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New Book Encourages Families to Connect with Nature in National Parks

“Go Outside: Connect and Learn with Your Family in the U.S. National Parks” to be published in June

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA, May 10, 2021 / -- Rita Naomi’s family was experiencing significant stress. Her 7-year-old son was frequently ill. She realized her family needed a change of pace, and scene, before things got worse.

On the advice of a friend, she and her son traveled from their home on the East Coast to the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. They spent a month living in a tent in the Tetons, where he became healthy and vibrant.

“It was far from what I knew, far from what I had ever done, and the terror of the unknown didn’t matter anymore because a change had to happen,” said Naomi. The adventure would continue for Naomi and her son for five years, with the two of them in a van exploring more than 170 U.S. National Parks and Monuments while she homeschooled him. Naomi wrote about their experiences in a soon-to-be-published book, “Go Outside: Connect and Learn with Your Family in the U.S. National Parks.”

“Go Outside,” Naomi explained, tells about their travels, how she homeschooled her son and how they took care of themselves in the great outdoors. While not a guidebook, it does include several chapters on the routes they took while on their journey.

In a world dominated by technology, the book demonstrates that families can unplug and connect with nature, reconnect with their families in the natural beauty of the parks, and enjoy the vast resources we have as Americans.

Naomi hopes the book will inspire other families who have thought about visiting national parks for an extended period but are not sure if it’s possible or how to do it. “The book will assist those families who would like to add more nature to their lives but lack the confidence that they have money, time and ability,” she said.

Readers of “Go Outside” will also be enlightened by Naomi’s background as a physical therapist and her Filipino ancestral lineage. Naomi received her master's degree in physical therapy in1997 from Shenandoah University and is a licensed physical therapist in Maryland and Utah. She has focused on awareness-based modalities over the last two decades, using primarily manual (hands on) therapy and awareness-based movement to help populations suffering from chronic pain, breast cancer, orthopedic injuries, pelvic pain, post-traumatic stress and inflammatory issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and heart disease.

Realizing that there was much in the healing power of nature, Naomi put together the NAOMI method of healing, which has four overarching pillars: nature, mind, body and community. NAOMI itself means Nature, Awareness, Openheartedness (willingness to explore), Movement and Integration.

Contrary to Naomi’s traditional Asian American upbringing, from her late teen years to her 20s, she found a way to get outside by rowing, kayaking and taking outdoor orientation classes. As much as she loved it, the more time she spent outdoors, she realized it was not a natural place for her and she feared it.

Later in life, she came to understand that the underlying fear came from the subtle but effective messages of racism that keep people of color locked in cityscapes and fearful of being alone in wooded spaces.
Reading the work of Robin Wall Kimmerer, Black Elk, Rachel Carson, John Muir and the poetry of natural philosophers, Naomi realized that many sought solace in the woods and nature.

For more information about “Go Outside: Connect and Learn With your Family in the National Parks” or to purchase a copy of the book, visit
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