Papuk

Eight-day technology-free adventure

Outwardb Experience, Schools Leave a Comment

life begins at the end of your comfort zone

Lucija Mlakar, 3.b

My spring vacation in the Nature Park Papuk on a project led by the organization Outward Bound.

Living with all the obligations, problems, deadlines and stress that our fast-paced everyday-life forces on us, we ask ourselves: do we even have time to „live“? We are breathing, but we are not living – we constantly strive for success, we are discontent, we want more, we are longing for a better future, but we leave out what is really important.

Are we conscious of the moment that we live in? Are we even able anymore to stop for a moment, find peace in our thoughts and go with the adventure? Maybe we even take one day of rest, a day for oneself, but are we truly alone or are there always some disturbers around us – cell phones, social networks, notifications from the virtual world, useless conversations that take away our precious time. Of course, we’ve learned to live like that because everyone else lives the same way – social networks have become our shelter of peace and source of pleasure.

How to survive without a cell phone

Big changes happen when humans and mountains meet.

Character isn’t built in peace and comfort. Only through challenges can the soul be strengthened, perspectives broadened, inspiration for action and accomplishment gained, as the biggest accomplishment is complete inner satisfaction with oneself. Life begins at the end of the comfort zone.

I sure have felt that so this is the perfect way to share my experience and maybe motivate others to do the same. Big changes happen when humans and mountains meet. Those cannot be achieved while strolling through the streets.

28 young participants (among them myself) aged between 14 and 18 decided to spend their entire spring vacation in the Nature Park Papuk on a project led by the organization Outward Bound. While others spent their days at home lazing, we’ve spent our holidays actively in the nature, moving the limits of our abilities, trying out all kinds of adventurous activities and all without the benefits of civilization.  We’ve survived for eight days in nature on our own without any technology, orientating ourselves with help of a compass, building our own shelter (bivouac), preparing our own food on a camp fire, in a nutshell – we took care of all necessities by ourselves.

Technology has become inevitable in our everyday life, and I can say for sure that I not once I have felt the wish to check if I’d received any messages on my phone.

Nature has made me happy

The only thing that makes life possible is the unbearable incertitude and mystery of what is about to come.

Technology is of course positive in aspects of finding information, communicating and contacting faster and more easily, but technology is becoming more and more a bad habit and more rarely do we use it for its positive functions. We neglect socializing, we live in an unreal world of “likes”, “posts”, “notifications” – we’ve become addicted. Our life, sadly, turns into a monotony of fulfilling obligations and spending leisure time on social networks with a minimized amount of laughs, freshness, company.

We forget that the only thing that makes life possible is the constant, unbearable incertitude, the joy of the mystery of what is about to come. Every individual is nothing but his deep inner wish for action. His wish for action equals his willpower. His willpower equals his actions. His actions equal his destiny. Todays’ society fails already in the first sentence – there is no wish for the fresh and unachievable, and the individual remains part of the monochrome mass.

Overcoming fears

Life is measured by the moments that take our breath away.

PenjanjeI am happy because I made a change. I went out into the nature that finally made me complete and happy. I didn’t have the time to bother about the unnecessary problems that that we think over in “civilization” because I was thinking of real problems – “how to survive”. I’ve also understood that overthinking isn’t a necessary thing.

Happiness is a state of mind. If we think positively and interpret happenings in that way, they will effectively be that way. I met wonderful people; I built friendships and learned about the value of teamwork. There exist an uncountable amount of anecdotes from my adventure that are now memories for life.

They say life isn’t measured by the time of breaths you take but by the amount of moments that take away your breath, and I can affirm that. I have faced my fears of heights, sleeping outside, physical effort and motoric challenges.

The feeling of overcoming your fears is indescribable as well as the pride we feel after successfully accomplishing a task. Through our everyday expeditions I have understood that the sense lies not in the final destination but you have to enjoy the path that leads you there.

In the company of real people

Just like snowflakes – we are gentle and fragile, but once we join together we can achieve every goal.

VatraDuring those 8 days (19th of March 2016 – 26th of March 2016) there were all kinds of (bad) weather conditions – from sunny and hot to rainy and even snowy in the end. The day when it was snowing was for sure the most difficult day outdoors, but it was exactly that day which created the attitude inside me that I am exposing now. I was watching the snowflakes falling and I understood that we were just alike – gentle and fragile, but when we join together we can achieve every goal, just like the snowflakes that created a white blanket reaching our ankles that day.

Druzenje

It is those things that we remember – strong friendships and unrepeatable adventures, not the number of messages we’ve received that day or the number of likes we have on our profile picture posted on a social network.

After my spring adventure I am not addicted to my cell phone anymore, I try to live up every day to its fullest and try and do something new, distance myself at least a little from the everyday routine. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe my words lack meaning or maybe it’s already too late for people to return back to other people and nature. That’s too many maybes, while I keep thinking positively.

A mind broadened with experience can never be forced into its old frames anymore.

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