Sometimes a day away is just what we need. A "day away" can mean something different to from person to person. Maybe it means a vacation somewhere far far away. Maybe it's a night in, cozy on the couch in your pajamas, binge watching episodes of New Girl and eating ice cream with someone you love. Or maybe it's just going out to your favorite coffee shop to read and take a mental break from it all. All these things are so different yet, they have the same general outcome - a more peaceful and energized mindset that's ready to take on a better, healthier perspective on life. Right?
The other day my boyfriend Jake and I decided to change up our usual date plans, which is normally going out for coffee or ice cream somewhere in the city, and instead we went hiking - because, I mean, why not? SO - we looked up way too many places to hike in Minnesota, we were looking for some place that wasn't too far away, but just far enough away. Then we finally came across Willow River State Park, near Hudson, Wisconsin, a place I know so many people have gone too, yet we both somehow had never been. So we packed up a backpack with plenty of snacks and water and - we were off!
We weren't entirely sure exactly where we were headed but we knew we were going to the falls...somehow. I mean we had a map, but who uses a map, ya know? The walk was a lot longer than we anticipated as the park was absolutely massive. It was definitely way bigger than we had originally thought. But hey - more to explore right? So we continued to walk - through the trails outlined in mossy logs, clovers, grasses and wildflowers, and canopied by huge, green, twisted trees - it was so insanely beautiful. It made me remember how much I love the outdoors, I felt like a kid again as we walked deeper and deeper into this lush park.
Sometimes I forget how the outdoors and being amongst so much nature can make me feel. I mean wow. I always leave hikes and camping trips feeling so much more inspired, uplifted and mainly a lot more peaceful. And man, that fresh air can work WONDERS on your mood, I can tell you that for sure. It truly amazes to me how much I've yet to see in the world, especially places like this, that I live so close to, yet I had no idea about previously. There's so much to explore, all the way from huge waterfalls to small little flowers. We even saw this sweet little baby bunny all alone on the side of the trail. I may or may not have tried to lure him over so I could pet him. But things like this, I tell ya, they make life just a little bit sweeter.
After the walk that seemed like possibly the longest one ever, we made it to the falls(thank the LORD). Which, can I say, was WAY bigger than I ever expected. Like WHAT. It was HUGE. The water was flowing like crazy, and as loud as could be. We took in the sight (and all of its - for lack of a better word - refreshing mist) and decided to go up to the lookout, which contained a gazillion stairs, but definitely worth it. After that, we scrabbled back down to the bottom of the falls, happily sat down on some rocks, and had a well-deserved lunch, which, by the way, we ate in record time. It was just lovely.
I honestly don't remember the last time my body felt so tired, that I could actually, willingly go to bed early(I'm a complete night owl if you didn't know). But that's what happened. You know you had a good day when you're happily exhausted for once. It's a wonderful feeling, that I wish I felt more often. Days like this just remind that getting away is A-okay - and necessary. People aren't meant to stay in one place all the time and do the same exact things everyday, it can easily become overwhelmingly boring, too routine, and mentally draining, if you don't change it up a little bit here and there. It's almost like your just surviving, but not necessarily feeling like you're living in the moment, or thriving. But right now is all we have, the present. So live for it. Give yourself a break from the chaos and busy schedules and just open up your eyes to the inspiration and beauty that surrounds you.