A couple of years ago I moved from a tiny town in Minnesota to Denver, Colorado. Before moving, I worked retail management – my job was the biggest part of my life, and I didn’t mind it at all, or I didn’t think I did at least. Don’t get me wrong, I had a social life…but I hardly ever hiked, or did much outside unless I was at the lake.
When the opportunity arose to move to Denver, I thought there would be several things rolling through my mind. But honestly, here’s how it went:
- Could I actually pick up my whole life and go?
- How could I not pick up my life and go?
About two months later, I packed up everything that would fit in my SUV and nothing more. My boyfriend and I had an apartment, but I had no job and hardly any money. The only things I possessed were my belongings and a heart that was ready for a grand adventure.
The day after I arrived in Denver, we hiked to Alberta Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park. I’m sure I’m not the first to say this, but hiking at 9,000 feet one day after you move from a much lower elevation is not easy. I struggled the whole way and fell into a stream because I slipped on a rock – I was not a happy girl. However, when we went around the last curve and arrived at Alberta Falls, I didn’t care about slipping or being out of breath. My heart was so full of happiness and peacefulness. I swear I’ve never felt so free, so at home. I had fallen in love with hiking, with the feeling that it gave me.
It was then that I realized the most important things in life should be feelings like that. The rush when you accomplish something and can see the world from new perspectives is unparalleled. That was the beginning of everything. That first hike, it was the beginning of an adventure that I never wanted to end; and it still hasn’t.
I hope to write continuously about my love affair with hiking to try to inspire people to get outside and adventure anywhere that makes you feel at home, that makes you feel free.