The outdoor trip
- A personal experience by VIH-student Giovanna Loureiro Pontes, Brazil.
The trip began at Vejle idrætshøjskole with the program including biking, trekking, backpacking, and camping in the Danish forest for three days and two nights. We were to sleep in bivouacs (rudimentary tents made out of tarp), cook our food on Trangias (portable stoves), and canoe in the Skjern stream from Gudenåens udspring area to the MES lake. Then, on Friday, we would bike fifty kilometers back to Vejle.
It wasn't only about having fun, but also about learning how to face the realities.
The outdoor trip introduced our group to different situations that tested our emotional strength and decision-making skills. The experience helped us learn how to deal with tough conditions and work together to succeed, and it was also just a nice way to spent time with fellows.
Living outdoors in close quarters with people taught us to be more tolerant and competent in community living, and also presented challenges--for example, keeping a good attitude, even in the face of misadventures.
It was a time to enjoy nature, learn from challenges and adversity, keep an adventurous spirit, and prepare for whatever was coming next. During the outdoor trip, I realized that it is possible and interesting to have fun, and to survive, with less. The small group adventure enabled us to get to know other students and their personalities more deeply, expanding our being and help people.
Without Wi-Fi or modern amenities
Living simply, like we did on the trip, forces one to realize what is truly essential in life. The simplicity of these moments is graceful, when we see that it's possible to live without Wi-Fi or modern amenities, and to use our time instead to slow down and warm our hearts with a cozy night eating marshmallows.
No showers, make-up, or opportunities for vanity; only good talks, well-deserved views, and humility learned from being surrounded by the beauty of the wilderness.
The outdoor trip presented a unique opportunity to reflect on the values in your life and the lives of others simply the way they are, without distractions.
I was left with many memorable feelings from this experiment, but the biggest realization that came from living outdoors was the knowledge that everything can change in an instant, and that you must be prepared for change, both mentally and physically.
This is applicable not only in camping, but in life.
This outdoor experience was, for me, a great time with friends, an awesome way to experience nature, and an important lesson learned--that by living life simply, you actually come to feel more alive.