Earlier this week, one of my favorite people that I’ve never met based solely on photos and brief interactions, posted a lovely photo and some words on Twitter basically saying that despite not being able to get to the mountains due to life being busy at times, he was thankful to have local trails and preserves to enjoy between mountain visits. And damn, if that doesn’t speak to my life goal, I don’t know what does. Never stop exploring, appreciate what is around you, make the best of every situation, and learn to love where you live.
Where I live in Texas (Dallas-Fort Worth metro area) isn’t the prettiest, to me, in terms of natural landscapes but it does have a few redeeming qualities. First, I’m thankful for local parks in the DFW metro area – they serve the purpose of partially escaping and disconnecting. Second, I’m fortunate enough to have several worthwhile places that are within a few hours of the metro area by car – within Texas, up to Oklahoma, and up and over to Arkansas. Third, If I’m feeling adventurous, I am lucky to have an array of majestic places within 12 hours by car that include mountains, forests, desert landscapes, and flowing water. DFW is a hub for American, which gets me across this great nation at a reasonable rate with many nonstop options. Dallas is a hub for Southwest, which includes two checked bags for gear, and they’re always offering reasonable rates to many of my favorite destinations. I feel lucky. While Texas isn’t my favorite place (and hopefully not my final destination), I am going to continue to embrace the positive aspects and make the most of it while I’m here.
My journey on 52 Hikes With Mike has been about embracing where I live and taking as much of it in as I can. By participating in the hiking challenge, I managed to branch out and actually learn about the outdoor culture in my area and beyond. It has awakened a part of me that went dormant years ago and connected me with many like-minded people in just the nine short months so far. Here’s to many more miles and seeing more trees than people!