Wilderness Ethics: How to Minimize Your Impact

Wilderness Ethics: How to Minimize Your Impact

The next question that should be asked is, “How can I minimize my impact?”

To consider this question, it is helpful to know the seven Leave No Trace Principles. Leave No Trace (LNT) is an organization that encourages responsible recreation by teaching outdoor ethics. I encourage you to read through each principle and jot down a list of impacts that you can identify from your own recreation, and to the side, brainstorm a tangible way that you can minimize each impact.

Type II Fun is the Best Type of Fun

I went for a long run the other day, my first long run in awhile since an ankle sprain rendered me incapable of running for several weeks, followed by several more weeks of “regaining muscle strength” which mainly consisted of begging off of long workouts with my injury excuse. I, a self-proclaimed runner, really do enjoy running (I promise!), but on this particular run, my mind fought me every step of that 4 ½ miles. My thoughts ranged from “Don’t worry, you can slow down, you need to pace yourself!” to “So if I don’t add on that extra loop it will end up being a two-miler, and that’s still pretty good…” with nothing but silent whining in between. I don’t listen to music when I run, so it is usually a full 30-40 minutes where I don’t think about anything, in particular, I can just notice what is around me and let small thoughts drift in and out of my brain. This is the closest I come during a typical day to spending uninterrupted time with myself, something of which I think we are in short supply but desperate need. The part of me listening to myself whine eventually cut in and realized that somewhere between now and last December I have become completely out of practice with Type II fun.

Type 2 fun

 Type II fun, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, is the kind of fun that is not so enjoyable while you’re actually doing it - but is completely worth the discomfort and effort after you’re done. In contrast, Type I fun is the type of stuff everybody loves, like a blue-bird powder day or hopping on that super long party wave. But Type II fun is my personal favorite type of fun, the type that makes you feel good for long after you’re done with the activity - if you can get behind that slightly masochistic type of pleasure that comes from pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Type II fun makes you appreciate Type I fun, and generally gives you some perspective and a great attitude to go with it.

I have become lazy about running, lazy about reading, eating healthily, and carving out quiet time in the morning to spend with Jesus and journaling. Simply put, these things, however good and beneficial they might be, are easier not to do than to do. It takes much less effort for me to stay in and eat that last half-pint of ice cream while watching the entirety of Friends for my fifth time through instead of going for a run or reading, and easier to sleep in an extra hour before class than to wake up and start my day immersed in the Word. But once I start doing these things again, I remember why they make me feel so good and that they actually make me a better, happier, and more productive person. Their positive effects stretch far past the end of my run or when I finish a good book and spread into all areas of my life. Similarly, the negative effects I experience after I use that same time set aside for running to instead watch four episodes on Netflix in my pajamas while eating dessert for lunch bleed over into other areas of my life.

patagonia mountains

Type II fun takes mental toughness and accumulating such mental toughness takes both will-power and habitual practice. Sometimes I wonder, especially when I am particularly out of practice with Type II fun, why these activities even qualify under “fun”, but really just getting started is the hardest part for me. Putting on my running shoes and powering through that first half-mile, shutting down my Netflix tab and picking up the book I’ve long abandoned, taking time to reflect and journal. Once I get back into the habit of running regularly, my mind lets all of my petty complaints drift upwards and away, and I’m free to enjoy simply being outside and focus on the ground under my feet.

Type II fun is the best type of fun because it pushes me out of my comfort zone, forces me to be active, and cultivates my most positive attributes. Maintaining balance in my life is not one of my strong points, and so if I feel myself even inching towards my vices, I usually end up sprinting towards the dark side that has the cookies while my healthier tendencies utter a feeble cry for help that is drowned out by my stampeding feet. I’m aware of this self-destructive trait in myself, and so am working on building back up my mental toughness. 

Five Weekend Adventure Tips That Won't Break The Bank

Trying to figure out what to do this weekend but need to keep to a budget? I feel you. Just because you are saving up for the next big trip (or life in general) doesn't mean you have to sit around in the meantime. Here are five great ways to adventure, on a budget, this weekend. 

