Why Do We Seek the Outdoors?


While sitting on a sailboat deck the other night, a cold beer in hand as I watched the nearly-full moon rise higher and higher in the sky, I felt completely peaceful.  The sound of water lapping against the boat hull was like a soothing lullaby for a busy day's end.  No wifi, no computer, no Netflix or music playing--just me, my beer and the night sky.

That peacefulness got me thinking about our drive to head outdoors, to seek solitude from the chaos of our modern world.  First world problems indeed: too much connectivity with too little real meaning; too many texts, tweets and likes with too few physical hugs and belly-aching laughs shared together.

People often ask me why I sail.  It restores my soul and grounds me into a long history human beings exploring the world.  Sailing gear and sailboats may have changed greatly over time, but the basic principles of physics draws a continually connecting line through all sailors.  The feeling of the wind is like none other, and a moon rising over the horizon?  Well, that's simply priceless.

We want to know--why do you head outdoors?  Is it for solitude?  The chance to feel small in the face of nature's immense beauty and power?  Or something entirely different?  Tell us in the comments below!


2 comments


  • Emily

    “…that’s where my soul is reconstructed and my tribe gathers…” Love it, CJV!


  • CJV

    Started camping and backpacking with the Boy Scouts.

    Then moved to swimming, canoeing and sailing at summer camp. And I thought that’s where it ended.

    Then, decades later I joined a racing crew out of Manhattan, and I was hooked on the whole racing experience.

    So why head outdoors? I ask “why climb the highest mountain? Why, 98 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the Moon…” Wait, wrong theme.

    I guess that’s where my soul is reconstructed and my tribe gathers, usually on the decks of racing sailboats…


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