I know I’m not the only one who feels this way so let’s say it out loud together – life is fast. The weeks whizz by in a blur of work, family commitments and other calls on our time.
Keeping up with life can feel hard enough at times and when you add wedding planning in on top of that, there’s a lot to deal with. So, when the brilliant glamping company Canopy & Stars offered me the chance to escape with my soon-to-be-husband and re-wild our relationship, we jumped at the chance. And, as you’re about to see, re-wilding is pretty much a modern-day essential.
Perhaps I should set the scene a little before I jump on in to telling you more about our Canopy & Stars time-out. Well, Keith is a teacher and as well as doing the usual Monday to Friday, he’s also in school on Saturday mornings coaching rowing and can often be away over weekends taking his rowers to competitions. I, aside from writing for Love My Dress, also coach school sport and run a netball club. This means that during term time, we don’t have an entire day together at any point. We also have other commitments that zap our evenings, a dog, a wedding to plan and my son to taxi from place to place. So yes, life is busy.
And I now I’m not alone. Every study I read says that we’re all time-poor and struggling to fit too much into our days and weeks. We work longer hours, commute longer distances and do a lot and expect a lot from ourselves.
Rewilding is all about getting rid of the everyday distractions of life and concentrating on what’s really important.
We know that we should practice self-care and allow ourselves time to recharge but that’s easier said than done between doing the food shopping, the wedding prep and all the things that sit on our mental to-do lists and get in the way when we’re trying to relax.
So lovely readers, let me tell you know that re-wilding is most definitely the answer.
We all know that the outdoors makes us happier, healthier and more creative and it also works wonders on your relationship. Glamping experts experts Canopy & Stars are my own personal go-to pals when I want to escape and over the years, I’ve fallen in love with lots of their fab destinations from cabins, wagons, safari tents and hidden places that come with their own saunas. But when you seriously need to escape and press the reset button, you have to re-wild.
Rewilding is all about getting rid of the everyday distractions of life and concentrating on what’s really important. To firm up their theories on the benefits of escaping it all, Canopy & Stars teamed up with Project Love and they put together a report that looked at getting outside with the one you love, in a distraction-free environment really helps to ‘foster intimacy and presence in a space of stillness’.
And that’s exactly what happened to my Keith and I from the moment we arrived at the glorious Up^ in the stunning Wye Valley.
Up^ is an amazing raised cabin that frankly, we didn’t want to leave. The huge double bedroom made us feel as if we were in a safari lodge high among the trees and every detail about the cabin was perfect. There’s a baby grand piano to tinkle, a telescope for stargazing, an old record player if you fancy a romantic dance, an outdoor bath tub and my own personal favourite, a woodburner for cosy evenings together. We couldn’t have been happier, particularly as owner Jill had left us some baked goodies when we arrived.
We had escaped, to our own little piece of heaven, but we also wanted to re-wild. We wanted to forget the million and one things that always seem to have a call on our time and just focus on ourselves. And so, with Project Love and Canopy & Star’s five tops for re-wilding, we shut out the world and for a while, just thought about ourselves.
We went for long walks in the stunning countryside that surrounds Up^ and, shock horror, we didn’t take our phones! Instead, we had long conversations about what we could celebrate and what was challenging. We set ourselves goals that focused on ourselves and not about doing things for everyone else or ticking things from the never-ending list. It felt good and the walks definitely helped us feel good about what we had achieved when it’s all too easy to just focus on what you’ve not yet managed.
For me, rewilding is now my own version of self-care and it is something we can do closer to home.
We talked about where we’d love our lives to be and what our big ambitions are, we cooked together, tried to master a few dance steps to the sound of the old record player and we played games together. We read, explored, followed the suggestions for walks that are left for you at Up^ and unwound with each other. It was pure bliss.
What was so great was that we weren’t at home, trying to take time out amongst our everyday lives. When you’re somewhere different, you automatically feel different. You know you don’t have to worry about the washing and the shopping, you don’t have to stress about housework and it’s almost as if stepping into somewhere as special as Up^, somewhere that’s so extraordinary and blatantly not ‘everyday’ gives you permission to ditch all of those responsibilities and just stop with the adulting for a while.
For me, rewilding is now my own version of self-care and it is something we can do closer to home. We can get out, take walks in new places, recapture that spirit of talking and connecting and take deep breaths together. We’ve learnt that we can pause, even temporarily, the whirl that is life and we know, without any doubt, that as much as our relationship is brilliant when we’re organised and in control, it also needs a regular dose of the wild to keep it healthy.
If you’d like to rewild your relationship, check out the amazing range of special places on the Canopy & Stars website and, if you’re looking for one-of-a-kind honeymoons, goodness me, you’re in for a treat. From treehouses and yurts, to gypsy caravans, tipis and tents plus a whole range of place with incredible outdoor hot tubs, you’ll be well and truly spoilt for choice.
(Disclosure: our author was offered this experience with Canopy & Stars independently of Love My Dress and has chosen to share it here)