It was May of 2017 when I bought the round trip ticket from DFW to SLC. I was going to Utah in mid-August, for a weekend, and I was ecstatic. I was flying out after work on a Friday and flying home on a Sunday night because I didn't have any vacation left to use - it just all fell into place. I had been tossing the idea of revisiting Utah around for a while and I was tracking flights for weeks. I knew I had to go and I decided to make it happen.
Booking that flight was a rush. Planning the trip was easy and only continued to build my excitement while allowing me to feel the reality of it all sinking in. I had solid plans, some "must do" moments, and a daily itinerary to maximize the time available for adventure. I opened it up to friends and let everyone in my outdoor circle know what my plans were and that I was open to anyone joining in. My best friend Molly decided she could make that weekend work and would be flying out to join me. Her company and our chance to reconnect easily made that weekend one of the best in 2017.
The 52 Hike Challenge was a major motivator in 2017 as were the various outdoor communities I had connected to online. I had been camping and hiking more than ever before in my life, I couldn't let a weekend go by without something happening. When my hikes were getting repetitive, I knew I needed a change of pace and a weekend away. I looked at many cities, tracked flights for weeks, and weighed many options, but Salt Lake City just worked for that moment and I'm glad it did. I would have flown anywhere for a weekend if the flights and prices worked out so I researched many places - Vegas for Death Valley, Portland for Crater Lake or the coast, Seattle for Olympic, etc. Through this adventure I learned that I could make a weekend work, even with a flight, and that I actually thrived with a limited amount of time because I made every view, rest stop, and moment of daylight count.
I'm thankful that I have the resources to do a spontaneous weekend, because I haven't always been in that position. I'm aware that I'm privileged to be able to run away for 48 hours and see the beauty our country has to offer. I know not everyone can just book a flight and explore. My point with this Monday Motivation is to simply make it happen if you want it to happen. It could be pushing yourself to get outside locally, hiking further next time, finding a friend and taking that weekend road trip, or booking a flight and exploring your favorite places. Too often I fall victim to my own laziness, so this is also a reminder to myself to keep going and make it happen.
I've been obsessing over the Olympic Peninsula for months now, so I just booked a flight over Easter weekend to Seattle so I can go hike and reinvigorate myself and find new motivation. Anyone is free to join, but I will be hiking the Ozette Triangle Loop (Olympic National Park on the coast) on Saturday, so plan accordingly. I'm taking suggestions and recommendations for things you love about the Olympic Peninsula and things I "must see" while I'm there. I fly in Thursday night, late, and fly home over night for a Monday morning arrival before work. I'm so excited, probably even more than the flight to Utah last year. Here's to making it happen!