When I was young, you couldn’t keep me out of the mountains. Growing up in Eastern Kentucky, I grew up in the mountains. Seriously. If you walk out to our front porch you’ll see three large mountains surrounding you — it’s like living in a hole. Anyways, I stayed in the mountains as a child. I would hike to the top with my friends, I would explore the creek with my dad, and I’d be lying if I told you I hadn’t lost a pair of shoes in a sink hole once.
I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything. Growing up in the mountains allowed me to release that child-like energy that we all wish we still had. However, as I grew up I spent less time in the mountains. Eventually, I left my hometown and moved to Central Kentucky for college. Throughout my undergraduate career, I had no desire to go hiking or do anything outside. I wanted to live the “city life” — I put that in quotations because Richmond really isn’t a big city, but it was compared to my hometown.
Last summer, my friend and I started going on hikes. We were too broke to do anything else! When we first started our adventures, it was difficult. I wasn’t used to it and my body had a difficult time! I had been working out a bit, but hiking a mountain is a lot different than running on a treadmill. But we both continued through our soreness and eventually became amateur hikers.
This photo was taken during one of our first hiking trips in 2017 (Cumberland Falls, KY).
We had begun to hike throughout Central Kentucky. If you have read my older blog post “I’d Hike That”, you are probably familiar with some of the places that I have been. We visited the same places a lot because we didn’t have enough money to venture out to neighboring states, but we had so much fun going wherever we possibly could.
When you’re out in the mountains, there’s a sort of peacefulness. It’s so quiet. You are able to get in touch with nature. Also, you’d be surprised how wonderful of conversations you will have with people when you’re away from constantly being on your cell phone! For me, there is nothing greater than putting my phone in my back pack and hitting the trails with my best friend (and my dog, of course!).
Jackson and I on a recent hiking trip (2018) to Red River Gorge.
Also, when I’m out on those trails I’m able to get in touch with an adventurous side that I wasn’t aware I had. For the most part, I love to binge watch Netflix and read long books. I’m obsessed with coffee and all things sweet. Basically, I’m a lazy girl. But when I take the time to adventure out onto a good hiking trail, I’m able to let loose a little bit. I have the opportunity to explore and to give new things a try. For example, I recently visited Red River Gorge (Slade, KY) to go kayaking! This was something I never thought I would do in my life, but it was a wonderful experience. If you haven’t tried kayaking before, you should. It is so relaxing.
Kayaking in Red River Gorge (2018).
Okay. Enough with my boring stories about how magical I think hiking and all things filled with nature are. The point I’m trying to make is that it is important to find something you are passionate about. It is important to find something that you cannot wait to do every weekend! And it’s even better when this activity can be categorized as self-care. We all need a little fun and self-care! In fact, it’s kind of necessary.
So what is it for you? Maybe it’s hiking. Or reading. Or writing. Or running. Or… well, I mean it can be anything! It’s all up to you.
Find your hobby.
Find your passion.
Go out and live your best life.