Adding to the Mix
Kayaking at sunset in Tomales Bay (Point Reyes National Seashore)
I have not updated this blog in quite a while. It's shameful. Writing helped me connect more with my adventurous side, and yet, I neglected it. I have all the usual excuses: work, family, travel, lack of time. But let's see if we can't get back on track, shall we!
The good news is that my quest to add more outdoor time into my life has continued - depsite the lack of blog posts.
I made a concerted effort to find more motivation and comaraderie online via socail media. Social media gets a bad rap, and often times rightfully so. But I have found outdoorsy communies there that have inspired me, grounded me and lifted me up. I have "friends" online that I have never met. I put friends in quotation marks because society says they can't be real if I haven't met them. But they sure feel real to me and I equate it to having pen pals, like in the olden days. It's really the same sort of thing, but with day-to-day communication and interation instead of once a month or once a week via snail mail. Most of my favorite groups are female-specific; I'll be linking to a few here. Just looking at the photos people post of their adventures is porn by my definiton!
That led to me taking on two back-to-back 365 Mile Challenges. This challenge is exactly what it sounds like: 365 miles in 365 days (preferably outdoors and all self-propelled). It's a group open to anyone, but it's probably 99% female. I adore those woman and my outdoors bucket list has expanded to areas I used to be ignroant (AKA snobby) about, such as Arkansas and Ohio. I've learned my lesson as there is beauty in EVERY state!
Despite having an injured foot for the past two years (and double surgeries this year), I completed a double 365 last year and am on track to do the standard 365 this year.
I got up the courage to apply to be a contributor to an online adventure website called 10Adventures(.com). I've essentially been accepted and am ironing out details. I'll write about the top 10 hikes in the East Bay (of San Francisco) and also one-off blog posts and "how to's" for some of my past and upcoming backpacking trips.
I also aplied to be an ambassador for my FAVORITE online community for lady hikers: Hike Like a Woman (HLAW). Low and behold - I was accepted! I'll be starting their first NorCal hiking group, appear on their podcast, write blog posts, and generally help contribute to getting more women outdoors and into nature. HLAW is an amazing community and well worth checking out. I've been getting to know their other ambassadors, both past and present, via our Facebook group, their regional HLAW hiking pages, Insta accounts and blogs. I'm already so in love with the other ambassadors and am beyond pumped to be involved in this international community of like-minded bad asses!
I changed what I read. I love to read books, and still make room for that in my life. But I also signed up for some truly amazing email newsletters to provide me with exceptional reading fodder. My favorite of all time is Outside Magazine's email newsletter titled What You Missed. It's wonderfully curated (including articles from many sources, not just Outside Magazine) and I make an effort to read every single article - even if I don't initially think it will be of interest to me. In the end, I always walk away with unexpected knowledge and some sort of new appreciation or fascination.
Lastly, and most recently, I bought a kayak and did my first kayak-camping trip in the beautiful Tomales Bay of the Point Reyes National Seashore. Who did I go with? My husband's ex-wife! Not something you hear about everyday, but we've become lifelong friends and like family over the years. It wasn't always easy, but it is now. And she is an adventurer, too. Plus, who better to gossip about my husband with?
The struggle for personal and professional fulfillment is still real. I dream of another life - one where I work AND play outdoors. But my real-life career is as enjoyable as any job I've ever had. I try to be happy with what I've got, because I know what I've got is pretty damned great. Instead of wallowing in my desire for a different, unattainable career, I'm lingering more in the spaces of my life that feel wonderful. I encourage you, fellow adventure seeker, to do the same. Find little ways to scratch that itch.