Because of this trip....
Those National Parks...
That's what they always were to me. Just a place I wanted to go. Somewhere far away. Somewhere that, in order to get there, would require a lot of planning.
But then guess what I found?? HAVE FUN DO GOOD. This magical company that would let me experience those National Parks without all the prep & planning that seemed to be holding me back. AND I got to do some volunteer work??? SIGN ME UP! (HFDG does do a lot, but they won't actually sign you up if you just scream it. You have to do that part yourself.)
So I went ahead and signed myself up, which wasn't too painful.
Because I took this action, I experienced the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell. I repeat: the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell. They! are! all! amazing!
Because of this trip, I was able to meet all kinds of incredible people. I was able to give back to the beautiful Earth through a service project with friends who were strangers less than 48 hours prior.
- I met people who challenged my outlook on life, and people who allowed me to challenge theirs.
- I met people who were loud and goofy, and people who were reserved and pensive.
- I met people who had a lot of creative genius...
People who know a lot about nature...
People who know a lot about having a good time...
People who know how important it is to treat others well...
People who know how to be real.
Because of this trip, I got to add a little more to my basket of life, so when I have the urge to think of my everyday life as "mundane," I can easily recall the experiences, people, challenges, and lessons I've gained from travel. I can use the tools in my basket to appreciate where I am at and what I am doing every single day.
Because of this trip, I got to experience all of the places which had only ever been the background image on my computer, or cool things I'd seen on Instagram. They were distant. They were "Those National Parks" . . . But at the end of it all, they became My National Parks. They are OUR National Parks. This beautiful Earth we live on is meant to be experienced by all. If you have the chance, go make it yours.
"The mountains are calling and [you] must go!
-Liz Michael / 2016 National Park Tour participant
(Side note fun fact....Apparently when you do research you learn things. So I did research. And I learned things.
-->Apparently that well known, slightly overused quote by John Muir is not the full quote. Apparently in a letter to his sister he said "The mountains are calling & I must go & I will work on while I can, studying incessantly.” I enjoy that he emphasized the importance of not merely enjoying the beauty of this world, but also taking time to improve the beauty of this world.
AKA he didn't want to just HAVE FUN but also DO GOOD. ! !! !!!!!