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Gypsy Skies

by meghan simpson

Nude in the solitude

Nude in the solitude

A lot of people have asked me prior to this flying contract, "Won't you get lonely up in the middle of nowhere?" Yes, it’s certainly true that I am in the middle of nowhere at a camp called Mile 222. It's the 222nd mile along the Canol Trail which was built during the Second World War in the North West Territories. And yes, sometimes I do get a bit lonely out here. There is something eerie about being the only person around for hundreds of miles, but it’s an eerie feeling that I actually kind of enjoy. I had posted a picture on my Instagram and Facebook about "Unplugging the drug" Which refers to any forms of social media. I do find it important from a business standpoint to be online answering emails, uploading pictures and being available to the public, but that is not my main focus. I am not saying you have to be disconnected for weeks or even months, maybe even just a couple of days. There is a lot of books popping up about how to be "living in the moment" and more "mindful". When I am out in solitude, and when I say solitude I am referring to no internet, no power and no running water. I find it easy to stay living in the moment and back to the basics of what is important in life and how we as humans tend to make life so complicated. I am sitting here right now writing on my lap top, eating a freeze dried mountain house, the flavour is sweet and sour pork. A freeze dried Mountain House is a packaged meal that you just add water into. In-between my flying contract collecting bear hair samples, I get 8 days off to enjoy the north. There are 3 separate sessions on the contract so that leaves me with plenty of time to be out in nature. The only thing that could make this situation any better is if my dog Piper was here, unfortunately I couldn't bring her on this job. She is at home with my mom, living it up in sunny Southern Alberta.

For some people who are new to trying the "solitude" thing, I've got some tips to keep you from losing your mind. Believe me it can happen with too much alone time, but that’s the best time to learn how to keep your thoughts at bay. This is for anyone going for a long solo traveling trip, hiking, hunting or working in the bush for the summer.

1. Keep a list of goals for when you are back at home and focus on how you will accomplish each one.

2. DO NOT focus on what your friends and family are doing back at home without you, especially when the Calgary Stampede is on and all of your best friends are getting married or planning the best shin dig you have ever heard of.

3. Have a daily journal and keep up on all of your cool activities.

4. Explore, be brave and be adventurous!

5. Every morning recap what is important in your life, who/what/where/when/why.

6. Smile!

7. Get nude... Do some jumping jacks, stretch and be free, but watch out for those mosquitoes ;)

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