Objects and Tools

Dear Reader,

I have so much to write about my weekend in the North Cascades. And all the big, meaningful, self-explorational posts brewing inside, just won't come out. 

I haven't had the space to write about my silent weekend and the beauty and knowledge I found within my silence. I haven't had the words to write about my late grandfather's presence wandering along with me. I have so much to write about and share with you. But it is not yet time for these words to meet paper. Today, I will share a more practical story from my time in the van. Perhaps not as deeply emotional, but I hope it brings inspiration nonetheless.

I learned many lessons during my time wandering the North Cascades alone with Gypsy (alone with Gypsy - sounds a little counterintuitive doesn't it? But you know what I mean!)

Before I set off for my weekend getaway I spoke with my mom on the phone and she said, "Annalise, you are going to gain a better understanding of all the things you need for your travels" and, as she often is, Mamma was right! I so did!

I discovered so many different things Gypsy needs before I leave:

  1. Mosquito Netting
  2. Definitely AC -- but I already had that on the list
  3. Smell proofing -- holy cow, I never realized the stench my hiking boots and cooler food create
  4. On that same note: Smell proofing ideas! Essential oil diffuser, an air tight box for my shoes, tightly sealed Tupperware 
  5. A bucket or chemical toilet -- peeing in a paper cup isn't so easy in the middle of the night
  6. A big ol' box, scratch that, HUGE box, filled with canned food for eating and emergencies 
  7. A slow cooker 
  8. A second battery - no doubt about it now
  9. A big, cozy body pillow to snuggle 

And the lesson's did not end there. I not only realized the objects I would need during my travels, but I also began to make a list of tools. I know, objects, tools, same thing right? No, I mean tools like:

  1. Radical Acceptance -- for exactly where I am in the moment
  2. Self care -- for those days where I just feel crummy. Which by the way, I so did! My tummy was all out of whack and I was totally overheated. So I practiced my self care and took a nap in the van, moved super slow on my hike, and consciously focused on drinking water and checking in with my body.
  3. Self-comfort -- for when I feel lonely, because shit, I actually am alone!
  4. Patience -- for those cars that want to hurry me along; for myself when I just feel safer driving like a sloth; or for the back window when it leaks.

I could go on and on. After all, these objects and tools are so incredibly important! And the more I wander alone, the more time I spend van-traveling, the better I will understand myself, Gypsy and the objects and tools I need most!

So here's to wandering, again and again and again. Here's to discovering the things we truly need. Here's to preparation, and also wild hairs. Here's to short treks, and long treks, and short treks that prepare us for long treks!

Here's to all of you wild wanderers!

Sending my love,

Annalise