Thursday, October 1, 2020

How Geocaching Saved My Life

Geocaching saved my life. If you don't know, geocaching is an outdoor pastime, where players use GPS to look for containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") which have been hidden at specific locations all over the world. In other words, I use multi-million dollar satellites to find tupperware in the woods.


This past year, I’ve gone through quite a bit of life changes and trauma. A faith crisis, a divorce, a son in the hospital for an extended amount of time, witnessing my best friend’s suicide, a son diagnosed with brain damage, losing my job, attempting to take my own life. And then coronavirus hit. I definitely needed a distraction and hobby that would get me out of the house, that would give me something to do. I’ve always known about geocaching from my Boy Scout days, but I’ve never done it. Then my best friend told me about his geocaching experiences, and he helped me get started. Since then I have been hooked. I have found at least one geocache every day. I have taken trips to 18 states just this summer, and found geocaches in all of them. I have hidden my own series of geocaches, complete with field puzzles and mystery coordinates. And next month I’m starting a geocaching club at the school where I work.


I don’t think that geocaching, itself, saved my life. It’s a great hobby, for sure. But any hobby can breathe new life into your existence if you let it. For me, geocaching has helped me bond with my children in a unique way. I’ve gone to places and seen the most beautiful views. I’ve found trails in my own hometown that I didn’t even know existed. I’ve met some truly wonderful people and done some great networking. I’ve found some interesting swag and challenged my mind with difficult puzzles. But most importantly, I’ve kept myself occupied and gotten out of the house. In those quiet moments when I’m walking a three mile hike to find a little red pill bottle, I’ve done a lot of soul searching and discovered a lot about who I am. I have been able to process things that are happening in my life. Geocaching is a great hobby for me -- but the really invaluable aspects are the alone time and the fact that I'm doing something for myself. That’s where the real therapy lies. I guess in finding little hidden containers around the world, I was really finding myself.

Who knew that bison tubes hanging in trees would be the best thing for my mental health?



2 comments:

  1. Very well put. I'm not "new" to geocaching but I am. I've logged 14 over 2 or 3 years just because I let life get in the way of my enjoyment. Well not completely I guess considering my wife has popped out a couple boys and a little girl on the way lol. It is slowly becoming a family hobby and it is absolutely 100% amazing for so many reasons. TFS

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very well put. I'm not "new" to geocaching but I am. I've logged 14 over 2 or 3 years just because I let life get in the way of my enjoyment. Well not completely I guess considering my wife has popped out a couple boys and a little girl on the way lol. It is slowly becoming a family hobby and it is absolutely 100% amazing for so many reasons. TFS

    ReplyDelete

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