Five near-strangers took a risk this summer when we decided, through mutual connections and the online community of She Explores, that going camping together sounded like a great idea. We were spot on.
Amid the adventuring and the story-telling, the hiking and the 2 nights of cooking by fires and snoozing around the van, something really profound happened. We were free and empowered. We were open to being ourselves and listening to one another. We shared our hopes and questionable Spotify playlists (hey, I’ll shamelessly claim it). We created a micro-community with ease.
I could write for days about my theories on how and why this happened, because life does not always present the right environment for this kind of magic… but in a nutshell, what made this trip a phenomenal experience was multi-fold:
1. The destination. We camped out near the Columbia River Gorge, which is known for its lush atmosphere and adorable riverside towns.
2. The rad women with a mutual purpose. We were all coming from the Seattle area and wanted to get to know one another through experiences in nature. Photography, camping, and hiking were all on our minds and we became fast friends from sharing this common mindset.
3. The van trip. It was on my personal bucket list for the summer to spend a weekend camping out with a group of ladies and Vanna. As Vanna had never had an all-women road trip before, and we had just installed her roof rack** (making her the perfect rig for looking at starry skies!) the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
I’m so happy that this van has led to my thirst for the outdoors and my curiosity for finding other women who share that thirst. I’m so happy that this van has already inspired weekends I will never forget. I’m so thankful that there are women out there who will say ‘yes’ to the unknown, that they listen to their intuition and will try something new with near-strangers every now and again. It’s got me inspired to keep seeking those people and opportunities in my life.
** our roof rack is by Aluminess and we love it! I plan to write more on this later but in the meantime just know that it’s worth every penny.