Well, this is a first. I've been nominated for a Liebster Award! The closest thing I'm getting to a trophy.
Bloggers like myself pass the Liebster Award around the Internet to help their Internet friends find new blogs to read.
The lovely Misotravelsandclimbs nominated me and asked me 11 questions. Once I've answered them, I will nominate a few other blogs and make my own list of questions.
1. Why did you start a blog?
I don't even know. I try not to think too hard about the decisions I make, for fear that I'll talk myself out of awesomeness.
I know it was the summer, and I was bored. I was also a little sad. Maybe I needed a sense of purpose.
There was a definite lack of focus at first — I named the blog Eat & Do, thinking I would cover "eating food and doing things." Soon I realized that all I wanted to write about was climbing and the occasional crag snack.
2. What’s your next travel destination?
Ecuador! I fly out of Miami on the 27th, and then I'll spend
27 months a year or so teaching English as a Peace Corps volunteer high school philosophy and writing. I've already started mapping out Ecuacrags — more on that later.
3. What is one of the best climbing lessons you’ve learnt so far?
You are so much stronger than you think you are. I know it's cheesy, but this is a great metaphor for a lot of things in life. I never thought I'd do a pull-up, much less climb V5. And V5 isn't even that strong! I'm just getting started in climbing and life, and I can't wait to see what my body/mind/spirit can do.
A close second is that nobody cares how hard you climb. They care that you aren't a horrible, negative person who litters and sandbags everyone's sends.
4. Why do you climb?
So many reasons! For one thing, it's fun. Sport climbing is a thrill for obvious reasons, and bouldering... Well, it's a ridiculous, wacky thing to do, but it's the most fun I ever have.
Climbing has helped me develop a much more positive relationship with my body. It's taken my focus off what my body looks like and put it on what it can do. Climbing is silly and awkward and weird, but it's also hard, and sending a project is both humbling and empowering. When I top out a boulder or send a route, I'm amazed at my body's abilities.
I also love the community I've become a part of through climbing. It's a diverse group of people I might not have met otherwise, and I've had some fantastic conversations on long drives home from the crag.
And, of course, climbing is a wonderful way to spend time in nature. I used to spend very little time outside, and now I can't imagine being content without a regular dose of gray and green.
5. What’s one thing you cannot live without?
Chapstick. I'm sorry for giving a boring answer, but I get panicky when my lips start to chap because things go from bad to cracked so incredibly quickly. Chapped lips degrade the quality of all experiences. They make showering, eating, drinking, sleeping, kissing, and everything else less enjoyable. I hate them, and when I have them I hate myself.
Also, my puffy jacket. It has changed my life.
6. What [climbing] experience made you feel most out of your comfort zone?
Deep-water soloing in Mallorca. That's definitely one of the most daring things I've done — not because of the climbing-30-feet-up-with-no-rope-and-only-the-ocean-beneath-me part, but because of the crossing-my-fingers-in-a-foreign-land part. Taylor and I had never psicobloc'd before, we aren't particularly good swimmers, and we couldn't be sure we were making good choices, but we just kind of shrugged and went for it. If you have the money to hire a guide for your first DWS experience, do that. But hey! We survived, and it was awesome.
7. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
That's hard to answer because I haven't been everywhere in the world! But I definitely want to go back to California for a year or two, maybe for grad school. I'd also like to study in Spain or Argentina. I might try to teach in Japan or Korea for a bit. I could also nanny in France or work in a Chilean ecolodge. Eventually, though, I will probably end up in the American South once more.
Currently trying to decide if the next language I learn should be French or Japanese. Opinions?
8. What was one of the most unusual experiences you’ve encountered?
I interviewed Maya Angelou my sophomore year of college. *swoon*
9. Where is your happy place?
That is a really hard question. I don't know. I suppose it is in my mind, but only certain parts of my mind, like the puppy parts and the parts where I can already see myself at the top of Golden Showers.
10. What was the most memorable thing that happened in 2015?
I spent a month in a van with my very best friend. I walked through beautiful forests, met some wonderful people, and saw more stars than I knew existed.
11. Now that it’s 2016, what are some of your goals for this year?
I'm trying not to think too hard about that. 2016 is a great big question mark, and I just want to do my best with whatever it throws at me.
Corduroy text break.
Thanks for the nomination, Misotravelsandclimbs! I'll be comment-nominating the following blogs:
- What keeps you outside?
- What got you outside in the first place?
- What's the most miserable you've ever been on an adventure?
- Have you learned any ~*enduring life lessons*~ outside?
- Did you play sports as a kid?
- Best gear purchase?
- Biggest gear regret?
- Jetboils: overrated or actual magic?
- How do you feel about fruit leather?
- What is something that all outdoorspeople can be better about?
- Adventure dogs or adventure babies?