My Life of Adventures.
The Early Days
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York…a product of the NYC school system and thin crust pizza. I was raised by my grandparents and because they were retired, we had the opportunity to spend our summers in the country and go on different adventures. My grandmother has always been more of a homebody (although she was my girl-scout troop leader!) but my grandfather has always been adventurous and loved to travel and explore all that he could. Later on I found out that my biological father’s side of the family also had the nature/travel bug, so I guess it’s always been in my blood.
However, there was always something holding me back. I knew that I enjoyed the outdoors, but I was terribly afraid of heights and anything that felt uncomfortable. My grandparents were a bit overprotective and instilled in me the idea of “if it hurts, don’t do it” and I lived comfortably with that…until I wasn’t.
It was about 2010, I was just getting out of a relationship, and I was struggling to figure out who I really was and what I wanted out of my life. That relationship had helped me to realize that the partying lifestyle I had had since college wasn’t really what I wanted to write down under “interests”, and it rejuvenated my love and appreciation of the outdoors. I decided it was time that I put away the fear, and start pushing myself to do new things. After about 28 years, it finally dawned on me that maybe it’s better to work through the pain and the fear than to run from it. Maybe that’s where life really starts.
My Life of Adventures Begin
I got a group of girl friends together and decided we were all going to go rock climbing. I was terrified. Beyond belief. But, I was going to do it and I was going to show myself that the sky was that much brighter once you climbed to the top than it was comfortably standing on the ground. We searched the internet and found a Groupon, so we signed up and scheduled our date. The Southern Terrain sent us details of where to be, what to wear, and what to be ready for…there was no turning back now!
Why Not Start with Rock Climbing to Beat My Fear of Heights?
We showed up at Mission Trails Regional Park around 6am, coffee in hand, no idea what to expect. We didn’t have much in terms of hiking clothing and rock climbing gear at the time, so we wore yoga clothes, shorts and running shoes as all climbing gear would be provided by our guides. There were others in our group as well, and Andrew (our rock climbing guide) showed up to take us to the spot we’d be climbing.
We set off on a short hike about 700 feet uphill or so. He went at a comfortable pace, and I was more and more afraid as we climbed closer to the spot. The anticipation of where we’d be climbing and how much solid ground (or lack there of) I’d have beneath me began to eat at me, but I stayed calm and was still oddly excited.
We finally got to our spot and standing with about 3-5 feet between us and the cliff, Andrew had us put on our helmets and harness. The guides had already set up the ropes for us, and we’d be climbing two routes.
Who wants to go first? Well, if I’m going to start my life of adventures, I may as well go all in. Fine, I’ll go first. And just like that, a new world began for me. A world where I didn’t say “no way, that’s too hard” or “I definitely can’t do that” or “I’m too afraid” anymore. Instead, I’d consider anything (except eating bugs…I won’t eat bugs unless my plane crashes in the middle of nowhere and it’s my only way to survive…).
We spent the rest of the morning taking turns on the two climbs. Some parts were scarier than others, but we made it and I was right…the sky was much brighter from the top. Since then, I’ve continued on this road of reaching for the sky, even if it’s difficult to get there. I had never been a runner, but decided to push myself to run and got to where I could go 6 miles without stopping which I never thought would happen. And it did. I’ve climbed mountains, kayaked with sharks (only saw a small one but I KNOW they were there…), and traveled the world…and I’m not done yet.
Travel and adventure has now become my passion, and I now want to share that with all of you! I hope that you’ll want to follow along, and that maybe it’ll inspire you for your own adventures!