Arizona

Lauren

My mode of exploration is via my legs. I do loads of hiking! I get a kick of out of seeing where my legs take me every time I go outdoors. The outdoors teaches me a lot about pushing my limits and accepting limits in specific situations. I like beating that voice in my head that tries to bring me down by dismissing it and motoring on. I like slipping and falling on slick decomposed granite and getting back up again. It’s being up there on a mountaintop, where I can see where the land and the sky meet for 200 uninterrupted miles. There is always another trail to hit, another mountain to climb, another waterfall to jump off of and swimming holes begging to be splashed around in. Recently, I have been doing a lot of public land access advocating for a local waterfall that is insanely special to me. Speaking up on this issue has sparked a lot of interest and inspiration in me that I didn’t know I had. After a day or more of being in nature, I always feel like I did something to inspire myself. I constantly explore not only because I simply love it, but also because I need to feel purpose. I feel a sense of fulfillment when I explmore.  

I choose to engage with others by asking them questions. For me, there’s something so raw and real about encounters with complete strangers. Engaging with a new person is a lot like having a clean slate. In these moments, there is no preconceived notions, only genuine curiosity in one another. I tend to leave those situations feeling like an impression was left on me, as I hope the other person felt the same. People respond positively when you show interest in them. I engage others and myself by engaging someone else’s best line of thinking.

Fear and shaming have a lot of control over the world right now. The only way to overcome this fear and shame is to learn new things by accepting other people. These “things” may be pieces of information or your new favorite song that you may not have ever discovered otherwise. Two heads are better than one; therefore, diversity is better than divergence. When we close our minds and hearts to others we deny our own access to perspective. As a result, we only hinder ourselves. My advice is to mingle and meet everyone! Tolerate the differences and we can tolerate each other. Exploring different cultures allows you to hear some cool stories and maybe even make a best friend for life in that process! A cross-cultured best friend happened to me and it can happen to you if you let it!

"I constantly explore not only because I simply love it, but also because I need to feel purpose. I feel a sense of fulfillment when I explmore."

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