The most difficult part of making the transition from college to post-grad life has been adjusting to a far more sedentary lifestyle than I’ve ever been accustomed to. I hate the fact that my fat ass is bound to a desk for 40 hours a week and that I’m succumbing to bad office habits like poor posture and snacking on all the candy from the dish the woman in the cubicle in front of me leaves out. I try to take a couple little walks outside throughout the work day, but it’s a far cry from my college days when I had ample time to engage in virtually any physical activity I wanted. I need to be moving around more often and it drives me crazy that I can’t. That’s just how I’m wired.
Thankfully, salvation came to me in the form of a vacation opportunity, which would be my first in the nearly three years since graduation. I was given two choices: head down to Florida to lounge around on a beach and get drunk all week, or go out west to Utah/Nevada/Arizona and explore the national parks and other natural beauty in the area. Without hesitation, I chose to go to the national parks.
Choosing nature over the beach might sound crazy to some of you, but for me it was exactly what I needed. We did some sort of hiking almost every day and it felt great to be out moving around all day, exerting myself on the more challenging hikes, and getting fresh air, especially in such a beautiful part of the country. The sights were incredible; I live in a state that’s basically bereft of any natural beauty so I didn’t take the visuals of my surroundings for granted for one second (Meaning I took lots of pictures and sent out a ton of Snapchats like an asshole).
Every night I went to bed fully exhausted from the day’s activities and every morning I woke up fully refreshed and ready to do anything that day. It also helped that I was able to refrain from eating like complete crap too. By the end of the vacation, after a full week of this, I felt healthier and more energized than when I came into it. It’s amazing that after only a week I could feel so revitalized, but that’s the power that getting up and actually doing something has on me. I was also pleasantly surprised that this feeling continued when I returned back to work.
I fully understand the appeal of taking vacations on the beach, a resort, or any other relaxing destination, and I’d be remiss to omit the fact that I enjoyed a night in Vegas before flying back home. I’m not a total hippie, maaaaaaannn, and I understand the importance of enjoying that kind of fun as part of “getting away.” We all have different ways of relieving stress and enjoying ourselves, and for some people relaxing on a beach or partying for a week is exactly what they need. I’m not against those kinds of trips at all; hell, I’ll be going to Louisville in a week and a half to do that exact thing at the Kentucky Derby.
But I needed to escape my cooped-up, stuffy office reality by breaking free of my cube’s chains and exploring #Nature. Nothing could have refreshed my mind and body any better than climbing up canyons and traversing through red rock formations. My daily excursions on the hallway flat grounds to the break room just aren’t the same..