Camping at Vresselse Bos

I had some time in between switching jobs and decided to go for a camping trip. My first time in the Netherlands.

After looking up some places I chose to go to Vresselse Bos I rented a tent from Airbnb. The tent was close to a village called Nijnsel. The way to get there was train to Eindhoven and then a bus to Nijnsel, then a 40-minute walk from there. After about an hour walk to the east side after exiting the village there is a forest. The tent itself and the area surrounding it was quite big. After entering the fence gate, there was a long path surrounded with trees to the tent. Inside were wooden furniture that gave you the feeling of living in the woods and a warm blanket to survive. And most importantly, a large barrel of drinking water.

In front of the tent there was a dry toilet and shower. Shower was good, but I soon learned that water cannot stop a hungry mosquito. And on the right side there was a fire pit with tree trunks around it to sit.

The shirt 24 hours I was too tired to do anything after the long walk with my backpack. So I sat down under the trees and watched birds and sunset.

I started the second day with preparing breakfast. I brought food with myself for the whole trip. Apples and bananas, Lentils and red lentils(the best thing seriously), Potato eggplant Tomato, Eggs, Walnuts and Pistachios. These were easy to keep in a cold area and none of them got rotten.

My favorite meal lentil soup: Pour water over lentil and red lentils with olive oil pepper and salt, leave it for 45 minutes, and then you got a soup. Well actually the original recipe does not have red lentils, but I discovered this myself. The other dish I made there was Mirza Ghasemi. It’s very good with grilled eggplant.

I brought some food back because I was nothing eating as much as normal days. It sounds contradictory I’m really curious about the reason. Maybe because I was not eating on schedule but just when I was hungry.

On second and third day of the trip, I was super excited and energized. I did not have internet, but it was not boring.

I went for hiking, the forest was massive. You could stand in the middle and look around and don’t see anything other than trees and plants in horizon. The nature is unpredictable and beautiful. No two footsteps were the same, the height is different or the moisture of the soil. I was giving full attention when walking there. Some branches falling down occasionally, so I had to keep an eye. There were a lot of canker worms crawling up to a tree. I hit a lot of them, and it’s hard to get them off, another reason to watch steps. Specially in the first few days I was not paying full attention to the surroundings.

I saw squirrels, cats but no wild big animal there. But there were a lot of insects and I got a lot of bites from them. The most interesting thing I found was an ant nest. There were a lot of them and when they walked I could hear the sound of them walking. I brought them sugar the other day, but they did not like it. They were more interesting in getting their food in the natural way.

It’s the complete opposite of daily life were every step and route is predictable.

I then ate lunch and did some reading, then another hike. It was like I can not finish the day. I did a lot but still was afternoon. There are a lot of hours in a day if there is no internet.

On forth day I started using my laptop to read blogs and programming. I downloaded a few blogs I liked before going there, so I had access to those. I had also downloaded Python and Rust docs. If you think it’s not possible to program without Google, it is. Some people might even say it’s not possible to program without ChatGPT, sad. It was a pleasant experience to do these activities in the jungle. No distractions, No time limit, and bird sounds.

In the last days I recorded some videos talking about different stuff, just thinking out loud. They are on my YouTube channel and I liked it. It’s very similar writing.

Overall the experience was wonderful. I got up with bird noises when the sun went up and slept with it went down. I was away form the daily life stress. What time is it? Who cares. I was more focused there, there was nothing to steal my attention other than nature. I felt different physically as well not sure how much of it was because I was not under stress.

Since I had to spend time on basic needs like food I was more physically active and enjoyed the meals more. I also eat less that I normally eat, 1 or 2 meals per day only soup some days. Although I was more active I was feeling full. The thing was that I was eating more slowly and enjoying the moment.

About the no internet part, well I wanted to turn it off to not have distractions and the micro stress shock that it gives me. Of course, I needed the information on it.

I mentioned that I downloaded a few pages before I go there. I used this wget command to download any site:

wget -m -k -p -E -np --limit-rate=200k

And as much as it’s hard to believe, it’s doable. I read and coded for a few hours each day. The only bummer is that you cannot open links inside posts, I just saved them for when I’m back. It is kind a good thing because you don’t get distracted while reading. I’m sad that my link collector requires internet to work, time to question choices.

I read a bunch of blogs and books there all worthy to read.

The blogs read there: my favorite math puzzle blog

I also took two longer writings:

I also worked on my project Enderpy there, I made great progress toward adding the LSP hover action to the editor.

Now that I’m back I try to make my life more like that. Remove the stress and distractions. Do more physical activities specially to provide my basic needs. Worry less about stuff, and use the thinking to think about what I like.