The news that President Obama recently got away to play golf in the sunny state of Florida is not sitting well with many Americans. After taking time to record another internet and radio address on raising the federal minimum wage, the POTUS and family hopped on Air Force One, escaping the arctic grasp of Washington D.C. The Obamas spent the weekend at the Ocean Reef Club, an exclusive club known for hosting champion golfers, in Key Largo, Florida.
Meanwhile, The Rest of Us Struggle to Get Away
It’s hard to begrudge a man who works nearly every other day in the year at a job so taxing and age-inducing a weekend getaway, but as the leader of a country with an economy that is still floundering, you can’t help but sympathize with his detractors. The biggest issue, of course, is that the job levels in the States remain stagnant. Although more than 175,000 new jobs were created in February, the unemployment rate in the States actually ticked up .1 percent, returning unemployment to 6.7%.
And this really speaks to the heart of the problem: POTUS and Co. can get away whenever they want to, but even Americans who have jobs can’t afford to get out of state — many can hardly afford to live between paychecks. In fact, almost half of Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck, unable to put away anything aside for a rainy day, let alone a vacation fund.
However, There Are Cheap Ways to Vacation
The economic crunch felt below the governmental level has pushed many Americans toward becoming more creative with their hard-earned cash. Because of this climate, we’re having to find unique ways to entertain ourselves and bond with our families. This might be why more than 40 million Americans a year now take camping trips. Why not? Even if you have to buy a tent or rent a cabin, a multi-day camping trip is unlikely to cost more than a few hundred dollars. While we might not be able to hop on a private jet fueled by taxpayers’ tears, we can still afford to get away.
The Benefits of Taking a Break to Camp
Interestingly enough, there might even be a silver lining here. The need for a cheap vacation may have driven us toward this Golden Age of Camping, but the benefits we gain from trekking into the wilds extend far beyond the effects on our bank accounts.
Increased Oxygen Equals Better Rest
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is linked to the body’s ability to relax. That’s why when we find ourselves unable to sleep, doctors will often recommend we do deep-breathing exercises before bed; more oxygen equals increased production of serotonin.
When you go camping, you take in more fresh air, thereby increasing your body’s serotonin levels. In other words, you’ll get the rest and relaxation you need to return to your daily life as a well-rested, more productive individual.
Most experts recommend we get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week. However, because most of us work desk jobs, we rarely get that amount. When you go camping, you’ll be fishing, splitting wood, and hiking. In other words, you’ll exercise without even knowing it.
It’s hard to fault anyone who is upset by our president taking a siesta in one of the most beautiful areas of the country. However, we all need to realize that there is a real opportunity here. We might not be able to get away to our dream destination, but what we find instead in the natural wonders of this amazing country might be far better.