Featured Writer: Isabel Thottam
Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.
– Jon Krakauer, Into The Wild
(Photo credit: @isosawey)
It was 9:00 when I woke up yesterday morning and texted my friend Chris “happy birthday.” He said thanks and asked if I had looked outside yet. I was confused, having laid in bed since 8:30 debating whether or not I wanted to get up early. The trash trucks come on Wednesday mornings, so I had heard them outside my window – was that what he wanted me to see? I sat up in my bed and peered through the blinds: there was snow EVERYWHERE.
I jumped from my bed, ran to my living room and looked out the windows. SNOW. Boston has snow! It’s felt like April since I returned back to the city, tricking my mind to believe we were closer to summer than we actually are. But this was real, tiny bunches of snow falling lightly from the sky, sticking – yes, sticking- to the ground and trees.
“AHH!” I txted him back, “what are we going to do!? Build a snowman!? A fort!? Go sledding! LET’S GO SLEDDING. Hot chocolate!?” There were so many ideas racing through my mind, I’ve just missed having snow. Even though I had so much when I was home in Ohio, it’s not the same when you’re in the city.
Quickly I started researching hills in the city that we could sled down. I had found one not to far from us in Brookline, MA but we needed to make or buy sleds somehow. Before I jumped into the shower, Chris had sent me a txt saying he would just be at his house shoveling the snow all day in the front yard. I thought to myself “that’s no way to spend a birthday, we need to do something crazy!” Then I realized: I don’t want to go sledding in the city. I don’t want to be in the city at all. I thought, If I were in Ohio I would probably go hiking in Cuyahoga Valley with my friends, where the waterfalls would be breaking through ice and the trees would plop piles of snow from above. But I had a few pieces of work to do today and Chris had his first day of class in the afternoon. I asked him if he was going to school and, when he told me he wasn’t, I quickly grabbed my computer and looked up the nearest ZipCar rental location.
I found one nearby and I could get it for half the day. I told him I wanted to go to the mountains and that I was renting a zipcar and would pick him up in twenty minutes. I told him to pack a bag.
So, that’s what we did. Between getting dressed, reserving a zipcar and throwing hiking clothes into a bag, I quickly ate a pop tart and ran out the door. I think I ran in and out of my apartment three times before I knew I actually had everything I needed: keys, wallet, backpack, zipcard. Chris ran to the store, bought some snacks for the road; I got the zip car, picked him up and we were off.
(photo credit: @isosawey)
I wanted to go to the white mountains in NH because I had just been skiing there and couldn’t get their image out of my mind. But, Chris reminded me you can only go so many miles in a zipcar so, we unfortunately couldn’t go that far. We decided to head to Wompatuck State Park and either mountain bike or hike through an area of the park we’d never been. We decided to pull go somewhere new and just hike in and around the park. We didn’t really care where we were going, just that it was somewhere that wasn’t Boston.
(photo credit: @ikthottam)
While driving, we pulled off the road to see a cool frozen lake. That’s when Chris climbed ontop the car to get a good Instagram shot. So I instagramed him instagraming.
Anyway, what I learned today was that it’s so easy to fall back into a routine and hurt your brain thinking too much about the things you really want to do and see in life. My transition into “reality” has been slow and has had its ups and downs. I work a few jobs and I’m trying to make a living, but I know I am only really living when I’m out there, driving to somewhere I’ve never been with the city behind me. And nothing beats fulfilling a spontaneous adventure with a good friend. It’s nice to have those people in your life because it reminds you that there are people out there who don’t think you’re crazy when you just want to get out and explore. I think that’s why I like having this blog, too, because the fact that people are reading and liking my posts shows me that other people think this way, so we’re not crazy for being too creative or adventurous to have a regular, boring old job.
So, whatever it is you’ve been wanting to do lately: just go. I promise you, you’ll feel so much better when you return.