5 Reasons to Take a Getaway to the Middle of Nowhere

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

I've written before about the cabin my family has been going to since I was a kid. It's technically a hunting club, & my three of my dad's childhood friends have long been members, which means that they each get one weekend a year to invite family & friends to come up for a weekend getaway (no hunting involved, unless you want to).

Now, one of my dad's friend's sons (who I've always called my cousin, even though we're not technically related) is a member, too, so he gets his own weekend.

The cabin is in Lycoming, PA, which is essentially the middle of nowhere. It's about an hour & a half northwest of State College, PA, home to Penn State. Google Maps can't find the cabin; you have to map to the nearest house, then use handed-down written directions to find the cabin itself, which is behind two locked gates. It's about a five-hour drive from Cleveland, but it's an easy one, given that it's a pretty straight shot across PA.

Whether or not you've got a family cabin to visit, I can't speak enough to the concept of getting away in the middle of nowhere. It's worth seeking out a remote space of your own to visit!

1. Take a much-needed break from technology.

Our cabin has no wifi & no Internet connection whatsoever. In fact, once you hit the base of the mountain, you'd better have written directions on hand, because you'll have lost service about 15 minutes earlier.

There's something so darn freeing about not having your phone on you at all times  - or any of the time. I didn't even take any photos because I left my phone in my room the whole weekend. Particularly as a social media manager who's allllways on the Internet, this is the best part about going to the middle of the woods.

2. Connect on a more personal level. 

When you don't have phones & TVs to turn to, you're forced to - gasp! - interact with the other humans around you. When we arrived on Friday night, everyone was drinking around a bonfire, playing a stupid game someone made up where everyone just went around in a circle & named their top three TV crushes.

There's something special about having to really try to connect with others, with no Google to turn to when you're not sure of something or can't remember the name of James Franco's Freaks & Geeks character (Daniel DiSario, FYI). It results in a lot of laughing, for starters, which is always good for bonding.

3. Books & board games & beer darts, oh, my! 

I finished a book & a half, went three rounds of Secret Hitler, and won two rounds of beer darts (which has literally never happened before). We also played three games of beer baseball, which is an excellent way to get drunk only if you're good at beer baseball, which I am not (proven by the fact that I was the last to be drafted, ouch).

We played board games & pub trivia, hung out on the patio & chatted, watched as three new-to-the-cabin guests were initiated by lake-jumping, & just generally found creative, non-technological ways to have fun.

4. Get back to nature.

We didn't see any bears this time around (probably because there were four dogs & five babies staying at the cabin with us!), but we did spot a waddly porcupine & a giant deer on the way into camp, & I caught a few newts with my cousins' kids, teaching them their dads' & my favorite cabin pastime from our own childhood.

Being in the middle of nowhere is the perfect time to explore nature, whether you're catching newts, swimming in the lake, exploring the creek, or just picnicking in the grass.

5. It's pretty darn cheap.

We paid for gas & for the food we brought with us, & we'll pay my cousin for cabin cleaning & maintenance fees, but beyond that, the weekend was practically free.

We're lucky to have such an inexpensive place to visit every summer, but even if you don't have a similar option, staying in cabins is rarely an expensive getaway - & once you're there, especially if you're staying in for the weekend, there's nothing to even spend your money on.

If you're local to the Cleveland area, here are a few great weekend getaways I'd love to try. I've never been to most of these spots, so I can't endorse them, but they all look pretty nice!
Anywhere else you'd recommend? What's your favorite way to get away from it all? Leave a comment & let me know.

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