By Jackie Zimmer

Funny things happen when you finally jump feet first into something you’ve been dreaming about for the better part of a decade.

It motivates you; it plants a seed in your heart; it nourishes your soul; it stresses you out; it makes you feel vulnerable; it consumes you; it changes your perspective on everything.

You finally begin this mysterious journey; the path is crooked; the path is winding; you have no idea what lies ahead; you want to keep your head down to watch your footing, but you know you need to keep your head up; you want to remember everything that is happening in that moment, but you’re excited to experience whatever your future holds.

You never know what’s on the other side – Image courtesy of Jackie Zimmer


Justification of promises you made to yourself while you were in the thick of your journey are held to, even though it means it will letting some people down; mantras of ‘don’t let this be the biggest thing you do’, ‘don’t quit on a bad day, and don’t make a promise on a good day’, ‘do more, have less’, and ‘don’t worry, be happy’ are the soundtrack of your brain.

You slowly go back to the same mind set you had before your trip; and then you find a note you put into your phone while on your journey. It read “Out here is actually in here.”. You forgot you wrote it, but instantly remember the moment you typed it, and what you were thinking and feeling. You might have been cowboy camping, in the wilderness, alone; tucked in your Sleepingbag with nothing beneath you but your homemade footprint, your sweat-soaked hiking clothes as a pillow, and your backpack as a foot rest. You had nothing on your mind but what you accomplished that day, and your next water source the following day. And you never felt richer.

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