Growing up, I'd say close to 95% of my family's vacations incorporated at least a couple days of being in nature. Wherever we went, my parents would find a national park to explore. We would explore the trails from The Rocky Mountains to Yellowstone, and anywhere in between. While I didn’t appreciate these trips as much when I was younger, I sure do now. Living in the midwest, there aren’t an abundance of places to go for a hike on a nice summer day. Sometimes you just want to go walk on a path somewhere and take in the day. And not through the city or the corn fields.
You don’t need very much to be happy up in the mountains. Hiking, skiing, kayaking, snowboarding, rock climbing; whatever you’re into, mother nature has provided the perfect background for it. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen The Grand Tetons on a Montana blue sky day. You physically have to step back to take it all in. You don’t have to worry about full body sunburns and sand in all the wrong places when you’re exploring the wilderness. Just throw on a baseball cap and hit the trails.
Plus, the forest never gets boring. You can only lay on the beach for so long before you look like a lobster or have just fallen asleep. As someone that doesn’t tan, going to the beach has just become a hassle as I have gotten older. There is always a new spot to explore and a new view to be seen up in the mountains. The beach looks generally the same every time.
Everyone is super chill in the high elevations. If you haven’t been to Boulder, CO. seriously go! Not only is it one of the coolest towns I have ever been to but it is also one of the friendliest. Everyone in the mountains towns is super down to earth and welcoming. The people who live in places like Boulder have been breathing in that fresh air for quite some time now and the benefits are obvious. The attitudes of people are lighter and more positive than any other place I have been to.The pace at which people move is slower. Take your time going places. There’s no hurry. The mountains will still be there, the rivers are still flowing and the Redwoods are still standing. But, for some reason every time you go back they all look a little different.
I'm so grateful to have had a childhood filled with exploring the natural world around me. Sure we went to Disney Land too but our first stop was always a national park. There are too many beautiful places in the world to miss out on by just going to new a theme park or the basic beach. Even if it's only for a day, go find a trail and learn something about the world and yourself on the way to the top.