Don’t Be a Square: Say No to Instagram FOMO

Originally published by Keep it Wild.

Last week, I went hiking after work on a trail close to my office. It was a beautiful evening: the grasses were at that beautiful stage of green before they turn summer-brown, the sun bathed the red rocks in golden light, the birds were chirping and the air smelled like things growing. That night, I had every intention of posting one of my pictures from my hike, but then I started scrolling through Instagram. One of my friends had lucked out and won the daily lottery for the Wave. Another girl I followed had posted a picture from Havasupai. One influencer had ‘grammed her dawn patrol ski up Mt. Hood, the sunrise colors epic. Another influencer was flying over waterfalls in Indonesia in a floatplane. Yeah, in a floatplane.

I scrolled through my pictures from my hike and the colors didn’t seem quite as bright, the subject matter quite as appealing – they suddenly seemed pretty ordinary. I went to bed without posting.

Social media is an amazing space for inspiration; it’s grown my bucket list exponentially. In fact, I have a whole gallery folder on my phone solely dedicated to screenshots of other people’s ‘grams, depicting places I never knew existed but now desperately want to visit. But, on the flipside, it’s also really easy to get caught up in thinking your life is boring when you’re seeing the highlight reel from hundreds of other people all in one place…

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Lessons from Tofino

Three planes, a train, a bus, a ferry and a five hour car ride with strangers was all that stood between me and Tofino, British Columbia; a land of towering rainforests, moody beaches, hidden hot springs where the forest meets the sea and knee deep bogs.

I’d read about the world-famous cold-water surf town of Tofino originally in a Bon Appetit magazine. I had never been surfing, or traveled somewhere completely alone before, for that matter. But there I was, carrying an overstuffed duffel with backpack straps that were not meant to be used for more than a quick jaunt across the airport on my back, and another backpack in my arms, jumping into a car with people I’d only briefly chatted on Facebook with, in a foreign country.

I quickly realized that the Canadian accent is not just an American gimmick and that my trepidations for going on this trip alone were for naught. By the time we got out of the car in Tofino, me slightly green from riding in the back seat on winding mountain rounds through Vancouver Island, I had made two new friends.

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Thanks, Dad.

When my sister and I were kids, we’d start complaining on Friday nights about going skiing. We’d complain about getting up early and about being stuffed into snowsuits and having to wear googles and that our boots hurt and that we had to walk what felt like a million miles across Copper’s main village to get to the lifts.

As soon as we hit the slopes, we’d have a blast, but once it was time to call it a day, we’d be back to complaining. My dad would gather his skis, my skis, my sisters skis and my mom’s skis, my mom would take everyone’s poles and I would ensure my little sister didn’t eat it in the icy parking lot.

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Telluride, Camping at 11,000 ft in September

Travel diary on exploring Telluride

My favorite campsites are the ones you discover in the middle of the night, the ones that surprise and stun you when the sun rises.

We’d pulled up in the middle of the night, so had no idea what we’d wake up to. The temperature had plummeted in the wee hours of the morning and when I woke, in my hat, gloves, two pairs of pants and down jacket inside my zero degree sleeping bag, a hot cup of coffee was the only thing on my mind.

I unzipped the door and numbly shoved my socked feet into my hiking boots. I went to pull aside the fly and froze, my breath a cloud billowing above me.

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Oh darling, let’s be adventurers!

[all photos by Coldiron Photography]

We’ve officially been engaged for over six months and the wedding date is now less than a year away. This new adventure that is our journey to marriage is well underway!

Last month we headed to Rocky Mountain National Park with Allie and Marcus Coldiron, the amazing couple that make up Coldiron Photography to have our engagement photos taken.

When I first saw Dream Lake, I knew it would be an amazing place for engagement photos. When Topher proposed and we started talking about all things wedding, Dream Lake was in the back of my mind for an engagement photo session. But then, I started to let that practical part of my brain take over. Hiking after getting your hair and makeup done isn’t practical. Balling a $100 dress that’s been immaculately hung in your closet all week into your backpack and changing in the woods isn’t practical. Hiking in the Colorado Rockies at 3pm definitely isn’t practical.

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Visiting Aspen as a broke, sort of broke, or just normal human being

Aspen is undoubtedly one of my favorite places to visit, but it can also be crazy expensive. Staying, eating and recreating can quickly add up to the point that a stay-cation starts to come with a vacation price tag.

We try to visit Aspen at least once a year, if not more, so I’ve put together this guide on how not to go broke in a matter of days!

Where to stay

My favorite thing about Aspen is its insane natural beauty. There are plenty of campgrounds in the Aspen area, but my favorite place to camp in the warmer months is a dispersed camping area at the very end of Castle Creek Road. From Aspen, follow Castle Creek Road past the ghost town of Ashcroft to the very end.  Continue reading “Visiting Aspen as a broke, sort of broke, or just normal human being”

Adventure is a Choice

While planning a wedding may not scream adventure to most, I’ve decided that the next fifteen months are going to be just that – an adventure.

We got engaged two months ago and having procrastinated for as long as humanly possibly, we’ve been begrudgingly starting to work on plans little by little. This week we found ourselves in the paint aisle at Home Depot, staring at a rainbow of chips and having a small meltdown. He was holding a fistful of navy blues and grays while I was picking out shades of wine and rose.

We ended up discarding everything in our hands and going to look at power tools, him fed-up and myself overwhelmed. It occurred to me while looking at belt sanders that it was sort of funny. I pointed out how the guy behind the paint counter must be witness to countless divorces and we both laughed and headed back to the paint aisle.

We settled on a joint color scheme (red wine, heather grey, cream, coral and sage for you curious few!) and right then and there I decided that this whole process is going to be an adventure. No matter how many things go wrong, how many stressful plans there are to make I am going to choose to laugh instead of let it affect me. Our feelings are choices each and every day and I choose to live in a spirit of adventure.

Its easy to get caught up in the mindset that adventure is relegated to the weekends, to hikes and camp trips and plane rides to exotic destinations. That adventure can’t occur every day. But to me, adventure is a mindset.

Adventure is choosing a new brand of protein bar at the grocery store. Adventure is stopping on the way home to take a picture of the sunset. Adventure is midnight milkshakes.

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