As many of you can already tell from my compilation of blog posts, I love being outside. I love exploring new places, finding new adventures to embark on, taking advantage of new experiences (especially while living in a new part of the country), and testing my physical limits while immersing myself in nature. So it’s probably no surprise that this week’s post is about something along that same vein.
Over the last few years I have been purposeful in physically and mentally challenging myself more and the main way I have sought to do that is through exploring, adventuring, and immersing myself in nature. In Arkansas, I have visited and hiked in around 19 state parks. Outside of Arkansas, I have completed various rigorous hikes (some of which have been relatively long-distance) in national parks like the Grand Canyon and Glacier National Park. A few years ago I bungee jumped for the first time from 100 feet in Colorado. During my spring break this year I climbed for the first time in southeastern Utah and hope to continue this newfound hobby.
Although I have never considered myself to be an adventure or adrenaline junkie, I have concluded that I definitely have an intense adventure bug. I have always had a very restless soul and enjoy seeing new things…all of the time. It can seem like a tiring and chaotic lifestyle to some, but constantly seeking new adventures is like my vitamin. I am always thinking about the next new place I can visit and the next adventure or physical challenge I can take on. Adventuring makes my life more exciting and purposeful. I feel like I’m grabbing life by the horns (as corny as that sounds) and taking advantage of the beautiful opportunities this planet has provided for us. Sure, I could spend an afternoon binge watching Netflix, shopping, and baking but that’s not what brings me pure enjoyment, purpose, or thrill. I want to hike, climb, take a long road trip to see a new state, bungee jump, explore a new city and its culture, and camp.
Although I spent four years living in the heart of Boston, my desire to be out in nature is fierce and strong. Don’t get me wrong, I have a side to me that is a HUGE urbanite. I was born in Manhattan and my heart will always have pieces in cities. Seeing a city skyline with the lights is just as beautiful to me as a mountain range. The two environments, although they couldn’t be more different are beautiful in their own way and make me feel elated when surrounded by them. The wilderness and a city both symbolize adventure to me, just in different ways and no matter where I end up living in the future, I want to make sure I am still purposeful in crafting my own adventures and in seeing new sights. I think growing up in New York City taught me to always crave something more and to seek big and exciting experiences. The Big Apple is hard to beat and living there at a young age inspired me to always seek adventure, purpose, and larger than life experiences.
As my time in Arkansas comes to a close in the next few months, I am thinking about where my life is headed and what new adventures I can go out and grab. The adventure on my mind right now is thru hiking. After all of the hiking and state/national park-ing I’ve done, a thru hike seems like the most natural next step. I’d like to eventually muster up the courage to complete the Triple Crown (PCT, Continental Divide, and the AT). But I know I need to train and prepare first.
Saying that I want to do a thru hike is frightening to say the least. The Arizona Trail (the first thru hike I’d like to complete before shooting for the eventual Triple Crown) is about 800 miles from southern Utah, through Arizona, to Mexico. I believe in my physical capabilities to some degree and exercise regularly but committing to a thru hike is an immense undertaking and not something you take lightly. For me, I know I would never climb Mt. Everest or anything of that seriousness, so a thru hike is my ultimate version of a thrill and adventure. But it certainly takes a considerable amount of courage to dedicate yourself to something as momentous as a thru hike. The distance is extremely challenging, the terrain can be varied and exacting, and the preparation (not to mention the financial commitment) that goes into a thru hike is grueling and serious within itself. But I want to do one…I want to do many. I want to challenge myself in this unique way and make my life even more purposeful and memorable than it already has been.
The first step is having the desire to do one and that already takes a significant amount of courage. I know I have it in me and I’ll push myself no matter what. Courage is attainable and so are the adventures I want to go on. In time, it will happen and when it does, it will be unforgettable.