Many of us spend all day in front of our computers and phones for work. Then, when we want to decompress from all that screen time at the end of the day, we watch TV….on another screen. We’ve become so reliant on screens that it’s hard to get away from them in the city — a practice that is vital to our mental health and general well-being. It takes really shaking things up to break out of the routine of checking your devices constantly for e-mails, texts, or @ mentions.
Which is why Uproxx’s Steve’s Vasquez is going to literally leave all of that behind. The host and director has been really feeling screen fatigue as of late. He feels like he’s always doing things for others, always racing against deadlines, without ever getting to slow down.
“I spend a lot of time working, without really getting that time in for myself,” he says. “I don’t remember the last time I saw a sky full of stars.”
Knowing that he’s a person who needs to recharge in nature, Steve reaches out to friend Kelly Calvillo — an adventurer and photographer with a love of embracing nature. Calvillo is down for the challenge, and suggests a night-hike to star-gaze and help Vasquez disconnect from his stressful job.
It’s not the normal way Vasquez spends a Friday night, but that’s point. Rather than a party with a bunch of friends — all on their phones, staring at screens — Vasquez and Calvillo are heading deep into the Cleveland National Forest to lay quietly under the stars with their own thoughts. Rather than a night on the town, they’ll have a night out of the town.
“I feel really present,” Vasquez says after just a few breaths looking at the sky, swimming with stars, “It’s really nice to reconnect with myself.”
Watch above to see Vasquez’s journey to sync back up with nature and himself — along with Calvillo’s tips on the best conditions and practices to catch an epic, starry night sky.