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Reconnecting to (and in) the Wilderness

Sometimes I get entirely too wrapped up in the city and forget how wonderful nature can be.

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to southwestern Pennsylvania for a reunion of old friends. Nearly two years ago, a set of my college friends were wed on the farmlands of Greene County. I remember their wedding night being a very memorable one; it truly set change in motion in my life at the time. The couple invited me (and the old gang) to join them to celebrate the construction of their new home. We marveled at their quaint country home, the outstretching hills and our seamless ability to reconnect with one another despite distance and change.

I almost won a cornhole tournament. I ate four different kinds of meat. I laid in hay and grass and slept in a tent on slanted ground. But most importantly, I reconnected with old friends.

I was initially worried about the campover. Would everything be as it once was? Would everything look and feel and be the same? No. It can never be the same as it once was. But we can certainly connect with one another on a real human level and learn about the new ways in which we are.

I almost think there is more of a blessing in that than anything else.

Ziplining in the Caribbean

I’ll admit: I was scared. Feet above the ground, a harness and metal rope was the only thing holding me up. But I took the plunge and, while on my July vacation, I went zipling in the Caribbean.

I had no idea what zipling was until this summer. I heard about it through my roommate. Turns out we have a mutual friend in West Virginia that gives guided zip-lining tours. Being the adventurous one, the roommate said we had to give it a try when we went to St. Martin. For those of you not versed in zipling (like me, back in June), it consists of a pulley suspended on a cable that enables a person to propel from tree to tree (see roommate above ground below).

Zipling has become a popular vacation activity. Nestled away in the woods of St. Martin, the roommate, her sister and I found ourselves at Pic Paradis, stepping up to pay $50 to “go flying.” It was some of the best money I’ve ever spent. Going into it, I tried to act cool. But don’t let my gangster-style pose fool you. I was entirely worried about my safety.

There was no reason to be. The tour was guided by a young man named “Mojo” who had been living on the island for more than eight years. His name was accurate; he knew what he was doing. Mojo led us from tree to tree, poking fun as I struggled on the rope course. I had no idea the challenge that would be involved, and I found myself breaking a sweat during our entire 1.5 hour-long tour. Thankfully, we were surrounded by goodness.

So think about this. You’re in the middle of a beautiful island, surrounded by nature, with two of your closest friends. They ask you to go flying. You say…

yes. a million times over, yes.

and be thankful for your experience to soar.

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