1. Crew up-

“The more the merrier” applies to almost, ever situation in life. And, unless your plans consist of hot-air balloons or spelunking (two very space constrained scenarios) a big crew is most definitely an adventure advantage. Being inclusive is a win-win situation. Not only will you be encouraging others to get out and explore, you’ll have friends to share the memories with – oh, and to split the bill. Which, will leave a happy you, a happy friend and a happy bank account.

best weekend adventures

 

2. Take to the night

Once, in college, my girlfriends and I decided to go on a night hike. It was the closest mountain to our campus and a trail that I hiked many times over. Something about hiking at night, though, made the experience distinct. Maybe it’s the lack of people or the mysterious abyss of darkness that keeps you on edge. It could even just be the fact that, in order to avoid getting hurt or lost, you must give 110 % of your focus to your surroundings (please be careful – I can neither confirm or deny whether or not we got lost on that particular night hike.) My husband and I even did this recently. Instead of going out of town, we saved money and took to the night! We biked a beach trail that I had done during daylight a million times, to the light of the full moon.

 

adventure on a budget

 

3.Borrow rather than buy – gear

If you are reading this and are currently affiliated with a university. Stop. Leave what you are doing and go to your college’s outdoor recreation center. Even if you think your campus doesn’t have one, I bet they do. Take full advantage of the resource while you have access. Most college campus outdoor recreation centers will rent out anything from canoes to climbing shoes. If you’re lucky, they might even rent tents and backpacking gear (maybe find your own sleeping bag, though – semi-gross). For the rest of us, ask your local outdoor retail store if they know of any gear rental groups. You can also find certain rentals at a lot of state parks.

 

4. Work an Event

This might be the smartest hack for adventuring on a budget. That is, if you are willing to put in the time. Music, craft, food or community service; any kind of festival or large event will most likely have a volunteer program established. Where, in exchange for an allotted number of volunteer hours, you can receive anything from free event admission to lodging and food.

 

Full moon adventure

5. Combined Activities

The oldest trick in the book. I’m pretty sure the “picnic” originated out of a need for adventure on a budget. Combining two activities, into one outing, makes for a new experience - even if something (or even both things) is commonplace to you. Adopt a dog for the day from your local SPCA and head to your favorite trail. If cooking is your thing, round up your friends, their camping stoves, and some groceries and head out to a nearby state park. Better yet, go fishing and cook what you catch (maybe bring a backup dinner just in case). Art, in the outdoors, is one of my favorite low-key adventures – and high-key as well (that’s not a thing). Document your favorite outdoor activities via photography, word, or paint – voila new adventure.    

 

No Off Season - Backpacking Three Ridges Circuit

Every time I step into the stillness of nature, I learn something new.  It’s one of the many things that continue to draw me back. When you are pushing yourself and allowing your mind to be present, in the moment, there is always a lesson to be had. A challenge and a presence of mind are both organically created in the wilderness.

Joel likes to say, “There’s something about walking dirt.” It's true. In the Outdoors, experiences are undeniably richer. Moments, even, become more precious. You begin to see things in people, and in yourself, that you might otherwise never discover. And, if you are looking through the right lens, you can find new keys to living a joy filled life. The thing, perhaps. that we are all truly striving for. 

Three ridges loop

Joel and I were joined by my sister and her husband for a short overnight backpacking trip along the Three Ridges Circuit, one of Virginia’s best loop hikes. It was a rather last minute trip, but even still, we had been nervously watching the rain prediction continue to rise with each new day. Eventually, we all decided that with decent winter gear, we would go – good weather or bad.

We parked along the road at Reeds Gap and hiked into a snow cloud that had swallowed the first mountain ridge. Snowy crystals covered every dormant plant and ice hung in the shape of water droplets from the leaves of trees. Cold and damp, yes, but the gift of being outdoors and hiking in a winter wonderland outweighed the lack of fire we might have at camp that night. Even more precious was the gift of sharing what we love, with the people we love. 

The weekend was well spent - getting outdoors, pushing our bodies both mentally and physically, hearing our hearts beating in our ears and being reminded what it feels like to live, fully in the moment. 

