Hiking

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: www.coolofthewild.com

“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.

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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.

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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 .

You can connect with her here:

 Facebook    Twitter     Instagram    Pinterest

 

If you are interested in contributing to 52 Beautiful things, send an email to 52beautifulthings at gmail dot com. 

Giving Light – Cathy H.

 

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My name is Cathy and I live in Lafayette, Colorado.  I work at an elementary school helping children with special needs.  I am happiest when I am spending time with my family, gardening, hiking or being creative.

Here are my 5 Beautiful Things

1.  Details

I find beauty in the details of things, like the intricacies of a flower.  When I slow down and take a closer look at things I am wowed by its beauty.  So often we only see the outline of things and miss the amazing details of God’s creations.

2.  Children’s Art

Working in an elementary school exposes me to a lot of children’s art.  I never get tired of looking at these masterpieces.  It always brings a smile to my face.

3.  Hiking

I love hiking and being outside breathing in fresh air and feeling the sun on my body.  Every season has its own amazing features.  Whether I’m walking in my own neighborhood or hiking in the mountains, I am content.

4.  The Sky

There is so much beauty in the sky – the clouds, sunrises, sunsets, all phases of the moon, the intense colors.  Amazing!!

5.  Laughing

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There is something so good about laughing until your stomach hurts.  We should all laugh more.

 

 

The deadline for accepting entries for the Give Light Giveaway has passed. I am finishing up posting contributions. Stay tuned for other contests and opportunities to contribute to 52 Beautiful Things in 2017.

Still Up?

When I was growing up I would often sneak into my parents’ bed on a Saturday morning. My dad would already be awake, and the sun would be streaming in the half moon window, warming my spot at the foot of the large four poster bed. I’d snuggle in and pull up the sheets and watch the world wake up as my family began our Saturday morning. My dad, after thirty years of marriage or so, would bring my mom tea in bed, just as she liked it. My brother would come bounding down the stairs and hop in to join us. I watched this weekend ritual (judgement of appropriate boundaries aside) and think to myself, “Hmm, I hope someday, when I’m old and married, my husband brings me tea on Saturday mornings.”

I haven’t been married yet a year. This Saturday, my husband did not bring me coffee in bed. I figure I’ve got twenty nine years of Saturdays for this to change. We did, however, have a slow wake up day reading and watching the sun on the lake, and sipping coffee I prepared. Slow wake up days are beautiful. As I was laying in bed scrolling through my Facebook feed I noticed plenty of people were out and about on early morning adventures. Dang! Maybe I should have jumped out of bed to go hiking, or brunch, or raft a river. I do not like early morning adventures. I like sleep in Saturdays with my white down comforter, and pillows, and maybe some biscotti as well. This week, slow rising was beautiful.

We also had the chance to get away to the mountains for an afternoon hike. I can do afternoon adventures. We haven’t had a very outdoorsy summer, and I was craving a mountain experience. It amazes me how often I forget that we are literally thirty minutes away from one of the biggest natural tourist destinations in the world.

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On our hike we encountered a European family.

After smiling and making eye contact on the trail the mother asked, “How much further?”

“Not far,” we responded like the lying Coloradoans we are. “Just around a few more curves.”

The father turned and asked in a European accent, “Still up?”

“Yes, still up,” we said.

“Perfect. More up. I love up,” the gentleman responded.

We laughed as yes the trail was straight up hill with plenty of stairs equating to a lunge workout. Many steps, many breath taking views along the way.

Sometimes life feels like a balance between rest and the challenging moments of “still up huh?” We face unknowns and questions and self doubt and then, every once in awhile, we have the option to stop and take in the view. To watch the world wake up from a window as the sun rises, to drink coffee in bed. I’m thankful for the beauty in both options this week, and in this season of life.

Essie – None

Biscotti – None – CHERRY POPSICLES! That’s my jam!