What does it mean to be in the real world?

  • June 17, 2017
  • Posted by Kara Nosal

Initially, I thought a lot about home and civilization. Setting up camp with our crew leaders Ryn and Henry, I got my first looks at our stove (a wobbly little propane-powered guy) and our sink (a hole in the ground decorated with stone thanks to Tony!). Thankfully, we had a real toilet at our campground, but I know in a few weeks this will be a luxury of the past. Getting settled required physical work by every member of our team and I was tired by the end of it. It was easy to wish for what I was used to: microwaves, Netflix, remotes, showers. In my head, what I had back home was the real world. Now, we were somewhere else entirely.
The next day we practiced to be sawyers. Carrying heavy chainsaws on our shoulders and extra gas and oil in our packs for the hike was memorable (our muscles remembered it the next day certainly). Sawing, considering the danger involved, requires your total concentration for the safety of yourself and those around you. As I focused on sawing, I really had no time to think of the real world and what I missed there. I was immersed in the activity and my surroundings.
The next two nights at camp felt more and more familiar. I began to feel connected with the small slice of woods in which we slept, ate, and worked. The real world, I realized, was not something back there in Missoula, or even in my own home state of Colorado. The real world was also not limited to this campground to which I had adapted. For me this week, the real world, and my appreciation for it, only expanded to include the campground, the forest, Missoula, Colorado, and beyond.


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