Hi! We are Phil, Joline, Miles (8 years old), and Riley (4 years old). We are city dwellers (Chicago, IL) and while we love much of what the concrete jungle has to offer, we take advantage of every opportunity we have to escape the urban environs for actual ‘foliage’ jungles. The great outdoors was formative in our upbringing and we wanted to make sure that our interface with nature continued to be a part of our lives for as long as possible.
For Joline, this included a childhood filled with summer trips to the Boundary Water Canoe Area (BWCA). Spending days paddling from lake to lake, often without seeing another person, but always taking in the sea of endless trees, northern fauna, and sounds of nature. Days filled with exploring, and evenings filled with setting up camp, cooking family meals, sharing stories around the fire and taking in the amazing array of night stars left many fond memories. Not only did these excursions, imprint the importance of connecting with nature, they also provided an opportunity to learn the basics of camping in that area such as how to “pack-in and pack-out”, portaging canoes, and hoisting food up in trees at night.
I (Phil) also grew up surrounded by nature and perhaps underappreciated the significance of being able to go hiking and exploring with his friends every day after school. It was not unusual to leave first thing in the morning and not return home until the sun was setting, complete with bruises and treasures like interesting rocks, leaves, and sometimes, little creatures.
“Forest bathing” is a Japanese term for spending time in the woods.
Spending time in the great outdoors is strongly linked to therapeutic effects that result in a reduction of depression, anxiety, depression, and fatigue, largely by lowering blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones.
As a couple, we tent camped quite a bit and at least once a trip, we inevitably had a heavy rain, soaking everything we owned and contributing to a less than pleasant soggy and muddy experience. Yet, there was something innate about being outside sans the insular nature that a house provides. We wanted our kids to experience camping but could avoid some of the unpleasantries that come with the territory. What was the balance?
The Flat Screen TV, Vacuum, and Double-Door Fridge Stay Home.
Fast forward a couple of decades, and now charged with a family of our own, nothing is more important than sharing our love of nature with the family. Living in the city means it is even more important to make concerted efforts to incorporate the great outdoors into our vacations.
The TAXA Cricket, being the latest “addition to the family” has played a pivotal role in making this happen. The fact that Cricket is versatile enough to fit in our driveway, maneuver through city streets, yet has space four the four of us to feel at home inside, speaks to its thoughtful functional design. Truly ensuring that we can bring everything we need, and we can leave behind what we did not need.
We are ecstatic to be a part of the TAXA Outdoors family and cannot wait to share our adventures with all of you!