I’m Nalini, better known as Hiking Misadventures. I’m a nonprofit fundraiser by day and an outdoor enthusiast by the weekend.
Although my outdoor journey started before I could even walk playing in the dirt of my mother’s garden, I drifted away from outdoor activities as I grew older. Growing up in the middle of a city without access to a car, my family didn’t have a lot of opportunities to venture to the mountains that were a few hours away. The rare opportunity I did get, I shied away from heading out into the woods because I was not a natural athlete and the idea of venturing outside without knowing how to do things the “right way” filled me with dread. Also, immigrant family’s ways of connecting to nature (gardening, walking in local parks, eating big family meals outside) was rarely reflected in what we see as outdoorsy (camping, climbing, hard-charging athletes conquering giant mountains). So for all the time we spent outdoors, it never occurred to call my family “outdoorsy.”
Then at 34, in the midst of some dramatic life changes, I jumped into a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail (George to Maine). I had little hiking or backpacking experience (the first time I slept in a tent was during my thru-hike, eek!). With each step and mistake (there were so many of them!) on the trail though, I gained experience, confidence, and a passion for a life filled with adventure. More importantly, I developed the perspective that there is no correct way to enjoy the outdoors and everyone including the most experienced enthusiast makes mistakes! And my AT Trek blog which was filled with humorous stories of my beginner mistakes slowly morphed into Hiking Misadventures.
I’m glad you found your way to my little corner of the world. As you explore here, I hope you laugh (because I still make hilariously obvious mistakes). I also hope the stories and resources help you gain the confidence to define outdoor adventure on your terms, inspiration to jump into them with both feet, and resources that can guide you in the process!