It is amazing when you step outside of your ordinary life and suddenly recognize the beauty around you. That is what makes travel so extraordinary. In a place that may seem ordinary to its inhabitants, a traveler finds adventure, wonder, and joy.
Traveling also gives you a new perspective on home. You learn more about where you live by visiting other places. You begin to appreciate what you have and the deep connection with a place you know so well.
This is why I travel. To discover. To learn. To gain a new perspective. To live fully and wholly.
Another part of travel is revisiting the places you once knew well. We experienced this on Tuesday when we went back to the areas and hikes we knew very well as kids.
First stop: Tadpole Lake
Ok it’s not officially called Tadpole Lake but we would go there to swim and catch tadpoles of course! It was always fun and rarely successful. I actually I have no idea what this area is really called but it is a combination of picnic areas, lake swimming, and hiking trails. It’s the bomb. My dad, Morgan, and I set off on a lovely hike around the lake just like old times.
Things got a little iffy when some small stinging bug kept dive bombing my face and neck, stinging me once, and refusing to leave me alone. Morgan was laughing (thanks sis) but it really freaked me out. I am OK with bugs as long as they don’t bug me.
Second stop: Flat Rock
Ok this place seriously rocked as a kid. We would crowd into our Suburban with inflatable tubes and spend the day at this little area off the highway. Think big flat rocks perfect for sunning, little pools of water perfect for finding tadpoles, and rapids perfect for tubing.
It doesn’t look like much but this was heaven. We would spend hours tubing down the rocks, scraping our knees, hands, and feet and just having a ball in the chilly water. I am definitely taking my future children here to play.
Final stop: Skywater cabin!
Oh it was love. Every summer we would spend weeks at our cabin in the woods, stay outside all day and play and play and play. Why would you ever stay inside??
The cabin looks exactly the same too. We were able to go inside and take some things that had been ours when we owned the house! I grabbed all my favorite children’s books so I can share them with my future kids. Sounds cheesy but these books are amazing and are still a part of my consciousness. We also found an embroidery by my mom and had to take it back with us.
And our best hiking stick was still there! Like 7 years later. Best stick ever.
We visited the pond. And we visited the stream with the dam we created with our bare hands. The dam is still there!
We went to our favorite rocks like Grandfather Rock where we would play and pretend to wield the elements of the earth. Yeah we were pretty cool and imaginative kids thanks to our best friend Alex, the rainmaker of our group.
Remember, I saw Alex last year! He is the best.
After a buggy hike down the road and straight up the mountain, we relaxed with some yoga at the old cabin. I don’t think we were into yoga when we were kids. But we were probably much more nimble.
Five point star anyone?
I will always be so incredibly grateful for the summers spent at this magical place. I never realized how lucky we were. It seems like such a rare thing these days for kids to be able to go off and play by themselves in the woods.
We always felt safe. We always had fun. We always got dirty. We always dreamed. We always imagined.
This love of nature and play still remains within me today.
I cannot wait to share this experience with my own children.
By the way I am in no way getting married or having kids anytime soon! It’s just fun to think about giving my future children the same amazing childhood we were blessed to have. Who doesn’t want happiness for their children?