Something awesome happens when you make the outdoors a big part of your life. (Besides photos like the one above.)

Your priorities greatly shift.

A few years ago I may have spent money and time indiscriminately on whatever I wanted to pass the time. Movies, food, clothing, whatever normal people buy these days for entertainment. Not that there’s anything wrong with normal things, but lately I’ve found myself in a bit of a sea-change.

Whereas before I could drop money on the latest tech gadget, now, everything is measured in “what could I buy for my next trip with that money?” Thoughts run through your head that have never occurred… Maybe I should save up and go somewhere instead of spending this on pithy things.

It isn’t that all your time, money, and energy goes making you a granola crunching through-hiker*, but over time, you begin to notice the overall effect. Little by little you find more excuses to put those resources into a next outing or piece of gear. At the same time you notice the addiction that settles into you brain. The tendrils of which gently creep in and lay their grip in full; you can now only go so long without needing the outdoors.

Happy hike, happy life

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It’s true. The outdoors becomes a pursuit in one’s life if one gives it enough of a shot. I cannot go very long without taking a long and brisk walk in the woods. Don’t get me wrong, a walk anywhere tends to be great for you, but lots of recent work shows that it may have more benefits that we realize. I’m thinking those benefits are the exact ones that make myself and plenty of other outdoor-o-files grinning from ear to ear.

The fun part is the ever-so-great realization that hits you: the outdoors have made my life better overall. Not just in one aspect, but the things you learn outside apply to nearly anything. Conservation, wise decisions, planning ahead, predicting the future (OK, maybe not), making choices based of personal situations, all account towards being a better human and the peace that resolves itself on the inside.

It doesn’t matter how you do it. Walking, biking, hiking, any way you can get into an open space of nature…

So why not make getting out in the open a priority for you? Even if it’s once more than you would otherwise, you’d be surprised at how much it can change you.


*I actually love granola.

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