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  • Holly Heier

Getting Outside: A Guide to a More Adventurous Soul

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

PART ONE: A Guide to a More Adventurous Soul

Picture yourself standing at the base of a gorgeous Rocky Mountain trail head. It’s early summer and the smell of the wild roses tickles your nose. There’s bird chirping and squirrel’s scampering, but its quiet. Calm. Maybe a gentle breeze swaying the tops of the spruce trees towering above you. Close your eyes and take that all in.

For far too long I let my insecurities and worries prevent me from truly experiencing this on my own or with my children. I felt I needed my husband along side, just in case. Just in case what? Just in case a bear comes? In case I get a flat tire on the way to the mountain? In case we get lost in the back country? What is he going to be able to do that I some how can’t?

Doubt creeps in.

But just as you have the power to let it creep in, you also have the power to kick it out. The only way to do that, is to prove it wrong. Easier said than done, I know. Being adventurous is not second nature to everyone, but I believe there is a fire within us all, varying sizes, but it’s there none the less. In order for it to grow, it needs to be fed and nurtured.

The difference a few years can make is huge and not to be underestimated. ‘YEARS’ sounds like an eternity but when you’re talking about personal growth and growing confidence in areas that are unfamiliar, small, slow changes add up. Pretty soon you are seeing the person you had dreamt of, evolving in front of your own eyes.

I had goals of going camping, hiking, fishing, hunting - all the outdoorsy things - alone or just me and our two young boys. This was daunting, scary and so unfamiliar.

I decided I was taking the plunge. I have a friend who lives 11 hours away from me in the BC mountains. Having a friend to met somewhere on the adventure can provide some security. Ultimately, you are still the captain of your ship though. You’re still the boss who’s calling the shots and making the decisions for yourself and your family. So, take that false sense of security, that someone, somewhere along the lines provides you and use it. GO.

I would take our small boys on our first solo adventure. I CAN DO THIS! I had to tell myself this 1000 times along that trip. We would do all the things. Hiking, kayaking and paddle boarding, plus two over night stops along the way (and one on the way home) to break up the trip. Since the boys were only 5 and 3, I needed to allow for fresh air stops and road side picnics. Let me tell you, I am so glad I had given us the extra time to get there and to get home. Here’s a sample of what we encountered on that trip:

  • Mudslides

  • Closed roads

  • Forest fires

  • Car breaking down on the side of the road 8 hours from home

  • Massive thunderstorm and power outs in our creepy hotel

Here’s the short list of what I took away from that trip:

  • I’m pretty amazing. I figured it all out and we had a blast, plus we made it home safely. Mission accomplished. Lessons learned.

With a trip like that one, I could have very easily used all those tests against me, as reasons to never go again. Instead, they completely grew my confidence.

On to the next adventure! Which as to a little cabin in the mountains about 2.5 hours from home. It was spring and my husband was in Alaska pursuing is own goals, so what better time than to work on mine. This trip proved easier. Boys were bigger, older and a little more independent. There were still bears in our backyard and a wild snow storm I had to drive through, but once again, we did it and we have so many memories because of it. The boys still talk about this little cabin and the adventures we had on that trip. The hikes we did and the half froze waterfalls we saw are still burned into their little memory banks and held there with excitement and anticipation for the next time we go. We’ve gone back there since and each trip gets wilder and longer and that’s exactly what is supposed to happen.

-Holly Heier

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