Trees & Trails to Concrete Canyons

A river, cutting its way through trees in the Porcupine Mountains. Much more welcoming than the normal paths I take. 

Okay, one last vacation related post. Then I’ll stop subjecting you to tales of my wanderings. 

My vacation involved a lot of camping, hiking, and enjoying nature. Now I am back in the claustrophobic rat race that is commuting in a big city. Essentially, I’ve gone from trees and trails to concrete canyons. And I don’t like it.

I said in a previous post that vacation and travel are necessary because they expand your horizons and expose you to different places and different cultures. Yet they also expand your inner understanding of yourself. For me, when I am lost in the wilderness and the social anxiety I normally feel at being forced to interact with the world falls away, I can find myself and answer who I am, and what is important to me.

The concrete canyons of Chicago. Far less relaxing of a path to walk. Photo by Benjamin Cruz, downloaded from

Depression, anxiety, and so many other mental health disorders provide a relentless attack on your spirit and your soul. It can make it hard to know who you are. Finding yourself, whether it is through meditation, vacation, writing, whatever, pushes back on those attacks. Knowing who you are helps you know how to take care of yourself. 

For me, my vacation didn’t refresh me to go back into the concrete canyons with newly determined spirit. Instead, it reinforced that I should pick and choose my battles with that world, entering its depths only for things and people I truly care about. 

Vacation for me helped me find myself, even if it took sitting down and writing this post to truly understand that. Hopefully, you find things that help you find yourself as well.

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