It's no surprise that hiking has been a big part of my life since I first moved to the Canadian Rockies back in 2010. I was drawn to the mountains and the higher I got into the mountains, the clearer my mind got. While I might not be up to too much hiking while living in England, that doesn't mean I've forgotten about it entirely. There are more coastal walks, and I've been living vicariously through my friends who hit the trail regularly, none more than one of my best friends.
Kat & I met in NZ a few years ago when we became quick roommates living at the hostel, and with that basically instant friends! Hailing from Washington State, she was & still is always up for a wicked adventure and ever since she got back from NZ she's been hitting the trails like they might go out of style. I always love getting a message from her on the weekends because more often than not there is an incredible photo attached from one of the many hikes she manages to find between Spokane & Idaho. I finally got the chance to find out more about what draws her to the mountains & why she is so passionate about waking up at the crack of dawn to get into the wild wilderness.
I recently had a friend ask me "What takes me to the trails and why am I so passionate about the outdoors"? (thanks Laura) And, the honest answer is, five years ago heck even three years ago not a single person that knows me would have ever asked me those questions. I had no idea how much I loved the outdoors and finding new trails to explore until I got back to the PNW (Home) after two years of living overseas in Australia and New Zealand.
I found when I got home I was really struggling with adjusting to "real life" & being back in the States. Here's the thing, when you're traveling and living in a foreign country everything is new, there are new adventures, new places, new experiences and new people around every corner. When I got home there was no “new” everything was the same way it had been the last 25+ years I lived there.
This led me to looking up hiking tails in my spare time, which finally led to me just printing off directions and hitting the road on my own to a nearby trail. Once I was on the trail I couldn’t believe how much my whole perspective changed, I was excited, I felt lighter and free no worries just me and the trail. I couldn’t wait to see what was at the end of the trail which kept me motivated to push myself mile after mile. I was in my element how had it taken me almost 30 year to discover this??
(Nada Lake, Leavenworth)
I fell in love with the outdoors and all the endless possibilities for adventure, exploring and discovering new and amazing places. I found myself on a new hiking adventure anytime I had a day off. It’s been two and half years since I’ve been back and my love for the outdoors and passion for hiking and hitting the trails just continues to grow!
Instead of going out with friends on a Friday night I find myself in bed early so that I can get up with the sun or even before (I’ve had numerous 3am wake up calls to hit the road for the next adventure). I want to be up with the sun chasing life. The last few months I have been making a point of hiking near my hometown in Central/Western Washington State and I can’t even believe how many incredible hiking adventures I sadly took for granted growing up. My love for the PNW has grown 10 fold! I feel so blessed to call it home and to continue to be surrounded by so much beauty.
(Rachel Lake, Roslyn Washington)
The one thing that I could have let hold me back was having nobody in my inner circle that wanted to go with me on these spontaneous adventures. I didn’t let this deter me though, I jut went anyways and that is my advice for anyone else in the same boat JUST GO. The universe has a way of putting people in your path at just the right time. I have since met amazing people with a passion for adventure and the outdoors. I can’t even imagine all the incredible views, sunsets, lakes, trails and adventures I would have missed out on if I had stayed stuck in my frustration form being home and nobody to adventure with.
I am now so thankful that my Visa expired which forced me to come home without this happening I might never have discovered my love for the PNW, adventure and the outdoors.
No matter how much I continue to hike there are new trails everywhere. I have some favorites which I might write about in the future but wherever you are I bet there are trails or some type of outdoor adventure you can embark on. If you’re ever in Washington you can almost always find me on a trail in my spare time so look me up Id be happy to give recommendations for outdoor adventures or meet you to go on one ☺
(Snow Lake, Snoqualmie)