Appalachian Trail Winter
three ridge wilderness

It can be easy, in the wintertime, to fall stagnant, wishing the days away in hopes of better weather. But, you miss out on a lot of precious moments that way. This short trip reinforced in me the notion that we can stop waiting for the “prime” time to go. Besides, the “prime” time may never arrive. After all, we are talking about nature here; She is always changing – it’s one of her greatest features. If we don’t appreciate the entirety of her elements we miss out on a vast majority of her character. Yes, wet conditions aren’t the best for starting a campfire, but there is nothing better than falling asleep to the pitter-patter of rain dancing on a tent roof.  The same could be said for backpacking trips in the winter. Perhaps, not the prime season or the most comfortable conditions but for every con, a pro can also be found. There is no time more “prime” than the present. With the right gear, “off-season” is nonexistent in the Outdoors. 

The Trek

Get Outside, You'll be better off for it

-G

Peanut Butter Protein Ball Recipe

Whether it be for healthy habits or traveling on a budget, food prep is always a part of smart planning. This protein ball recipe is a ( J+G ) favorite for road-trip snacks. They are filling, locked and loaded with protein and perfect for grab - and - go meals. Back in college, we found a similar Peanut Butter Protein Ball recipe and have been making and adapting the recipe ever since. From slopeside to mountaineering these protein balls are the perfect power snack. 

hiking snacks

Ingredients 


1 cup old fashion oats

1/2 cup ground flaxseed meal

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter 

1/3 cup honey 

1/3 cup raisins (optional) 

1/3 cup mini semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (chopped if not mini) 

1 tsp vanilla extract


Prep


In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, flaxseed meal, peanut butter, honey and vanilla. Mix just until crumbling consistency. Add in raisins (optional) and chocolate chips. Mix, or knead with hands, until all ingredients are combined.

Shape into 1 1/2 inch ball pieces. Store in airtight container using wax paper to separate layers (if need be). Keep in refrigerator or cooler until you head out into the wild.  

What You Need Is New Laces & A Change in Attitude

Pendleton Blanket for Outdoors

Yesterday we jumped in the car just as the sun was setting to escape for a bit. To check out of the daily grind and check in with nature. A healthy rhythm we often forget to insert into the work week - but one that can make a world of difference in our day to day lives. 

Pendleton Blanket Wedding Present
Sunset on Intracoastal Waterway

For me, escaping into nature has always been vital. Every Friday during my college years, I would impatiently watch the minutes tick by as I sat through my last few classes of the week. My Jeep Cherokee, waiting for me, already packed. I had to go somewhere, get out of the city. If I didn't have plans to head somewhere - I knew I would feel trapped. There is a sense of freedom to escaping the norm that I have always been addicted to - almost to a flaw. 

Pungo Ferry Bridge

The second I graduated college, I piled in a car with three of my best friends; together, we drove until we couldn't drive anymore. All the way to the Northern most point of Maine. A few months later, Joel and I were married. Only days after our wedding, we were loading our lives into a 27' sailboat headed South.

I guess you can say staying put is hard for me, it has always been. 

So, when our car broke down, canceling our most recent cross country plans, needless to say - I was crushed. Not only were we staying put, but we were staying put in the last place I wanted to be - the town where I grew up. Let me first say, I do not hate the place I grew up, it holds all my best memories, my greatest friends, my family,  and its shores are where I learned to surf. But, there are a million other places in the world I've yet to see and my hometown holds none of them. 

Staying put these past few months has been a rough transition but, out of it, I have learned something that I will hold with me for the rest of my life.  That is - how to put new laces on an old pair of shoes. 

There is this old pair of winter boots that I love. They are Patagonia, built to last ( Yes! I do believe that there are some names that represent quality - that's another story for another day)  The soles look as new as the day I bought them, the boot itself has a few hints of wear, but the laces were absolutely falling apart. The peeling and frayed laces made the boots look horrible. Patagonia no longer manufactured them and so, I disgruntledly began the search for a new pair of winter boots.  

Patagonia Boots

A few weeks later, when I had still yet to bite the bullet on a new pair, Joel and I snagged some brown laces from the store. They weren't the right laces, but they were close to the right color - it was worth a shot. I cut off the raggedy pair and threaded the new laces into my old boots. Bingo. They looked good and would at least last me another winter. 

In the same way, I have been learning to put new laces on the raggedy perspective I have of my old town. It doesn't always have to be something new to be something good. As important as it is to always be seeking new experiences and as much as the unknown is a place of growth ; it is equally important to love and find joy in that which is already in front of you. 

