There was a movie back in the ‘80s called The Great Outdoors, with John Candy and Dan Aykroyd, where they and their families take a vacation at a lake resort. All kinds of crazy, but hilarious, things happen to them during their time outdoors. From a bear attack to falling into a mine shaft. So the title is kind of ironic as the outdoors are not so great to them.
I have to say, the outdoors have been nothing but great for me throughout my life. Let’s start with the air out there. When you’re spending time in the woods, hiking, or by a lake, the air is just different from our suburban or city air. It’s rejuvenating. Next time you’re out there, take a deep breath and let it fill your lungs. Just let it sink in and fill your body with a calm sense of relaxation, of being where you should be. I’m so lucky that I work for a landscape company, and I get to spend a good portion of my time outside, breathing in that soothing air.
Then there are the adventures you can have outdoors that are simply impossible in urban areas or indoors. Have you ever tried fishing inside the New England Aquarium? Let’s just say it’s frowned upon. (Little joke there!) Aside from my family, fishing is one of my greatest passions in life – and, of course, you have to be outside to do it. Just sitting there in a boat with a couple of your best friends, talking about everything and nothing, listening to the calm waves lap against the side of the boat, is blissful. And then comes the moment you feel a tug on your line, the rush of adrenaline as you reel in the big one.
While fishing is my favorite outdoor adventure, there are so many other ways to enjoy the outdoors. What’s yours? Maybe you’re a water-skier or even a downhill snow skier. You could be a spelunker or a rock climber. Then there’s simply the experience of a camping trip, cooking over a fire you built, finding the perfect clearing to pitch your tent and staring at the multitude of stars that you can never see in the suburbs or the city. Or maybe your way of enjoying the outdoors is as a runner or cyclist. Even if you’re simply someone who likes to take a Sunday afternoon hike every now and then, you know the value of spending a few hours breathing in that fresh air.
The outdoors is so educational, too. The more time you spend out there, in my experience, the more you learn about different types of trees, the topography of your part of the world, the types of wildlife in your area, even about weather patterns.
At this point in my life, one of my favorite things is to share my love of the outdoors with my young family: my wife Lindsay and kids Gwen and Simon. It’s so rewarding to watch my kids start to see the value and fun that comes from spending time in nature. Well, truth be told, they are children, so they have their “but we don’t want to go fishing” moments, but they’re starting to get it.
I hope that through my role at Landscape America I can help provide you with a taste of the outdoors that you can retreat to at home or work. We’ll make sure it’s nothing like the crazy antics I remember John Candy and Dan Aykroyd getting up to and more like a comfortable, natural sanctuary, where you can enjoy the greenery and the fresh air with your friends, family and colleagues. We want to give you that place where you can just get away from it all and breathe.