes put your phone away. Go so that you can find greater inner peace and a sense of strength. Bring a guitar and fill the mountains with music next to a fire. Let the smell of smoke linger. Consider drinking river water, and then choose not to. Go and find a tree that makes a bridge over a valley and walk across it. Make the time to be bored and quiet.
The wilderness must be explored. Stay in a log cabin and wear flannel, or pitch your own tent and drink hot chocolate from a thermos. Drive far away, make it a road trip. Go drive until you can’t see any more houses, or just far enough away to look at the city skylights from above. Get dirt on your shoes, sap on your hands and leaves in your hair, stop caring if you look just right, at least for a weekend. Go, retreat and breathe freely.