How did we come to nurture such time outdoors? How did I come to be here?
To this humble point. This person of perspective and collectivism. This person who only seems energized by living outdoors. This person of imperfections and flawed understanding of her place within a vast world.
Was it because of someone? Or in spite of someone?
Who? Who are these people that have shaped us? Who led us here? These are the folks we should pay homage to, whether they led us here intentionally, or passively. Because whether we admit it or not, somebody influenced us.
I’m grateful for my upbringing of unglamorous family camping trips and cross country road-trips where I was allowed to overindulge in sugar and time in the dirt. Where we played games late into the night and laughed until our stomachs ached. Hikes that always involved squished PB&J’s and swimming holes.
For my parents who prioritized moments together and encouraged us to stay outside until bedtime. Who recognized early on that I was happiest hitching a ride in a backpack, and found no limits to what you could do with a kid in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Who allowed me to live most of my youth in this pack.
My parents instilled an early infatuation with the outdoor lifestyle, unplugged and high on adrenaline. Dad, in particular, took me on a number of backpacking, canoeing and camping trips that would set off a stream of overzealous ideas. Over prepared or underprepared, he threw me into it and I gained the confidence to eventually set out on my own ambitions as the years passed on.
For my younger sister who talked with me for hours on end sharing tents and plane armrests. Georgia hears my dreams and willpower with an uncanny understanding that very few have the patience to. These early years spent together navigating new places and situations still connect us today.
I’m grateful for my enormous support system of friends and extended family who graciously open their homes to me, allowing me to financially afford this life with little rhythm.
For my young, naive 22-year old self meeting someone with an intimate understanding of authentic adventure and self-inflicted suffering for the purpose of growth. For teaching me that you can walk away from conventionality entirely and live a life of depth and excitement. Until that point, I'd never understood what this kind of lifestyle entailed.
I’m grateful for the man I’d meet only recently who is able to match my intensity and drive for life. Someone who finds calmness in the simplicity of late night chats by headlamp. From whom I’m reminded to stay passionate and independent. For supporting my ambitions without shaping them.
For my loyal and spunky dog, Luna who’s energy and enthusiasm each day remind me that bold movements keep us grounded. Our connection is fueled by our time outside together.
For those whose I hardly know. The angels who offered gestures along my travels. Directions, food, water, showers, or encouraging words. For the friends I’ve grown apart from. For the small interactions that have great impact. Because they are not overlooked.
The folks that led me here. I know it, even if they don’t. They’ve led me to this unique life of unconventional freedom and adventure. They’ve encouraged me unconditionally.
Who led you here?