Eating Salmon Instead

They’d have their things. We’d have ours.

They went to Europe.

We went to a baseball game.

They went to Burning Man.

We finished the details of planning my wedding.

That’s how it always was. My brave, adventurous brother, full of wander lust, would convince my mom to abandon her creature comforts and go on outings of epic proportions.

Dad and me? We’d stay home.

Watch old cowboy movies and eat cheeseburgers from Chili’s. Paint walls, organize things, eat breakfast at diners and make waffles with strawberries and whipped cream.

This week they’re going to Spain.

And I’m here, wishing you were too, because they went on an adventure and you went home to heaven instead.

I panicked slightly when my mom sent her last text on U.S. soil. Gulping loudly in the office, I told myself to breathe. Anxiety suppressed by therapist induced mantras – I am safe and nothing bad is going to happen while they are away and we can live full, beautiful lives in our own unique ways.

I still worry about where people are and the next time I’ll talk to them and when, by God, we all can just arrive safely in our beds.  I know it isn’t a good use of my mental energy – wondering if people are safe – and so this week I’m repeating over and over God, I turn my loved ones over to you.

This trusting, it feels hard, but it doesn’t have to be.

Tonight, I was planning on going to yoga and when working meetings went late I retreated home. I passed on watching a softball game and cooked a delicious dinner for myself instead. I poured a glass of wine – more anxiety suppression. And I sit now, eating my food, wondering how I’m supposed to acknowledge today’s National Cheeseburger Day and you were not here.

They’re in Spain. It’s National Cheeseburger Day. I’m eating salmon instead.


So I write, sharing my story and hope you see my words just like others do. That you’re still here, in my heart and my memories and you’d be proud of the way I lined the pan with foil so the fish skin doesn’t stick to the metal.

I’ve got my own adventure planned – we leave soon – and we, too, will bravely chase our dreams into foreign cities.

You probably would have stayed home anyway.

New adventures … healthy dinners … white wine … missing you.

All beautiful things.




The Beauty of Everyday Adventure – Guest Post by Joey Holmes

I love when other writers approach me with beautiful ideas to share. When Joey emailed from Europe and asked if she could write something on the adventures we create in our daily lives, I jumped at the chance to see what she had to say.

Read along and start adventuring. Bonus points if you guess which of her suggestions I am going to do in the next few weeks!

Author: Joey Holmes

Her Website:

“In every walk with nature, one receives much more than he seeks.” – John Muir

I often question why being outdoors is such an important thing to me. Maybe being born in December and being cooped up inside for the first 6 months of my life has something to do with it. Or perhaps it was that, when the weather permitted, my mum would be outside with me on every given opportunity. But whatever the reason, there is something about getting outside and embarking on adventures, no matter their size or ambition, that lights a spark in me.

Recently I have started to take note of the things I say when I’m outside adventuring, and the way I feel or react to my situation. And on reflection I’ve come to realize just how important it is for me to be surrounded by the beauty of nature: an ancient woodland, a colorful bug, a stunning view, the dying light at sunset. These small, seemingly insignificant things are what drive me to get outside as much as possible and to open my eyes to the beauty that is out there.

Last year I challenged myself to cycle 70 miles across Wales, sleep on the beach and cycle back again. I loved the physical and mental challenge and the feeling of independence and strength that it gave me. But I was on a schedule to get from A to B before the sun went down, and I found it really frustrating that I couldn’t take the time to stop and enjoy the waterfall, or to lie down for half an hour to listen to the silence and take in the sense of freedom that my adventure presented. So I promised myself that, moving forward, I would always try to allow for that time of reflection and appreciation of what amazing things nature offers me on my adventures.

Sunrise mountain.jpg

This got me thinking about how adventure is so different for everyone. Stepping out of ones comfort zone and embarking on something new, unusual and exciting can be all sorts of things, and doesn’t have to be grand or significantly life changing. Anything from cooking your dinner on a hill after work, to spending weeks at a time exploring far-flung corners of the earth. Regardless of the scale, seeking out adventure always uncovers beauty in one form or another: in your surroundings, in the actions of your fellow adventurers, or in the feeling, emotions and thoughts within you.

With modern life getting busier and more hectic every day, it’s easy not to make the effort to get out adventuring. And even easier to forget to appreciate all that beauty when adventures do happen. So for a little inspiration on how to get some adventure into everyday life, here are a few simple things to try each week:

Dining out

  • Cycle to work instead of your usual mode of transport
  • Cook your dinner on a campfire – even if it’s in the backyard!
  • Take a walk along a river at sunrise
  • Climb a tree in the park
  • Have a sunset picnic at a place with a stunning view
  • Take a night hike
  • Go for a swim before work at your nearest wild swimming spot
  • Take a run to your nearest park on your lunch break
  • Climb a hill and do some yoga at the top
  • Build a den and read your book in it – even if it’s inside
  • Take your camp stove to work and make your own coffee in the park at lunchtime
  • Hang your hammock in the park after work and enjoy listening to noise of the city

Planning and then embarking upon mini-adventures is a great first step to getting out more. But to truly reap the benefits of all that adventure has to offer, I believe that it’s essential to take the time to sit back and pause. To really breath in all the elements of the beauty that is uncovered through seeking out the unusual, daring and exciting.

So whatever adventure is to you, make sure you do it with open eyes, arms, ears, mind, heart and nostrils(!), to fully absorb all that beauty that’s yours for the taking.


Joey Holmes

Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, or hitting the trail in her running shoes .

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