Pendleton Aztec Blanket
Awesome Blankets

I would kill to be climbing a new mountain trail today, but chasing the sunset over the oceanfront where I grew up will do the trick. My time back home has been teaching me how important it is to learn to sing, like a canary in a cage. That though you might be naturally a flyer, you can also be joyful when staying put. You can make something out of where you are. It doesn't help just to sit in silence or fight the cage - rather, sing until it is opened. The adventure doesn't aways have to be in the going but in the doing. Get outside where you are and with the time that you have. 

For me, until our next big adventure, I'll be running and biking the trails around me, watching a few sunsets and, every now and then, suiting up to surf Virginia's little winter peelers. 

Cheers & Much love

-G

 

 

The Lumineers - Sleep on the floor

My good friend, Craig Lilly, tagged me in the comments of a Lumineers music video this morning. After watching it, I couldn't help but reshare.

A simple music video, but a sweet reminder of our choices in life. For some of us, the adventure is in staying; for some of us, the adventure is in going. But always, there is a moment where we are given a choice between the unknown and the predictable.

The unknown, filled with uncertainty, risk and potential failure seems to be the less appropriate choice. However, what if the greatest misfortune is not in what you might lose from the unknown, but instead, in what you will miss by holding tight to the predictable. As Thomas Jefferson, so flawlessly phrased it, "With great risk, comes great reward." Be reminded, that in ever instance, you have the option to choose joy. To set your heart free. And, to chase the unknown.

Who know what adventure lies waiting for you in the unpredictable. 

Oh, and a big Cheers! to living simple and loving deep. 

Much Love

-G

Stay Connected 

The Best Matcha Recipe

Coffee is my die-hard caffeinated drink. That being said, I have to give a shout out to Matcha. There has been a bit of a buzz around this deep green beverage as of late. Just the other day, we stopped in The Parlour, of downtown Durham, and low and behold - Matcha Icecream! It was decadent – a definite must try.  

Matcha Latte

Of course, like every other spice, grain, or plant of its nature, Matcha has a rich history and has been prepared as a drink for centuries. Matcha is a powdered green tea processed in a way that preserves the entire leaf. My favorite way to enjoy the power packed beverage is in latte form. It’s the bomb and pairs perfectly with a morning surf.

Matcha

Here’s My Prep For Matcha Lattes


 

2oz Hot Water

2 teaspoons Matcha Powder

8 oz Almond Milk

Honey to taste

Preparation Steps :

 Whisk the two teaspoons of Matcha Powder into 2oz of hot water.  Once the powder has completely dissolved, you can then add your 8oz milk of choice. In our barista family of two, we are lucky enough to use quality equipment for steaming milk to latte perfection. However, warmed milk or even an iced latte will be equally enjoyable options. With milk added, sweeten to taste with honey and enjoy the deep green antioxidant machine. 

Akela Surf

While you sip on your deep green antioxidant machine ( did I mention Matcha was power packed with antioxidants?) check out my new favorite line of swimsuits. Akela Surf has created the most functional, supportive and darling suits I've yet to paddle out in. 

Much Love

- G

The Things You Can Learn In Your Local REI

This year, a new REI store popped up in the area where I grew up. Being home visiting my family, we naturally had to all pile into my dads Sequoia and see what this new store location had to offer. Together, we walked around testing out and dreaming of owning every piece of gear. Now let me tell you, my shopping attention span ranges from about 10 minutes to around 20 minutes - depending on the store. I'll look at a few things, decide they're out of my price range and then fall behind my husband, Joel, as he looks (at every item in the store).

(Photo: Matt Peyton, AP Images for REI)

(Photo: Matt Peyton, AP Images for REI)

As I mindlessly followed Joel back and forth through REI, I looked around and noticed how much the outdoor industry has grown. The store was crowded with loads of folks who span across all walks of life. You could barley peruse down an aisle without being in someones way.

 I started thinking about how organizations like Backcountry.com , REI, the Outbound, and countless Instagram accounts are proof that the Outdoors is "trending" -all great things, but the amount of people flocking to them, is it great as well?

What are the dangers we are risking as we commercialize and popularize the outdoors?

