Thursday, 23 September 2021

F Find Your Adventure

Enriching Our Lives through Travel and Adventure

Travel and adventure have always been a huge part of my life. My family seldom traveled outside the state or even the county, but we had lots of adventures back then. We lived on a rural property in Wyoming surrounded by hills, farmland, and an abundance of wildlife and domestic animals. I loved having cats, dogs, rabbits, and pigs, but horses were an especially important component of my childhood.

My dad’s idea of a family vacation was a pack-trip into the wilderness. I was probably only about six the first time I rode my pony into Eagle Creek Meadows in the Washakie Wilderness of the Shoshone National Forest. When the rivers were deep and swift, my dad would put me in the saddle in front of him on his big black horse and mom would lead my pony across. Once reaching the meadow we set up a canvas wall tent and spent a week fishing, exploring the area on horseback, and enjoying nature and just being together.

I probably didn’t appreciate the adventure at the time as much as I should have, yearning to go to Disneyland like the other kids, but looking back, those explorations taught me many lessons, from respect for nature, independence, responsibility, and the importance of time with family. The many camping, fishing, and pack-trips into remote areas gave me an opportunity to see scenery and wildlife in a way not everyone can, but more importantly those experiences created cherished memories and have provided ample fodder for many of my novels over the years. 

After leaving home, getting married, finishing college, and starting our careers, travel became an ever-increasing part of our life and has evolved into a passion of mine. Travel, whether domestic or foreign, can be relaxing, educational, inspiring, or just plain fun. Travel means something different to nearly everyone. Many travelers crave beaches, pretty scenery, exciting activities or staged entertainment. Others, however, embark on pilgrimages or seek to learn about the world, which can change the way we perceive what’s happening around us and abroad. I’ve visited some of the most spectacular and exciting places in the world, and I’ve explored much of the United States, but the most important thing I’ve discovered throughout it all is that every place has a remarkable story to tell and many lessons to be learned.

Like travel, adventure means something different to nearly everyone and tends to evolve over time, especially as we age. To some, an adventurous activity may be trying a new restaurant, hairstyle, or book genre, and to others, true adventure can only be found by climbing a remote and daunting mountain or bicycling across Europe. To me, it’s somewhere in between. What’s important, is trying something new and venturing outside one’s comfort zone.

I hope you will join me each month on a journey of discovery, from local hidden gems to the grandest sites. Each new experience or place we visit has the power to enrich our lives, open our minds to other cultures and the vast richness of our own country, and to bring a broader understanding of current issues, history, and other points of view. Travel (seeing new places) and adventure (trying new things) have always brought me joy and inspiration, and I look forward to sharing those experiences with you.

Columnist: Kim McMahill

Picture Kim McMahill grew up in Wyoming which is where she developed her sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. She started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival, and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense and adventure fiction. After living in eight different states and enjoying a rewarding career with the National Park Service, she has returned home to Wyoming to focus on her writing and spend more time with family. She has published ten novels, over eighty travel and human-interest articles, and contributed to a travel story anthology. Find out more about Kim by visiting her blog and connecting with her on Facebook and Twitter @kimmcmahill

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