written by:
Suzanne Nagel
August 9, 2019

There is no internet. No TV. Nothing but trees and our cabin. I have used an actual camera (not my iPhone) to take pictures during our time here.

I am in nature, disconnected. I fucking needed this.

Ok, yes, this cabin is pretty hipster. I mean have you seen them on the gram?  It has a shower with biodegradable toiletries & a toilet! NOTE: THERE IS NO MIRROR. On purpose. It has an adorable retro sassy fire-engine red mini-fridge and a stove. It comes equipped with pots, pans, utensils, cups, and plates, lighters, a fire pit and firewood, instructions how to make the fire and a fire starter, as well as an activity booklet. What else? A queen size bed with the most comfortable white fluffy linens. And the best part - a huge ass floor to ceiling window that looks right into the trees and sky. That’s all you can see. So yes, this is not my father’s camping trip. This is Suze camping. I’m ok with it. It got me here. And I fucking needed this.

Let me tell you. We all need this. When I first got here, I was all excited and slightly nervous, hopping around looking at everything! And then I started walking around in nature in the middle of nowhere (with no phone) and I started to have this funny feeling. Anxious. Like I needed to do something, answer something, post something. I was in culture shock. Out of my element. My Philly born and raised, bus-taking, sports fanatic, reddit-scrolling, city lovin' boyfriend was also a bit freaked out. Did I mention that my hyper-strung princess Pomeranian and her equally spoiled Shih-tzu brother were with us? We were walking around all bug-sprayed and flea-collared up and had no clue what the fuck to do with ourselves. All we could see was trees.

And then, there it was. Water! We stumbled upon a stream. We just knew there had to be some around here. This one was just like out of my childhood in Peters Township. The ‘crick' (as some Pittsburghers, but not moi, might call it) was a fairly wide, lovely, bubbling body of water that was not too deep. I looked around. There was no one anywhere. NOT A SOUL. We were ALONE with the trees and the bubbling brook. BOOM! Off came the clothes. (I had to go first. My guy was still thinking about police and crazy city laws, lol) And yepper, we got in. Scared shitless, mind you. Because we are city folk and we really don’t know how to skinny dip in a crick. We giggled like school kids. We were free! We had broke the ice, so to speak.

We climbed back on the bank and did the whole awkward ‘try to put your clothes on while you are wet and your feet are muddy but who cares anyway because there are no mirrors and we can be dirty here’ thing! And then found our way back through the woods, believe it or not, with no GPS and no map. Hallelujah! Our mood was lightened up and when we got back, we began making our fire. You Know I Was Having Me Some S’mores.

The past couple days have been so revealing. Besides, hiking and campfires, we meditated on a large flat rock in the middle of the creek. We didn’t speak. Just sat and breathed and listened. FOR AWHILE. We found treasures, looked at so many gianormous trees, read our books, and played question games around the campfire. We never looked at a clock. I haven’t seen myself in two days. No mirrors, guys. I have not used hair product, a blow dryer (you aren’t allowed to bring them because they could cause an outage) or brow gel!!  I have worn the same cutoffs and 2 different tops and I don’t care what I look like. My world has slowed the fuck down. And it has been a revelation. I’m going too fast. Our world goes too fast. I miss being a kid playing in the woods and not having to worry about my IG content or taxes. I need time to disconnect. I had gotten to a place where it had been so long since I had disconnected that I didn’t know how to do it. I am not going to let it get that bad again. That is my promise to myself.

I am sad to leave. I might even cry. I will miss this beautiful place (the weather has been on point the entire time, btw) and all it has taught me. I will miss this cocoon where mirrors and perfection and notifications mean nothing. And I can actually hear the wind rustling in the trees! I will miss SIMPLICITY. But I have made a commitment to myself to bring more of this in my life. I will be utilizing the Do Not Disturb on my phone more. I will love myself as the naked 47 year-old-in-a-creek-not-giving-a-shit. And I will most definitely be back.

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