Of course my answer is inevitably "yes". One of my main hopes in blogging is to encourage people to get out and adventure. But, in this buzzing REI store I stepped back to realize the popularity of The Outdoor Industry is a two edged sword. Are our favorite spots still remote wonders or are they becoming tourist attractions ? What are the dangers we are risking as we commercialize and popularize the outdoors?
 

The winter on the East Coast is one of my favorite times to visit the beach. Of course it's not at its prime swimming wise- but it's empty. An area that is almost abused for its "place" seems to recover in the winter as it returns to simply being itself - nature . The wildlife flourishes, the water seems cleaner, and you notice a beauty that had somewhat been covered up during the Summer season. In the summer, the beach "trends". People flood to it. It's fun to join friends, float in the sea, and businesses benefit off the crowds.  But the raw beauty of its natural place fades behind the tanned skinned masses, boggie boards and umbrellas. And, most unfortunate of all,  we see the harsh reminder of our human talent to leave our mark. With more people comes more trash in the water, junk left in the sand, and breaks in the patterns of nature. This is exactly the risk we take as the Outdoor Industry flourishes. 

It's like surfing. We want to rent surfboards, book surf lesson and share the stoke. But a over crowded line up at our favorite spot can ruin our day. We want to tell folks about a beautiful new campsite, but we are nervous to see it suffer from camper's trash. Knowing the risk that comes as a side to our order of more folks getting outdoors, how then can we appropriately balance the pros and cons?

                                              Too often Joel and I run into scenes like this one. 

                                              Too often Joel and I run into scenes like this one. 


 As Outdoor Adventure trends, we must all do our part in keeping our natural playground beautiful. Anyone who steps out to adventure in the wild should also be an advocate of the wild. [And yes! That includes lounging in your beach chair] Here is my promise to better my impact; as we share our journeys and travel guides I want to focus more on promoting ways to have a positive impact on the places you explore. Come along with us and lets preserve the beauty we hold so dear. 

Much Love, 

-G

Why We Should All Sail Out Of Our Comfort Zone

Today a few errands had us driving over bridges and through tunnels that we had been sailing past just a few months before. We even drove by marinas that, this time last year, we were visiting in search of our boat. I stared out at this familiar places passing by with my hand out the window trying to grasping their memories- And like a wave it hit me... Something that has been creeping from my head to my heart for the past few weeks... I love sailing, I love living aboard and I miss it like crazy.

Sailing In Cuba


When we first sold the boat and transitioned back to land, we often found ourselves answering the question " do you miss it?" We would grit our teeth with a smile of uncertainty - not sure how to answer or what to say. Of course we will always miss sailing - sailing is a part of who we are and what we love. But do we miss living aboard our little 27' sailboat .... A harder question to answer. I was craving a real bed, some motionless nights of sleep, an actual kitchen, and a bathroom - you know those creature comforts we easily become so accustom to. In that transitional stage, a little land life was far overdue - I was very much ready to sell the boat. During that time, I never thought I would so quickly miss life afloat. 

Sailing the Florida Keys



 But I do, I miss it. And the funniest part is that I find myself daydreaming of the moments that caused me the most discomfort. I want to be back out at sea, under the dark night sky, with the lights of a huge cargo ship looming in the distance. But I remember being so uneasy as we continuously watch the ships movement - uncertain if our paths would collide. I want to be back with the wind pushing us along as we travel down the waterway. Though each new canal had me anxiously checking to ensure we wouldn't run aground. I want to trade our truck back in for our dinghy. I want to be back sleep out at anchor surrounded by the rushing water of changing tides.  

Sailing Biscayne Bay
Sailing ICW
Blue Water Sailing

Sometimes, it requires stepping away to realize how much you truly love something. Only then can you recognize that the experiences which made you uncomfortable have become your fondest memories. In the moment, its hard to see, but the circumstance that drives us out of our comfort zone has the most success in aiding our growth -  making us feel alive. Being uncomfortable just means we are out of our own personal "norm". Our subconscious wants to trick us into returning to what we know. But without stepping into and through discomfort, we will never grow. There is of course great risk involved here - at least we propose there to be. But, like they teach in business school, with great risk comes great reward. And, when we are given time to step back, we see that we made it through those moments of fear. We survived in a land outside of our comfort zone - and we are now better for it.

Give yourself the gift of growth. Seeking the moments marked with unknown. 

