Our Pathfinders series is a collection of guest posts from Adventurers all around the world. If you'd like to contribute, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Today's post is by our friend Sarah Carrol.
The Pacific Northwest has been one of my favorite places to explore thus far. Relocating to Oregon has provided me with some of the greatest adventures, but there’s always a subtle itch within me to branch out and see more. I woke up one morning and decided I needed to follow this feeling. My friend resides in Washington so I started formulating a plan for a trip to visit her there that weekend. I confirmed my arrival with her, booked a train ticket, and took off the next day.
Surprisingly, I had never been to Washington before. I wanted to get the most out of the short time I had there so I gave my friend full reign over our itinerary. I’m the kind of person who feels empowered by the mere site of mountain ranges and standing on the edge of vast waters. Knowing this, my friend took me to Whidbey Island.
I woke up early in the morning to a surprisingly clear day compared to what I had envisioned for Seattle. We packed our bags and hit the road for the Island. We walked along the dock as we waited for the ferry to transport us from Clinton to Mukilteo on the southeast coast of the island. Eventually, out of the fog came our transport. I bid farewell to the docks that provided a brilliant view of mountain ranges and loaded the car to board.
The first steps I took out of the car were onto the rocky beaches of the island. I directed my gaze once again to the horizon which was lined with the snow capped mountains of the Olympic Mountain Range. Taking time to breathe in the crisp air the waves brought to the shore, I thought how enlightening it was to be on a beach which was a stark comparison to the warm sandy beaches I grew up on in Florida. They were drastic and beautiful in their own way. In these fleeting moments on the shore I felt grateful to have experienced them both. That day on Whidbey Island gave me hikes and sights that humbled me to witness.
It showed me that one region is not more beautiful than the other, but merely offers something unique. It further inspired me to continue to explore new regions and remain mesmerized by what they individually offer. As Judith Thurman explains, “Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you've never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.” Our Earth offers us so much. Now is the time to get out and go explore.
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