Have you ever accidentally hiked 18 miles with an unnecessary 30 pounds on your back? 🤦🏽♀️ No? Just us.
On a warm Thursday in June, in the South Cascades of Washington, The Fantastic Four (Robyn, Danny, Isabelle, and I), set off on a trail with the intention of backpacking to a beautiful alpine lake.
When we found out that the lake we had already begun hiking to was still under snow, we were forced to change plans. Instead of hiking 12 miles to Spade Lake, we decided that we would just camp at Waptus Lake, which would’ve been mile marker 9 on our original journey.
When we arrived at the lake, we were somewhat disappointed by the views (New Zealand really jaded us).
We started a campfire and ate a yummy meal of arugula salad. I know, who the hell goes backpacking with arugula salad?
After finishing our healthy meal around the campfire in only an hour, we began contemplating whether it was worth enduring 4 hours of boredom at a campsite or if we should just hike back to the RV, which was in a campground near the trailhead.
We wouldn’t have minded the boredom if we had experienced the insane views from Spade Lake. But now, sitting here, unimpressed, we thought…
Technically, there is enough daylight left to make the 4-hour trek back to our RV.
The only problem was that if we hiked back we would be totaling 18 miles in the day, not to mention the fact that we’d be carrying 30-pound backpacks for no reason if we didn’t spend the night.
Which was the better of 2 evils? Boredom or pain?
We chose pain. I know, we’re insane.
We hiked back finishing the last 15 minutes with a lantern in the dark.
In all honestly, it was the absolute worst hike we’d ever done.
While we have done a 19-mile day hike in the past, it wasn’t with heavy backpacks and the beauty of The Enchantments significantly outweighed the pain of the actual trek.
Now, I don’t regret doing this hike. While my feet may ache, it brought an important life lesson to my attention:
Sometimes you take a gamble, and sometimes you lose. Not taking the gamble wouldn’t necessarily make you smarter, happier, or better, it just IS.
You can’t always make the best decision but you have to try and I’m glad that out of all the hikes I’ve done, there’ve been very few where I chose wrong.
We had a choice and sometimes you make the wrong choice but whether it’s the right or wrong choice doesn’t matter. When those moments come along in life, all you have to do is keep moving forward and keep making choices that align with your purpose.
This is a good lesson about life in general, but for me, it’s a lesson about right now. What I experienced on the hike, I’m experiencing in my everyday life right now.
2 days before we hit that trail, we had left Bend, OR and were on our way to Bellingham, WA. We had spent the last month and a half living on beautiful forest roads in Bend because upon landing back in the USA from Bali, we were convinced that Bend would be the perfect place for us to start a new phase in our life.
Bend just didn’t work out. It was nothing like we expected.
So when we were faced with an opportunity to try something new in Bellingham, we made a decision to give it a shot.
Like Waptus Lake, the opportunity was disappointing. We needed it to be something much more to convince us to stay. So we left. And maybe that was a bad decision too.
We drove into the mountains and found the backpacking trail that we’d heard was supposed to be epic (and it wasn’t.)
After the hike, it was time for another decision. Where do we go now? Literally, where do we go now?
We’ve been on the move for 3 years but it was time for a new phase in our life. The problem is, we don’t know what that phase is.
Sure we can see where we’d like to be 2 years from now, but because of money, economics, and honestly desire, we can’t be there now nor do we want to.
Due to this, ever since we left Bend it’s been a wild goose chase of finding jobs—finding an answer for the near future. We’re zig zagging all over the Northwest looking for an answer but not sure what that answer is.
Making decisions about where to go can feel like a gamble, with numerous starting points like Boise, Bend, Sisters, Bellingham, and McCall, each posing uncertainty.
Aligning choices with purpose becomes crucial in avoiding regretful destinations. Committing to one place might seem like reentering the rat race, conflicting with the freedom sought after.
Have you ever watched the movie “The Martian”? Well, one of my family’s favorite lines in that movie is at the end where Matt Damon says… “Here’s the thing. You do the math. You solve one problem, then you solve the next one. And if you solve enough problems, you get to go home.”
I could look at that quote and possibly think, keep solving problems until we can figure out how to get a house. But that’s not what it means to me.
Home is a feeling, a sigh of relief, a comfort in your soul, a happy heart. I get this feeling in the mountains and the sea. So perhaps us finding home is continuing to find peace in nomadic life and continuing to seek mountains and seas.
Here’s my take on our life, the path is not clear and I don’t think it ever will be. Life is one long series of choices. But in the end, I believe the goal comes down to aligning your choices with your purpose.
And that’s why we’re Nomads With A Purpose. Because we believe the purpose of life is to wake up each day with intention—with purpose—to do what makes you happy. It doesn’t matter what that intention is, but intention in your day allows you to live your life to the fullest.
My purpose is to live each day in search of adventure.
For me, that comes down to adventure sports like rock climbing and snowboarding. Sports that test my comfort zone and cause me to search for the meaning of it all.
In our journey of living #BraveForAdventure, we’ve encountered challenges, but because of all this, we’ve decided to keep going. We’re determined to keep the dream alive by venturing outside our comfort zone, driven by the belief that a comfy couch, hot shower, and a steady paycheck won’t suffice for us.
Every step we take is a conscious effort to align choices with purpose, ensuring that our decisions resonate with the deeper meaning we seek in our quest for fulfillment.