Encouraging Quotes

                                                    Much Love 

                                                             -G

God Bless America; Here's to America

"And God Bless America" my dad always belts out after praying at a meal - usually cueing snickers around the dinner table.  This one's for you dad. God Bless America. Here's to America and how good it is to be an American.

Fourth of July Tradition

There's a lot of scrap we can dig up to complain about our fatherland. Though on this day, not a lot of it is exactly necessary or even worth mentioning. This weekend, whether we are satisfied with our country or not, everyone easily falls into red, white and blue attire, clicks on grills, and enjoys all that is America. Am I right? So let's focus on what's worth acknowledging on Miss America's day of birth. That being, how blessed we, her lay people, truly are. Our dailies, comforts and even norms are unheard of to people in other corners of the world. In fact, you can watch them all but disappear without even leaving our own continent.

Cute Beach Bag

I must give a side note to my love for such other countries. There is something contagious about being in these cultures of simplicity where our comforts are striped away. But, on this day, I am reminded of how incredibly thankful I am for the provision of my native land. Simply by being born on a specific soil, we are handed a baton of opportunities. That alone is something worth celebrating.

Best Beach Gear
Coconut Juice

This year, to celebrate the Fourth of July we spent our Saturday with family relaxing by one of our country'a shining seas. The water was refreshing, clear and calm. Days like the one we had are the reason why growing up in the Virginia Beach surfing community we learn to call our ocean "Lake Atlantic."

Baby Beach Days
Sandbridge

It was a perfect day and as I stood out on the sandbar with waves lapping at my ankles and both my sisters by my side ( a rare occasion), I decided to celebrate this July Fourth with a list of gratitude.

Of course, on the top of that list are the big things like small businesses, the ability to pursue creative endeavors, and a land chock-full of breath-taking views.

Family Beach Days
Family Dinner

But what really pulled my heart strings, on this bright shinny Independence Day, was gratitude for the little details. And though I often find myself longing for distant shores, this weekend I am happy to be here appreciating my American made comforts.

I find gratitude as I fall for the rhythm of things like...

The scratchy zip noise between guitar chords.
The smell of good coffee when you first wake up.
The beautiful simplicity of wildflowers.
The common norm of a toilet seat.
The freedom to roam and the vessels by which to do so.
The way we somehow talk everyday into being a holiday.
The variety of cuisines made possible by our grocery store selections.
The colorful mess left behind after a few hours of painting.
The cool comfort of diving under a old quilt made soft and raggedy by years of love.
The safety in which to enjoy thunderstorms.
Watching heat lightening over the ocean with my feet on solid ground.
The instant refreshing rush of a cold shower.
The daily dance of fireflies.
The gurgling breath of a coffee pot.
Oh, and of course family and watermelon

Well, there's my current list of gratitude. What's yours? 

With Love, 

-G

Why You Should Go Buy A Beater Truck

What's Joel doing while I'm making smoothie bowls and working on yoga poses? Well, let me tell you about our 1993 Nissan Hardbody Truck. When we sold the sailboat, we drove back to Virginia in a rental car stuffed full with all our belongs including our dinghy. Joel sold the dinghy on craigslist and with the same money bought this slightly rusty, slightly problematic yet surprisingly reliable truck. Over the past month, we've been driving the thing up and down the coast and Joel's been fixing it up along the way. 

Joel loves the truck. The other day, he looked at me and said, “I'm gonna own this truck 'til I die.”(Or at least until it dies, I thought)  

Nissan Hard Body
Truck Repair
Craftsman
Changing Brake Pad

For me, it’s more of a love – hate relationship. Ya, the price was right, but affordability comes at a cost. In this case, the cost is stinky, rough and rather uncomfortable. That being said, there is some love mixed in there. During our six-hour drive Saturday, as I sat fidgeting (and complaining ever so often) in the slightly damp, overly packed passenger seat; I had time to reflect on our lil silver beater truck. Amazingly, my heart grew for the thing. I realized that it symbolizes not only a time in our lives, but a way of life that we’ve chosen to live. And, I decided that if I were going to give anyone a slice of advice on how to live a budgeted yet adventurous lifestyle, my advice would be to buy a beater truck.

