Love the Ones You’re With

In an attempt to live life more like a fisheye lens, with a wider view of the world around me, this week I spent time trying to appreciate and love on the ones around me. This week, I celebrated my friend’s 21st Birthday, caught up with old friends while sitting in the sunshine, had 2 froyo dates, coordinated all of my roommates to eat dinner at the same time and wrote my closests friends some words of encouragement. However, I still wish I could have done more. More for the people that stand by my side, make me laugh, humble me and encourage me. There isn’t enough room on one index card to tell my friends just how much I appreciate them.

On Wednesday I had the privilege of listening to Chris Gragtmans speak as a park of his “Live Your Dreams” tour. One of the things he stressed the most was the importance of surrounding yourself with good people. He projected this quote on the screen:

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn

This week, taking the time to reflect on my friendships opened my eyes just a little bit wider. I realized just how much uniqueness each of my friends brings to my life and to the lives of others. Honestly, my parents raised me but, my college friends are the ones that helped me grow up. They shared their culture, humor, fashion, hobbies and their lives with me. So much of who I am has been influenced by, like the quote says, the 5 (maybe a few more) people I spend the most time with. I am grateful that these have been incredible influences and have attributed nothing but positive aspects to my life.

Hope I have encouraged you all to reflect on your friendships.

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When the Banff Mountain Film Festival comes to town

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour made its way to Boone, NC. This Friday and Saturday event brought in families, college students, adults, youth and senior citizens to the Appalachian State Schaffer Center to view some of the best outdoor and adventure documentaries on earth. Banff Mountain, in Canada, puts on a yearly film festival. After the festival, a select group of films are chosen to go on the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. Throughout the tour these films will be shown to audiences of over 390,000 people, at over 840 screenings and in over 40 countries.

I got to attend the festival on Saturday night, sitting front and center (it pays off to get there an hour early), with a group of High Schoolers that I volunteer with. Oh and did I mention that I also got to launch T-Shirts into the crowd with slingshots?? That was pretty cool.

All of these films grabbed my attention and had that “wow” factor. The kind of thing that just makes your jaw drop. Throughout the films it was not unusual for the crowd to burst into applause, not because the film was over, but because something incredible happened. I was in an auditorium surrounded by almost a thousand people and yet, these films spoke and moved each of us individually. I left the festival so inspired by the people in the films the settings they were located in and the underlying story that each of them told. These weren’t just extreme sports clips, they had a purpose and meaning but, most importantly they had passion.

This film, a 3 minute film about Bruce Kirkby and his journey as he crossed the Pacific from Vancouver to Victoria on a stand-up paddle board, is entitled, The Questions We Ask. Kirkby narrates the film and ponders what adventure means to him and why we partake in adventurous activities. This was one of his final statements-

“What is Adventure? I’m not so sure we know these days. Movies and magazines all scream extreme. Gore Tex suits and vertical routes, foreign trips and big cliff hits but, that’s not the heart of it. Adventure is curiosity, the willingness to embrace uncertainty and wondering about the possibility of just doing one thing differently than before.” -Bruce Kirkby

To me this quote serves as an inspiring reminder. A reminder that I do not always have to be doing an extreme sport or paying a fortune to be adventurous. An adventure can happen anywhere, in any aspect of my life, as long as i am willing to embrace the uncertainty.

What is adventure to you?

I Spoke Too Soon

I spoke too soon when I dedicated a whole post to the end if winter and the start of spring. Last night and into the morning my little college town was “graced” with a few inches of snow. Just when I thought my bean boots and warm jacket were packed for the season, I had to pull them out for, hopefully, one last time.

Last week, I mentioned that I was attempting to live my life more like a fisheye camera lens, with a wider view of the world around me. I challenged myself to read more and really soak up more knowledge. My two lest and multiple assignments seemed to get in the way of that a little bit but, I managed to find some time to read some great articles. Here are some that I would like to share with my fellow readers. I am fairly picky about what I read so, you know they have got to be good.

Is the Passport the New Resume
For all of you college kids out there reading this, go ahead and forward it right along to your parents. Even in my internship interviews I found myself chatting away and striking conversations about traveling. My mission trips, my cruise, working at camp in Maine and most recently Costa Rica have all found their way into some of my professional conversations.

“‘The benefits of studying abroad are almost endless,’ Obama said during the CNN iReport interview. ‘First of all, it is going to make you more marketable in the United States. More and more companies are realizing that they need people with experience around the world.'”

Ancient Shipwrechs Search

It might just be the National Treasure and Davinci Code lover inside of me that was drawn to this article but, regardless, I love anything with a hint of mystery of a treasure hunt.

For this week I am going to focus on appreciating the people I have in my life. My roommates, my friends from home, my friends at school, my family, my professors and heck I may even throw my dog a bone. I haven’t quite figured out how I am going to do this but I will keep ya posted!

