Mikaela is a wanderluster at heart and lives in beautiful Colorado with her shepherd mix and fiance. She loves to hike, camp, ski, rock climb, canoe and yoga wherever she finds herself. Adventure, photography and blogging are her passions and she believes her purpose in life is to inspire others to get outside and experience life. She is a huge proponent of preserving natural places and protecting the environment for future generations. When she’s not out adventuring, she’s working as a Marketing Manager, finding new coffee shops, binge watching Netflix or eating mac n cheese.
You are located in Colorado, a place of endless adventure and stunning scenery. Have you always called Colorado home? What do you love most about living in Colorado?
I’m super lucky to have been born and raised in Colorado, but also spoiled! I’ve traveled all over the US and other parts of the world and have never found somewhere I can imagine calling home other than Colorado. My favorite part about living here is that you truly have it all (besides a beach, that’s the only downside!) Denver is a blossoming metropolis full of awesome restaurants, music venues, theaters and night life, but drive less than an hour and you’re surrounded by wilderness. Its a great place to call home base.
How was it leaving your stable jobs behind, packing your car and hitting the road for a life of adventure?
Honestly? I was terrified, but also so excited. It was something I had always told myself that I couldn’t do for a variety of reasons. But I wasn’t fulfilled in my job, my fiance was at a crossroads in his career and it just felt like something I needed to try. As soon as we put Denver in our rearview mirror, the exhilaration hit. It was an amazing summer full of wonderful experiences and adventure. If you ever get the opportunity to be homeless, I highly suggest it!
How was it re-entering the “real world”?
It felt really good to sleep in a real bed again. The rest of the “adjusting” though, was a bit of a challenge. Something I didn’t realize before living on the road was that it would be a bit like living in the pioneer days. Every mundane thing that we take for granted was work. It took so much time just to survive; to make coffee, to pitch camp, to wash dishes, to feed ourselves, to find a shower. Existing on the road took all of our thoughts and focus. It was actually total bliss! When I came home and realized that I needed to find a job and I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, it was a bit of a shocker. My fiance, dog and I found ourselves escaping for a weekend camp trip or a hike often to feel that spirit of wanderlust again. I’m learning now that its a balance. While I wish I could live a full-time life of adventure, I’m learning to love the monotony of the “real-world” and balance it with plenty of crazy adventures.
Do you have any advice for people who want to pursue their dreams of life on the road?
Just do it. Seriously, it sounds cliche, but if you want it, go for it. The universe has a way of working itself out. If you really want it, you’ll find the money, you’ll find the opportunities. Get creative; we didn’t have the classic #vanlife rig, we squeezed ourselves into a Subaru Legacy and made it work. Plan your route around National Forests to take advantage of free camping. Get a membership to a chain gym, or take advantage of free passes at local gyms to get a clean shower. That was a huge learning!
What are some of your favorite stories from your adventures on the road?
Oh, there are so many!
One night we absolutely could NOT find camping on the Oregon Coast and just decided to sleep in the parking lot of a Fred Meyer. We didn’t take any of our stuff out of the car because we were in a parking lot, so we were quite cramped! The next morning we drove to a State Park and cooked breakfast on a picnic table overlooking the ocean. It was amazing.
When we finally decided to come back to Denver, we pushed from Redding, CA to Denver in one straight go. It took us 23 hours and it was crazy, but the stars in the Nevada desert at night, fueled by insane amounts of RedBull, is something I will never forget.
Where is your next big adventure?
Follow her on Instagram: @airundermyheels
Read her adventure blog: www.subarulife.wordpress.com
At This Adventure Life we celebrate the lives and stories of the people who live life fearlessly. #livefearlessly