Discovering the Outdoors: Kelly, The Wandering Hippie

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One of the reasons we started this adventure community was to inspire people get outside and make their own adventures. The outdoors have always held a special place in my life as somewhere I can turn to for inspiration, happiness and adventure that would push my limits, no matter where I am. I have found in my travels that the outdoors holds a different significance and meaning to every person I have come across. In fact, everyone’s story about how they found love for outdoor adventure and how it changed their life intrigued me so much, I decided it was time to create a series of blogs about them. I was so fortunate to have come across Kelly via social media, and was inspired by her love for the outdoors; I had to find out more. This is Kelly’s story on discovering the outdoors, and what outdoor adventure means to her.

A Chicago native, Kelly has spent her life exploring what the outdoors has to offer to avoid the hustle and bustle of city life. There is certainly no shortage of outdoor adventure in her region, as she is an active participant in rock climbing, rappelling, kayaking, zip lining, hiking and camping in the woods. Read on for her interview, and to see why she thinks society benefits from venturing outside.

How did you discover your love for the outdoors, and how has it changed your life in a positive way?

Since I was a little girl, my dad has taken me to the North Woods in Wisconsin. I spent most days hiking and hunting baby frogs, learning about birds and plants from my step-mother and spending countless hours out on the lake fishing with my dad and brother. The outdoors just called to me! It was something I always enjoyed experiencing and learning more about.

It has definitely helped me to be a more positive person, to have a more positive outlook on life and to enjoy the little things. Being outdoors gives me a great sense of calm and relaxation – a definite stress reliever in struggling times with the hustle and bustle of usual city life (born & raised in Chicago)! I am one with nature & I feel at home anytime I am in the wilderness.

What does outdoor adventure mean to you?

Outdoor adventure is anything that excites you, drives you and challenges you while being in the great outdoors! For me, I am always trying new things! I love it all! From hiking and camping, to snorkeling and kayaking, to cliff diving and zip lining, I am always ready for the next thrilling outdoor adventure!!

Where are some of your favorite adventure spots, and what makes them so special?

Currently, my favorite adventure spots are all in Wisconsin! I absolutely love The Dells! There is SO much to do outdoors! Rock climbing, rappelling, kayaking, zip lining… the list goes on! But of course i still love a good ol’ hike or tent camping in the woods. I especially love being in The North Woods of Wisconsin where my dad’s cabin overlooks the lake. Lots of memories here and its so peaceful enjoying family and outdoors all together! Its a great way to get together if we haven’t seen each other in a while. Lots of new memories to be made!!!!

Where are some of your “bucket list” outdoor adventure spots? What about them appeals to you?

Oh man, definitely spending some time down in The Grand Canyon. I’d love to white water raft, tent camp and ride donkeys down there. I visited in 2016 but it was a quick day trip and I wasn’t even aware all of that adventure existed inside the canyon. I just have to get back to experience the canyon to it’s fullest potential!

I’d also love to make it to Yellowstone National Park to see the geyser basin. The colors are just phenomenal in photos and it would be an awesome experience to see it in person. Thrilling, to say the least, because you never know when its going to blow! Haha!

What do you think we should do to preserve the outdoors for generations to enjoy?

Definitely stick to the “leave no trace” rule. Its super important to keep nature the way it is intended to be. Minimizing litter is the biggest issue. A lot of hikers and backpackers are foreign to the concept of carry out what you carry in. It’s a huge issue in some state parks and trails and it saddens me to see that.

How do you see outdoor adventures as benefitting the lives of people, and society as a whole?

Outdoor adventures definitely bring people from all walks of life together to enjoy the same common interest. You meet new people, make new friends and have lifetime adventure buddies!

Even if two people are seemingly from different backgrounds, their one common interest in outdoor adventures can change all of that. Different walks of life, different nationalities and different ages can all come together as a whole and makes each others lives better than they were before! It also makes people happier in my experience!

Follow kelly on Instagram: @the_wanderinghippie

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