End of the Season

Well folks. The 13-14 snowboarding season has come to an end. Since December, I have spent countless hours strapped into my Burton snowboard cruising down App Ski Mountain. App Ski Mountain ended the season with their annual meltdown games and it was a blast to watch. Not that I am an incredible snowboarder or anything but this weekends closing ceremonies made me reflect not only on these past 4 months, but also but the past 3 seasons. When I first started snowboarding, my freshman year of college I was terrible, afraid of everything and my gear consisted of rentals and family hand-me-downs. I never thought it would become something I did more than a few times a season…but it did. I never thought I would ever attempt a rail or a jump…but I did. I never thought I would own my own gear…but I do. I never thought I would make so many friends out there…but I did. In the midst of frigid temperatures and unbearable downpours of snow, getting to go snowboarding kept my spirits high and gave my friends and me something to look forward to. I am thankful for every fall, every lift ride, every jump, every box hit, every ride and every morning I woke up sore. It was sentimental taking my last ride down the mountain. I took it slow and appreciated the view of the Mountains, the sunshine, the snow and the people surrounding me. Every season of life comes to a close so with that I say… bring on spring!! I’m ready for ya.

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a fisheye life

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As I mentioned, my Dad gave me a fun little camera with a fisheye lens for Valentine’s Day. I have been having lots of fun snapping some shots. When I uploaded the pictures to my laptop, I realized just how much got in the picture. My shoes, the person beside me, my neighbors house…things I didn’t intend to be in the picture. The view through a fisheye lens is a little (more like a lot) wider. In other words, I can get a lot more in the picture. So, I got to thinking, shouldn’t we all see the world more like a fisheye lens, with a wider view of the world around us?

I asked myself, “Hayley, how can you make your life more like a fisheye lens?” So, I made a list, (what else would I do in class?) and came up with ways I can challenge myself to have a wider and broader scope on life. Here is what i came up with: caring for other people, paying more attention, appreciating what I already have, trying new things, breaking stereotypes and reading more. Pretty ambitious, huh? I came across this quote

” I live my life in widening circles,

that reach out across the world.

I may never complete the last one,

But I give myself to it. “

— Rainer Maria Rilke

That last statement really stuck with me, “But I give myself to it.” I like that. In my opinion, we can never stop broadening our view, especially as travelers. So, lets give ourselves to continuing the widening of our eyes and our hearts.

For this week, I am going to work on one of these, this week i am going to read more. I have some National Geographic articles to catch up and a few other magazine articles that I have been wanting to read. And by read, I mean actually read and re-read, to soak up the information and really let it sink in.  Next week, I will tackle another challenge. Stay tuned!

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A Spring Break Sunset

These pictures are just too good not to share! I have been having a blast this Spring Break. Laying on the beach, catching up with friends, watching movies, being with my family, relaxing in my hammock….are you jealous yet? I love getting to watch the sunset over the water, as apposed to the usual mountains, so I took my camera out to catch some pictures of a Wrightsville Beach Sunset.

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Hope you all are enjoying warmer days and sunshine.

Challenges and Challenge Courses

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I loved challenge courses as a kid and as I have gotten older I have spent time working on and operating them. But, somewhere along the way they began to lose their value because I was so comfortable on them. A few weeks ago I found myself leading a group of highschool girls to The Blue Ridge Learning Center’s challenge course. I knew it was going to be a great day because the weather was BEAUTIFUL with temperatures averaging in the mid 50s. What i didn’t know was that I would be so engaged and challenged myself. This day was supposed to be mostly for the high schoolers. I was just there to make sure everybody was doing what they were supposed to and assist the other staff, right? Wrong. Shortly after arrival I found myself in a harness and helmet, flying through the air on the challenge course. This particular challenge course was like nothing I had ever been on before. It was the Hogwarts of all challenge courses. It was a three tiered challenge course, took us over 2 hours to finish and ended with a zipline to the ground. Some of the elements physically kicked my butt.  Mid air swinging monkey bars?? Nets you have to crawl across? I have to jump how far to the next platform? Needless to say I was sore the next day.

This day spent at the challenge course was a reminder that no matter how comfortable I may feel with something there is always a new way to be challenged. These last two weeks have been challenging. Just when I thought my calendar was perfectly set, life threw a few curve balls at me. A few curve balls actually. However, these challenges have served as an opportunity for me to grow. I haven’t quite processed these last 2 weeks, and specifically the last few days, but what I am remembering are the words of Martin Luther King:

“The true measure of a (wo)man is not how (s)he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how (s)he stands at times of controversy and challenges.”

I hope you find rewards in your challeneges and a silver lining in every cloud.