A trip to a National Park will change you.
So many people think of travel as a time to vacation, but it can also be therapy, education, or even a shift in perspective. Travel can make us better humans in the universe and better animals in the world, especially if we seek out the incredible displays of nature that serve as reminders that we are so very tiny in this universe. National Parks change you.
National Parks Make You Brave
The bravest thing I have ever heard of is to climb the face of El Capitan in Yosemite Park and sleep there overnight. Climbers must harness port-o-ledges shoved into cold rock and sleep on the side of a cliff overnight. How anyone can sleep under such conditions is beyond my comprehension. But you don’t have to be that extreme to experience a growth in your courage reserves at National Park. Be it rappelling, bouldering, rafting, canyoneering, mountain biking, summiting, horseback riding, spelunking, wildlife viewing, paddling, sleeping outside, going off-path, climbing, swimming–there are so many ways to fall into a fun new experience, one you might never have the opportunity to experience in the everyday.
National Parks Make You Active
Inspiration is a funny thing. It can coax even the worst procrastinators, the lethargic and the skeptic, the out of shape and totally stressed and hesitant. And when curiosity begs you onward, upward, over that hill and around that bend, the human body follows to where the eye can’t quite see. There is plenty of compelling beauty in the wildest of landscapes. Let yourself be drawn out.
National Parks Make You Humble
No matter the maniacal ego you might muster, you are no match for a thunderstorm in a canyon. You will not ever achieve more than millions of years of erosion, fortitude, tectonics, biology, or the elements. There is no winning against nature; there is only acceptance. The diminishing of self can produce the most profound feelings of humility and connectedness with things out of our touch.
National Parks Connect You to Humanity
In every National Park in this country, many languages are being spoken. People from all over the world travel in droves to see the grandeur of nature. And so many people are experiencing the same thing together. What would it be like to come across the land before time–Native Peoples first and then their colonizers – and see such enormity that could not have been imagined without a scale. It is utterly unsurprising to hear that in the multi-lingual voices of the visitors–that people all over the world seek out the same marvels, adding to the connectivity of experiencing something beyond humanity. We all share in the gift of cosmos in and around us.
Learn more about visiting and protecting our National Parks and monuments