During my childhood I moved around the United States and the world with my family as my father was in the military. It afforded me the chance to see so many places that my peers haven’t had an opportunity to visit, but while I was a child I didn’t fully understand what the impact on me would be of seeing some of the most beautiful places in our country and in the world. Now when I talk to my friends and new acquaintances I will casually mention the time in middle school when I lived in a village at the base of the German Alps or when I went on a weekend trip to London to celebrate my 17th birthday, but what has seemed to have a deeper impact on my passion for exploring are the memories I have of experiencing nature.
Being outdoorsy is not how I would describe myself, but over time I’ve found a deeper understanding of what I enjoy in life and it’s to be outside in nature. My first memories of going camping are from when I was just four or five years old and living in upstate New York. My parents took the whole family, of which there were just three of us and the dog, to a park to go camping, but there were no campsites available except on an island that they had to canoe to, so we were seemingly the only people on the island. All I remember is having to try to use the outhouse and go potty outside (YIKES!) and then the time we went and it rained the entire time, which was miserable. I remember camping in Georgia and Colorado, it seems that some of my camping memories are the clearest for me. I should have known sooner that these would be defining experiences.