Australia Will Kill You: and other life lessons

Australia Will Kill You

Ever since I was very young I wanted to visit Australia. I’m not sure why, out of all the places in the world I became fascinated with this destination, though I suspect it had quite a bit to do with the wildlife. I love animals. I especially love wild, exotic, and strange animals. Australia is filled with wild, exotic, and strange animals. Continue reading

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Guide to Adventurous Storytelling

Making your stories sound more adventurous.

Guide to Adventurous Storytelling

So this one time… Continue reading

Finding Happiness in the Wombat Parade of Life

Wombat Parade of Life

“Would you like to use my mallet?”

She must have been watching us from her deluxe caravan tent, complete with rooms and windows and even a shower. She must have been watching as we broke an “unbreakable” water bottle pounding in the tent stakes of our tiny backpacking tents, unsuccessfully.

“You have to tilt the pegs slightly to the side, you see? Move away from the tree. Those cockatoos will be back.” Her voice was thick with an Australian accent as she guided us step-by-step on the how-to’s of tent-staking. Continue reading

The Summit, the Climb, or the Release?

Summit, Climb, or Release?We stood in the lobby of the mountaineering club watching the burly adventurers stride through with their crampons and trekking poles.

“White-out conditions and 70 mph winds before you reach the John Muir Base Camp at 10,000 ft,” we overheard from the guide behind the desk. “We don’t recommend going up the mountain unless you have experience in these conditions. Stick to the trail because 200 ft to the left is a drop off.”

I look down at my rain pants and hiking boots. What are we getting ourselves into!? Continue reading

Inspiring People

Inspiring PeopleThere were six of us on that mountain top. Breathing hard in the frigid winter winds. Talking, joking, and laughing.

I looked from face to face, and though I could not feel my nose or my fingers, my heart and soul were warm with love and appreciation.

I met these people when I was broken, wide-eyed, searching for something more.

I stumbled upon them in the wilderness.

People who were confident.

People who were creative and intelligent.

People who never stopped searching for answers.

People who never grew weary of adventure. Continue reading

Not Today: A Poem

Not Today: A poemI can feel them like waves of darkness

Approaching closer, closer,

Hitting my body, causing me to

Kick and struggle, underneath the

Salty world of my emotions.

The wave passes,

I look up, tired, salty,

But breathing.

I will not drown. Continue reading

Got the Winter Blues?

Got Winter Blues?

In 2013, I decided to out-wit Mother Nature.

At the time, my job required me to spend every other week in the wilderness. The previous two winters, I lived outdoors. It’s a powerful experience, but I just didn’t want to do it anymore. So I took the winter off of work and sought a warmer climate. Australian summer.

I spent the winter trekking through the Outback and lying on white-sand beaches, but when spring returned, it was time to go back to work. Continue reading

Three Ways Mountains Inspire

3 Ways Mountains InspireThey say the Appalachian Mountains are the oldest in the world. They say they were once larger than the Alps and the Rockies. They say they hold the wisdom of ages. That all you have to do is listen.

I sat, and I listened, and I understood. Continue reading

The First Step

The First StepI had a little black car then.

It sat baking in the early summer heat as I said my final farewells.

Goodbye to my family.

Goodbye to the little town I never really fit in with.

Goodbye to the memories both sweet and saddening.

I put both hands on the steering wheel of that little black car, knuckles white. It was my saving grace. It was my chariot of freedom. I put my foot on the gas pedal. And as I drove away, Continue reading