Who could have imagined that being confined to our homes would bring so many people closer to nature?
As we wrap up the first month of 2022, let’s remind ourselves to hit the “reset” button. America offers RV travelers the opportunity to do just that and tap into true joy and fully relax and reset. Improving your health and well-being can be as simple as getting outdoors to enjoy parks and forests and trails. The health benefits of outdoor recreation inspire healthy, active lifestyles, and a connection with nature.
Humans are custom-designed for nature awareness. Before there were computers, smartphones, and televisions, most of our time was spent outside in the fresh air, tuning in with birds, plants, trees, and all the aspects of nature.
This deep level of knowledge and understanding about edible plants or how to move quietly in the forest and get closer to wildlife was developed out of a need for survival.
But beyond the surface appearance of a basic need to find food, shelter, and navigate without getting lost, using our sensory awareness in nature also brings significant benefits to our health and wellness.
Related Article: Get Outside and Enjoy Nature
Just check out some of these nature awareness quotes by famous people.
“If you live in harmony with nature you will never be poor; if you live according to what others think, you will never be rich.”
—Seneca, Roman Stoic philosopher (4 BC-AD 65)
“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanates from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)
“Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive, and even
—E.O. Wilson (1929-2021)
“Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.”
—Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
—John Muir (1838-1914)
There’s a reason why history’s greatest philosophers, scientists, and leaders tend to have close relationships with nature!
Yet today things are quite different.
Related Article: Fun and Healthy Ways to Enjoy Nature
Most people today have barely any awareness of the natural world.
We’ve become preoccupied with technology, video games, and how to fit into an expanding world. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these activities, they simply don’t stimulate the human brain in the same way that nature does.
That is why so many people around the world are now coming back to the wilderness and intentionally rebuilding practices of nature awareness into their daily life.
For a hefty dose of nature look no further than a National Natural Landmark. From tidal creeks and estuaries to mountain wilderness, underground caverns, and riparian areas, America offers a diversity of stunning landscapes to explore and enjoy.
Managed by the National Park Service, the National Natural Landmark program was created in 1962 to encourage the preservation and public appreciation of America’s natural heritage. To date, 602 sites in the country have received the designation.
In my mind, there are few things more rejuvenating than hiking or walking in nature. One of the biggest reasons I fell in love with the RV lifestyle is that beautiful nature is so accessible wherever you are. It seems like I am always just minutes away from a spectacular trailhead. Whether I am hiking in the mountains or traversing trails in the desert, nature is a refuge—it’s a change of pace from city life, from being stuck inside, from being sedentary.
With national and state parks, millions of acres of national and state forest, and thousands of miles of trails, America offers a lot of opportunity and free access to the outdoors with numerous options for outdoor recreation including hiking, biking, birding, photography, canoeing, rafting, skiing, and simply taking a walk in the woods. Activities such as these have proven major benefits for human health and wellness due to their ability to clear the mind, engage our senses, and get our bodies moving.
Related Article: How Much Time Should You Spend in Nature?
Spending time in the outdoors is something we need at any age. Spending time in nature is inherently calming. The patience that birding requires only serves to enhance this meditative effect. As birders learn to appreciate nature’s slower pace, it inspires reflection, relaxation, and perspective. The exercise benefits that come from walking outdoors also contribute to increased happiness and energy levels.
You can do it purely for fun or keep a life list—a birding term for the running list that bird enthusiasts keep of all the different species of birds they see. Whatever your goal, you’ll be rewarded by the sights and sounds of beautiful and interesting feathered creatures.
If you’ve been considering joining the ranks of the 47 million birders in the United States, there’s no better time than the present to take the plunge—or at least dip your toes in.
Related Article: Getting Back to Nature: How Forest Bathing Can Make Us Feel Better
Anyone who spends time birdwatching knows intuitively why they keep going back: It just feels good. Being in nature—pausing in it, sitting with it, discovering its wonders—brings a sense of calm and renewal.
Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.
—Henry David Thoreau, Walden