This campsite is located in the wilderness of the Wollemi National Park (of Wollemi Pine fame) in the northern Blue Mountains of New South Wales.
But at the end of it all is this five-star campsite – sheltered and flat with firewood and water on hand. My friends and I use the campsite as a base for exploring the surrounding ravines and intriguing sandstone “pagodas”.
Apart from being great fun, wilderness activities like these are very good for relationships – good for making “connections”.
The first of these connections is with our own self, the person we refer to as “I” and “me”. Following her first wilderness experience (a five-day canoe trip), a woman made this remark:
It was marvellous and wonderful those times when I could go off on my own, you know, after we got in to camp and all at day’s end, or early in the morning before everyone else was awake. I noticed more, I felt more connected to myself and even to the other people on the trip after I took these momentary periods of solitude.
We don’t know for certain what being more self-connected meant to this woman. But from my own experience, I imagine she was talking about getting in touch with her thoughts and feelings and with the things that really mattered to her. She might also have found that thinking about the day’s events and accomplishments made her feel good about herself. The fact that her times alone also strengthened her bond with the other women in the party is not surprising. Solitude does strengthen feelings of attachment to loved ones and friends. Perhaps being alone makes us more conscious of others and appreciative of what they bring to our life.
In my next post, I’ll talk more about the ways wilderness trips help people become more self-connected.