Be Kind to Yourself, Rewind

Be Kind to Yourself, Rewind
Date: April 2024
Author: Inspector X

No, this editorial has got nothing to do with the 2008 Jack Black movie, but everything to do with being kind to yourself, clock out of the modern-day rat race for a day, take time to reflect, recover and rejuvenate. For your own sake, for your own mental health, so be kind to yourself, and rewind.

The inspiration behind this is a recent camping trip. It was just one night in very basic conditions, but without phone connection and just enough electricity for a fan and some lights there was no other option than to slow down, calm down and centre yourself.

I was invited to come on this one-day trip to a largely uninhabited island, that doubles as a national park in an undisclosed South East Asian country. The island has only 40 permanent inhabitants left. One of them is an 84-year-old plantation owner. And it’s not a plantation as we would expect in the Western world, with rows of trees, all perfectly aligned. No, instead it’s fruit trees scattered around the jungle, with small hills and slopes, and the old man still climbs the trees to harvest local fruits. Now, Inspector X hasn’t voluntarily slept under the stars in three decades yet the idea of this trip somehow appealed the me. So, I met five other individuals, all cigar smokers that I met over the years, at the jetty from where our journey would start.

We brought some rum, beef, charcoal and other basic necessities. Once we landed on the island, we made our way to the plantation where we collected enough drinking water from the well to last us for the day to come and went exploring. The shed that would be our headquarters consisted of sheet metal for the bottom part, to prevent snakes and other creatures from coming in, then mesh for airflow and a sheet metal roof, all on a slap of concrete. The toilet was literally a hole in the ground with a wooden platform on top, and some sheet metal for privacy, a little too basic for me to be honest. Showering was possible at the bottom of the small hill, although, can you call it showering if it’s just a big concrete pot full of well water with a small bucket to wet yourself? It doesn’t sound appealing right, but trust me, in the heat of South East Asia, being able to refresh yourself with ice cold well water is a bliss.

The Sleeping Shed

The Toilet

Rum, Cigars & BBQ

After some exploring it came to the reason each and every one of our small group of five adults joined the trip. Okay, one of us brought his 11-year-old son for the camping experience but we did not include him in the drinking and smoking, responsible as we are. He may have learned a few new words that night though, words that he cannot use in front of his mother or we will all be in trouble! That reason was just chill. Simple rum old-fashioneds were made, cigars were cut and lit while onions, potatoes, garlic, pumpkin and big steaks were baked and grilled on the BBQ we built from some bricks and a slab of marble we found.

I brought enough cigars to last me the weekend, but the first cigar of the day was one that I brought for a reason. It was a League of Fat Bastards cigar, a new cigar company which donates 40% of their profit to men’s mental health. I knew that this trip would be good for my mental health. Being offline for 24+ hours, no distractions, just bonding with like-minded people, enjoying friendship, cigars, quality rum (I brought a bottle of Angostura 1824) and nature. And seeing how far we, as humans, have come with all the comfort and luxury we have now is also a humbling experience.

First cigar of the day, League of Fat Bastards Serie L Churchill

Saturday I smoked about 6 cigars, sitting around a campfire. A befriended retailer saved me a bunch of tobacco that Drew Estate uses as packaging for the Tabak Especial cigars, which gave the air a beautiful aroma and scared the mosquitos away. We chatted, smoked, drank, laughed, all without modern day distractions like WhatsApp, Facebook, X and other social media. And true, sleeping on a modern mattress is more comfortable than a yoga mat on a concrete floor in the jungle, but the experience was worth more than an expensive holiday in a resort. Just one night, one night only, rejuvenated me, charged my batteries again, inspired me and gave me the opportunity to detach from modern life for 24 hours. I can’t wait to do this again, in a few months from now. Just for another 24 hours, I don’t need much longer, a full day and night in back to basic conditions is enough to get centred again, to appreciate the modern-day luxuries and tackle the world head on. But I wouldn’t have lasted those 24 hours without the right tool to plug out: beautiful hand rolled cigars made from the best tobacco in the world, Nicaraguan tobacco.

1 thought on “Be Kind to Yourself, Rewind

  1. Thank you Inspector X for reminding us to disconnect from the electronic world and reconnect with Nature and cigars! I wish I could have joined you this trip! I will try to schedule a similar escape get away too.
    -David L

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