I grew up in a family that was, by no definition, outdoorsy. It wasn’t until I was 20 years old, and serving a mission for my church in Italy that I started to understand the beauty of nature. I had been living in Europe for about a year when I moved to Sassari, a city in the most undeveloped island on the continent, which is most famous for having more sheep than people. Within a few weeks I had seen the majority of the man-made attractions that Sassari had to offer, and the locals started encouraging me to explore the natural beauty of their home. At this point in my mission I was exhausted. I was tired from speaking a language so different from my own, tired from walking literally everywhere I needed to go (European’s aren’t huge drivers), and tired from spending every moment of my day interacting with other people. On one of our days off, another one of the American’s that I interacted with suggested that we go for a hike surrounding one of the most famous local castles. More than anything I wanted to stay home and sleep, but everyone else seemed excited so I agreed to go. When we arrived, it was raining, the castle was closed, and I was miserable. Fortunately, about five minutes in to the hike I forgot about the rain, and for the first time in months I forgot about my fatigue. All I wanted to focus on was the color of the rocks, and how beautiful the sea looked against the rain. I felt completely energized, and connected to nature. Since then hiking has become my ultimate recharge. Whenever I feel like I can’t handle another second of school, or work, or life in general; I find a local hike and suddenly I’m ready to go forward with my life.
My family was never into the “going outside” thing unless it involved a beach haha:) I feel like I am at peace with myself and become a new person out in the wilderness, yet I would still say I’m a beach bum! I am just so happy and clear headed when I get to escape reality and my other responsibilities. My favorite outdoor activity is backpacking. Backpacking is the best thing ever created because you get to truly immerse yourself in nature and take in the beauty around you! I am the one with the crazy spontaneous ideas that my friends here at Much Hiking are crazy enough to join in! Fun facts about me are that I am an Oregon girl, my favorite stores are REI and Costco, Chance the rapper is my favorite person, I collect fortunes from fortune cookies, and I am the much loved third wheel of this group.