Here’s why:

First, I have to explain the hate side of my Nissan relationship:

What I hate about our Nissan Hardbody


-It's small.
 -Packing it is nearly impossible.
-Traveling in it is rather uncomfortable.
-The musty smell of country mud left behind from its previous owner lingers.
-The seemingly perpetually damp seats from Joel's attempt to pressure wash away the musty mud smell.
-The Mid-summer heat with no a.c.
-The huge dent in the tail gate
-When you play the radio, you can't charge a phone
-When you charge your phone you can't play the radio

 

Now, here’s why I love our Nissan Hardbody.



-It's rugged and four wheel drive - two adjectives that seem to bring only good things.

-Its lack of A.C. forces you to roll the windows down and pretend every drive is a ride home from the beach.

But most of all, It's what we could afford. Okay, so maybe we could've spent some more money and gotten a nicer car, with no rust and some A.C. But, that might have cost a couple more thousand dollars or maybe required a loan. (A couple extra thousand dollars that we could use to put gas in our tank or buy an air plane ticket - to go somewhere.) We chose adventure over luxury. Which, can be both rewarding and challenging, but to us, it's worth it. It's even worth the long, uncomfortable hours in the beater truck. Don't tell Joel, but if I had to choose again, I'd still choose our 1993 Nissan Hardbody.

So, maybe it’s buying a beater truck is not exactly what you need to do. But, to adventure on a budget will require some kind of sacrifice. Life's that way. Chasing our dreams often requires giving up something. It's all a part of the journey. The key is to embrace it and enjoy the fact that the sacrifice makes your dreams possible. 

Highway 12
Truck on Beach

Much Love

-G

 

Lets Talk Health : Dynamic Yoga

Here's That Dynamic Yoga Routine 


In Yesterday's post about Health As A Balance  I mention my peaches & protein smoothie bowl being the perfect match for some dynamic yoga I've been doing lately. The combination of these poses is for strengthening and building muscle. If you're not familiar with yoga or any certain pose, find a buddy or teacher that can help adjust you to avoid injury. I'm lucky enough to have a certified yoga instructor as a sister. So, when I try new poses I make sure she (or a local instructor) is around to tell me what I'm doing wrong. As you hold each pose make sure to engage all muscles and keep from sitting in your joints. 


Make This Practice Your Own


I like to start out by combining moves that both warm up and stretch the body. Here's a few you could incorporate if you don't already have some favorites: 

Yoga Push Ups

Sun Salutation


MAIN DYNAMIC POSES 


CROW

Crow Yoga

PLANK

Hold for Thirty Seconds

Plank Yoga

SIDE PLANK

Walking the left foot over to the right, twist the body putting the weight in the right arm; reach for the sky and flex the feet. Hold for 30 seconds. Return to plank position and repeat on opposite side. 

Yoga Side Plank

SIDE PLANK WITH LEG LIFT 

From plank position, walk the left foot over to the right, raise the left leg up to hip height. Open the hip, twist the body and reach up and over the head. Hold for Thirty Seconds, return to plank pose and repeat on opposite side. 

Yoga side plank variations

Side Plank Variation 

Walking the left foot over to the right, twist the body putting the weight in the right arm, bring the foot to inner thigh and reach for the sky. Hold for thirty seconds. Return to plank position and repeat on opposite side.  

yoga side plank variations

Try to incorporate these dynamic poses into your yoga practice (or workout routine) three to five times a week. You will feel stronger and play harder. Now get out there and get after it. 

Much Love

-G

Lets Talk Health : Find the Balance & the Smoothie Bowls

Joel and I went to The Tallest Man On Earth concert with two of our good friends the other night. I intro with this for two reasons. One, because it was a great concert and I must brag on my sweet friend Shannon who treated us with tickets as an early birthday gift.  And two, because we stayed out too late for a Monday night and ate lots of pizza after dinner. I thought I'd tell you this before I talk about health.

In our family of two, health is all about balance. Since we've been married, Joel's learned to like a lot of my "bird food" (as he lovingly describes it) and I eat a lot more pizza. Balance. When we are on the go, our balance is - spend as little money as possible without eating fast food. We love to eat nutrient rich, fresh and local. But, when traveling on a budget - that can be practically impossible at times. 


