New Year’s Eve is a time for reflection. A time to look back on the last year and to see the progress we’ve (hopefully) made and to set new goals for the year ahead. This year, as I look back, I see a definite change (yes it really is progress!) in who I am and where I am headed. I have always been sort of an introvert and this past year I really started to put myself out there more. A lot of that has been through the Yonder app. Yonder is such a wonderful community of like-minded outdoors enthusiasts that I was instantly hooked on it! I posted my first Yonder post on New Year’s Day 2015. It took a little while but I really started to enjoy sharing my adventures with others. And this was going to be the best year of adventuring that I had ever had. By far!
Standing at the Top of Angel's Landing - Zion National Park - June 23rd, 2015
I went out West for the first time in June and had the most amazing experience of my life hiking, kayaking, and camping out in Southern Utah, Northern Arizona, and Nevada. I had never experienced anything like what I saw out there. The scenery was breathtaking everywhere I turned and I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire time I was out there. I've lived in NJ my whole life. In fact, I've barely been away from the East Coast. I had never been further west than Kansas. This year I made 3 trips out there, including two to California, and I have fallen completely in love with it!
Sunrise in the Grand Canyon - June 28th, 2015
The Western US will be my home someday. I have always been afraid of change and of moving, but that is all ending now. It's part of the personal growth that I have been experiencing. Life is what we make of it. I’m choosing to make mine an adventure. So it’s no longer a question of if, but of when and where exactly. So far Utah and Arizona are at the top of my list. Still want to check out Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming. But maybe it's just time to pick a spot and go and once I'm already out there I can find the place where I'm really meant to be.
Standing in front of the Screaming Titans, one of the most massive trees in the world. - Grove of the Titans - July 11th, 2015
I’ve met some awesome people this year and made some pretty amazing new friends, a lot thanks to Yonder, and the group of Buds we have on Facebook. I am constantly inspired by them, adventures they take, and the lives that they lead. They definitely have made it easier for me to share my adventures and my life with them. And with over 5k followers now on the Yonder app, I am completely humbled by the fact that they are being inspired by me as well. They are my inspiration for this blog, and I can never thank them enough for what they have meant to me this year.
Hiking in Harriman State Park with some of my Yonder Buds - November 15th, 2015
Now as the year comes to a close and I look back at myself I think that I have definitely changed, and for the better. I’d like to call what I’ve become an "extroverted introvert", if that makes any sense to you. It’s still hard to put myself out there, but I’m doing it anyway. I’m going to put myself out there even more now with this new website and blog. Here’s to a great New Year in 2016 and to whatever adventures come my way. I’m hoping you’ll enjoy coming along for the ride. Until next time. Namastè!
West Mountain Shelter - Harriman State Park, NY - New Year's Eve 2015
Happy New Year from the West Mountain Shelter!
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