3 Things You Didn’t Know the Outdoors Could Teach You About Yourself

Jaw-dropping landscapes aren’t just for desktop backgrounds. That’s why the most adventurous among us experience such a rush when we lace up our hiking boots and head outdoors. One of the many thrills of setting out on a new adventure is learning about the world and embracing the beauty of the unknown, whether it’s a mountain trail all the way across the country or a riverbank in your very own background. But we often don’t think about how the world can teach us about ourselves. Read on to find out three of the most astonishing things you can learn about yourself on your next adventure outdoors.

3 Things You Didn’t Know the Outdoors Could Teach You About Yourself

Nature can teach about the things you don’t even know about yourself.

First off, when you set out on an unfamiliar trail, you continuously explore new sights, learn new paths, and have new experiences. Embarking on a new adventure, in fact, may be better defined as braving the unknown. Likewise, the unknown of nature can remind us about what we have failed to unearth about ourselves. Just as there is an endless amount of world to explore, you can learn something new about yourself every day.

Nature can teach you about your strength.

When you are faced with a challenge, whether it’s an unexpected river to cross or an intimidating mountain you’ve never skied before, you tend to recognize the powerful force of nature. It’s easy to focus your attention on the difficulties that lie ahead and quickly become obsessed with strategizing a way to overcome them. We often fail to take this time to notice the strength that lies within us and the absolute resilience we already have that will push us through any obstacle – whether on our adventure or in everyday life.

Nature can teach us to notice the beauty in all parts of our lives.

When we set out to discover a new place, hike a new mountain, or follow a new trail, we often set out in search of the world’s beauty. We may find ourselves shocked or taken aback at the views before us. However, just as nature’s beauty can take our breath away, we fail to recognize the beauty that colors our lives, the beauty of the energy of those who fill it, and the beauty that radiates through us.

Remember these things the next time you find yourself lost on an adventure somewhere, and make an honest attempt to pay attention to what nature might be telling you. Whatever you discover just might take the breath right out of your lungs.

Ryder and Nicole Erickson3 Things You Didn’t Know the Outdoors Could Teach You About Yourself
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Ode to My Old Hiking Boots

“Take a hike,” they said, snidely. But you and I knew the truth: taking a hike was exactly what we always wanted to do.

To my dearest companions, my old hiking boots, I now dedicate this brief ode to you and our shared adventures over the years.

My wife tells me it’s time to pack you up, send you on to a better home, and find a new, stiff pair to replace you. After weeks and months of back-and-forth, I am sorry to say that I have relented. Don’t worry, old pals; I’m sure you’ll wind up in whatever equivalent of heaven there is for faithful hiking boots.

For now, I would like to sing my praises for your laces. Your sturdy padding has held me together on many a long and rigorous hike. Your form-fitting insoles have cushioned my every trek, and each groove of your sole has grasped onto craggy rocks and trod through the thickest of mud without hesitation.

Thank you, old hiking boots, for never crying out in pain when I forced you to explore just two more miles during that already pretty extensive hike through the backwoods. It was always you that encouraged me to keep on keeping on, even when the going got rough. You were forever a sense of comfort in a vastly uncomfortable and unforgiving world.

You have never shied from the depths of the wilderness, and for that bravery, I am eternally grateful. Even in the moments when I was doubting myself, you were there to let me know I wasn’t alone in the world. My bare feet never had to know the harshness of the uneven terrain; your thick, rubber soles thanklessly did that mitigating job for me. That job is thankless no more. I need you to know, hiking boots, how ardently I admire you—to paraphrase the words of Mr. Darcy. You are my Elizabeth. Okay, maybe I won’t take my admiration that far, but suffice it to say that I am forever indebted to your service.

You’ve been the best of adventure companions, and through all of our journeys, our explorations, and our feats, I am glad to have had you all along the way. You will be missed, old hiking boots, but you will never be forgotten.

Ryder and Nicole EricksonOde to My Old Hiking Boots
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