Camping: Getting rid of virus blues with nature's green
With fancy hotels and all-inclusive holiday packages having lost their allure for many as the novel coronavirus pandemic came to dominate global headlines, some vacation goers are reconsidering their plans in favor of camping in the great outdoors where they can better avoid infection and take care to maintain social distance.
Self-isolation at home made many people realize how they lost touch with nature as urban-life came to encompass their daily lives. Given that camping can help reconnect with the environment as a relatively safer holiday option,
more people are likely to prepare their backpacks and set their tents this summer.
Murad Farajov, a construction engineer living in Turkey, is among those who isolated themselves at home in an effort to steer clear of the virus.
He now looks forward to taking a camping trip outside the concrete jungle that is Istanbul whenever he gets the chance.
"I feel relaxed whenever I find myself in a natural environment," said Farajov. "We somehow idolized the urban life in our daily lives, and this has had negative effects on our lives and personalities."
"The forests and green environment help you rediscover yourself, an all-inclusive holiday package surely does not provide that," he said, adding that such holidays gained popularity with the rise of consumerism.
According to the 24-year-old Farajov of Azerbaijani origin, people are likely to question themselves and their lives more often when they are out in nature, helping them better understand life.
"When you are in nature all by yourself, you begin to realize how insignificant human beings are, including yourself. Sitting next to a bonfire at midnight, I find the opportunity to listen to myself and mother nature," he said.
Recommending people hit the road for a "green holiday" this year, he said educating yourself on the difficulties to expect and essential equipment to bring along would be a must before laying under the stars.
"For those with no experience trekking, they should research their camping site online and learn the basics so they don't encounter any unexpected problems while camping."
"Make sure you have the equipment to get a fire going and ease your stay. Get some old clothes in your backpack and prepare some food and water. It might sound a bit intimidating at first, but you'll love camping even more the
moment you find you've become an independent person not having to rely on anyone," added Farajov.
He went on to add that urban life held no unexpected surprises, dulling our instincts and fears, whereas the uncertainty of nature boosts these feelings and makes us emotionally stronger people.
Muhammed Yasin Durak, 23, who is studying communications in Istanbul, told Anadolu Agency that camping at every opportunity had become a habit for him.
Once COVID-19 restrictions were eased in the city, Durak and his wife went camping for three days near the Marmara Sea coast in Yalova province in northwestern Turkey.
Durak recounted that while people were in their homes during the lockdown, nature had the chance for "self-recovery," with substantially less pollution in the sea and environment.
"Once we arrived at the campground, I first set up my tent before it got dark, then unloaded the necessary items from the car and started scouting around the site," he said.
"In the last place we went for camping, there was no phone service and we were very comfortable with my wife. Of course, as we're not used staying away from our smartphones, we felt a little uncomfortable at the beginning, but then after overcoming this feeling, we found a certain comfort in being face-to-face with nature."
"Without messaging and sharing posts on social media, leaving ourselves completely to nature provides us with the opportunity to rest as we want," he said.
Durak underlined that quarantine regimes and lockdowns "overwhelmed everyone at abnormal levels."
"We're not accustomed to curfews. Everyone was stunned and nobody could go about their daily routines. We longed for even the simplest things, such as going out on the street and going to the seaside and many people, like me,
dreamed of nature."