Getting out of your comfort zone is... uncomfortable. I don't do it much, nowhere near as often as I should, and you probably don't either. But this summer, I decided to step WAY out of my comfort zone, and I mean way out. I went about 2000 miles away and over 5000 feet above. I went all the way out to Arizona and New Mexico (and Utah technically) for 2 weeks. While I never would want to do it again, I learned so much about myself throughout the trip.

Hiking 3 miles, with 1 being almost completely uphill, was my first challenge, unless you count a 25-hour car ride. I learned that I needed to take care of myself or I wouldn't be able to do what I wanted to do. I also learned that taking breaks isn't a bad thing. I also learned that I can handle more than I think I can. And I got a beautiful view in the process.

Trying to not fall out of a cave


Camping for 2 weeks also lead me to a few conclusions. First off, I hate camping in tents. Second, I will never take showers for granted again. Third, having a friend and a community is important to anything you do. Fourth, games can help in building a community. Lastly, keeping a fire alive during the night is a lot harder than I thought.

Inside an actual Teepee


Beauty can be found anywhere, even in time, and beauty doesn't have to look the same. I found beauty in the rocks around me, in the people around me, and in myself. My outer appearance (braids and sand sticking to every part of my body) didn't matter when everyone else looked and felt the same way.

Taken as I try to not fall down a cliff


While I was given the experience to learn all of this, it also taught me one last thing. I have a lot more to learn.