The Best Misunderstanding

By Allison Daskam

When I was 10 years old, my family loaded into our our baby blue station wagon and drove to the Grand Canyon. In this pre-Google era, I understood the natural wonder to be akin to a very deep water well. As we drove into the park, I peered out of the car window and caught a glimpse of what we'd driven to see.

My immediate reaction—amidst an excited, racing pulse—was to squeeze my eyes shut and open them again, in hopes of recreating the experience. I could barely comprehend the majesty of what I'd just seen. A mile-deep canyon that went on so far it met the horizon. My 10-year-old heart was filled with awe and joy.

In the decades that have followed that day, I've remembered that moment with complete clarity. Thankfully, it wasn't the first or last time my family ventured into nature. The five of us embarked on endless adventures together, camping in Yosemite, skiing Colorado mountains, swimming in the Pacific Ocean or just exploring the little creek behind our house.

There's something about being outside that still elicits a childlike happiness for me (here's my most recent adventure). Whether I'm hiking up a mountain or skiing down it, being surrounded by wilderness holds unmatched serenity for me. I'll never stop seeking out Grand Canyon moments.

Here's to getting outside and seeing something beautiful. If you're looking for inspiration, She Explores and Choose Mountains have you covered. Happy exploring! I hope you misunderstand the beauty that awaits you.