My deep love for and connection to nature started in my mother’s garden before I was even able to walk. As a I grew older, I didn’t see myself as an outdoorsy person because the typical outdoor narrative of natural athletes conquering mountains didn’t reflect the ways that my immigrant family connected and experienced the outdoors.
The fear of not doing it right, particularly because I have never been a natural athlete, kept me from discovering the joys and thrills of an adventurous life. Finally, at 34 years old in the midst of some dramatic life changes, I answered an inextricable pull to hike the Appalachian Trail. I didn’t have any backpacking experience (in fact the fist time I slept in a tent was during my thru hike!) and very little hiking experience. With each step on the AT, I became more experienced, stronger and came to realize that there is no right or one way to enjoy the outdoors (or even adventure).
So, what started as a six-month trek turned into a life-changing passion to not just find adventure, peace, spirituality, health and connection to my family and ancestors in the outdoors, but to share my outdoor stories, mistakes and all, as a way to challenge and change the narrative of who belongs in the outdoors and how we connect with nature.