We just returned from a week’s vacation in Colorado to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and the return home is definitely bittersweet.
Since our 1st year anniversary we have made it an annual tradition to visit the mountains during our anniversary week to spend focused time together and enjoy the outdoors. For us, the mountains is where we reconnect, relax and rejuvenate.
Our first trip was to Wyoming, we reigned in Year 1 of marriage with a 6 night, 7 day backpack in the Grant Tetons. If Year 1 of marriage wasn’t difficult enough the backpacking expedition was! We hiked over 52 miles in the Tetons, witnessed extreme temperature extremes, altitude sickness, fatigue and learned to depend on each other in ways we never thought possible. Thankfully we did have the luxury of hiking straight from the trail to our 5 star resort with a European 20 head shower and down-filled comfy bed waiting for us…but that was the reward for hard work.
We determined that a backpacking or hiking trip was the way we should spend every anniversary, to commemorate another year together and to prepare for the year ahead. So why the mountains, why hiking and hard work? Too few of us spend time in the outdoors to actually know what it can do for souls. Nature has a way of slowing down our breathing rhythms – typically on day 3 or 4 of our hiking trip I start sighing heavily because I feel like I can finally breathe really deep again. We leave our computers at home, keep our phones turned off and don’t turn the hotel tv on – our own personal digital detox. It’s amazing how freeing ourselves from technology clutter inspires creativity and new ideas. We go very deep into the woods for our hiking excursions, even if it’s a day hike. Some days we might only see 1-2 people on the trail. As we are hiking for 6+ hours in the vast wilderness the most engaging conversations take place, we aren’t just catching up on the day but we are talking about our dreams, hopes and aspirations and how we are going to achieve them. There is nothing fancy required for hiking up a mountain; a good pair of hiking boots, a pack, some food and a good base of cardio to get up the long and steep inclines. I love the simplicity of our hiking days…it goes something like this:
Wake-up, throw on hiking clothes, brew a cup of coffee, head to the trailhead, hike until mid-afternoon, shower, grab a ‘special coffee’ at a local cafe, explore the trail town, eat dinner, sit by the river while drinking a glass of wine and choosing the trail to hike for the next day.
There is nothing complicated, it’s always flexible and it’s together…that is our simple sojourn.