Since I could hold a pen with tiny fingers, I have written. In journals, notebooks, scraps of paper, on paper napkins and post-it notes, and in the margins of so many great books.
In my late teens, I chose to live life to inspire my own stories rather than write term papers and essays about other people’s lives. Instead of heading straight to college, I worked for the US Forest Service for a number of seasons, having all kinds of adventures fighting fire and exploring the river canyons and steep slopes of Northern Idaho. In the typically isolated and rural logging communities of my youth, I met amazing people from all over the country, who had a marked influence on me during impressionable years.
In the winters I traveled and worked at ski resorts, living the ultimate seasonal existence. These experiences shaped me in ways I am only just now beginning to fully understand. The change of seasons still taunts me to migrate south, and to this day I get giddy during lightning storms, when helicopters pass overhead, and when forest fires are burning.
When I finally decided it was time to exercise my brain too, I studied Spanish and Horticulture at the University of Montana in Missoula and Montana State University in Bozeman. I studied for six months in Santiago, Chile, where I fully contracted the travel bug, and explored and wrote extensively about my adventures and living abroad.
After working a myriad of jobs in Hood River, Oregon, I went on a quest for a good mojito and a sweet surf break. I landed in Mexico, where I found both--and accidentally, a full-time job working for a skydiving company on the beach. On the beaches in Oaxaca state, freefalling from 15,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean, flying over mountains and ruins in Southern Mexico in a skydiving plane, and discovering you can love and hate a place all at once (Mexico City), I found out a lot about myself and how I fit into this world, and consequently, my voice as a writer.
My backpack has been hung up for awhile now, but I still get the chills when I think about jumping out of a plane, tear up at the thought of a Puerto Escondido beach sunset, and salivate remembering the tostadas in the market in Coyocan. Living in such an amazing place, enveloped by an open and loving culture, constantly being tested and grateful for differences and challenges made those years unforgettable.
Because I can’t live without adventure, I constantly seek it out and find ways to be able to live to play, and write about it. Whether its finding new trails in the Oregon Cascades on my mountain bike, living in a van and exploring the desert and the Rockies, growing a garden, cooking and baking from scratch, or finding more and more ways to live simply and still have fun, I find inspiration in every day things and experiences. Life is too full and far too interesting to let it pass by without enjoying even the smallest wonders!