It's a true treat to return to a real functioning kitchen. To me it means frozen fruit, fresh ingredients and a chance to refuel. To Joel - hamburgers on the grill! And that's okay, it truly is about balance.

When we're traveling or in the wilderness, the one thing I crave the most is a smoothie bowl. So it's always the first thing I make when we return. Smoothie bowls are equal parts delicious and nutritious. 

Smoothie Bowl Recipe

HERE'S MY FAVORITE THIS WEEK


Peaches & Protein

Acai Bowl

Did you know there are 22 grams of Protein in one cup of Greek Yogurt? That's a pretty impressive score. This bowl has been helping me get my protein count in and has been a good match for the dynamic yoga routine I've been doing.  

Ingredients 

(Enough For Two)


Base:

1 cup frozen peaches

1 cup frozen strawberries 

2 Tablespoons Almond Butter

Handful of Washed Spinach 

1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt

1/2 cup water

Toppings:

It's like a ice cream sundae, choose what you love. My favorites to pair with this bowl are:

Tablespoon crumbled Walnuts

Half Banana sliced

2 teaspoons Ground Flax meal 

Tablespoon Coconut Flakes  

1 Cube Navitas Cacao Goji Power Snack crumbled (Been loving these sweet Superfood treats)

Power Snacks
Healthy Recipe

Just like out in the field, in the kitchen it's important to have the right gear. We threw every other blender we've ever used away when we found this one. I'm in love with the design and power behind these Ninja Pro Blender  

Click Here To Shop Ninja Pro Blender

Click Here To Shop Ninja Pro Blender


Here's My Two Cents On Health


Take care of your body, eat right but don't obsess over it. If it's something you love - power to ya. If it's hard for you - make small goals and get stoked about baby steps.

Health really should only be about feeling good. Let your focus be taking care of yourself, strengthening your body and fueling your adventure. Don't let someone or something tell you that you don't look good. That's a lie. You are always beautiful. Don't focus on looking a certain way, focus on being a certain way. 
 

Much Love, 

-G

An Introduction To THE DAILY life.

A summer thunderstorm is rolling in on us this evening as I sit down to write. Joel’s finishing up a batch of home roasted coffee. He has officially taken our coffee love to a new level. Before, we were just single origin people who liked fresh, locally roasted beans. Now, we are single origin people who like fresh Joel-roasted coffee. Joel’s been geeking out over it, watching videos, doing research, finding the perfect roasting time and so on.  Mind you, this is all being done using an air popper popcorn machine – but I must say he is roasting some dang good coffee.

I’m excited to be adding this new segment to the blog! Originally, I started blogging to commemorate a new phase in life – Joel and I getting married and our sailing journeys. Along the way I’ve fallen in love with writing (something my college self never saw possible). Now, the blog has grown into an opportunity to share the spirit of adventure. And I love it! But let's be honest, there is a lot on the Internet to help you daydream about future adventures.  The reality though is that not every day is about climbing a mountain or traveling somewhere foreign. There are moments in-between. For some people those “moments” are days, for some - weeks, and for others - years. Dreaming is good; but learning to love the moments in-between is the greatest accomplishment.

 

The Daily is our opportunity to share the “in-between” with you. Because, we love the little adventures of daily life almost as much as we love the big ones.  


Here Is A Little Taste Of What You Can Look Forward to on Post From THE DAILY. 


OUR OTHER HOBBIES

COFFEE. ART. SURF. FIX

When we aren't traveling, we have a few other hobbies that fill our time. Obviously one of mine is writing - but I already get to share that with you! 


HEALTH

RECIPES. YOGA. COFFEE.

I'm really excited about this one. I almost wanted to dedicate this whole new section of the blog to health. But, I knew I would wind up saying much more. I'm no expert on the matter but it's something I am passionate about. In my mind, it's all about balance and baby steps.  Health is an important part of fueling your adventures. And, it is a huge part of the "moments in-between".


PLANS

GOALS. COFFEE. ADVICE. NEXT ADVENTURE. 

How we plan, how we pack and how we make it happen. We want to share all our "thinking out loud" moments with you. Whether it's how it shouldn't be done or how it could be done - we hope to teach as well as learn. Be prepared because we fail often - but that's the beauty - it's all a part of the process. 


DID I MENTION COFFEE?

 

 

WITH LOVE,

-G