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I went home this weekend for the first time since I moved out and when I got back to Richmond I looked through some of the pictures that I've taken over the years and I started to become a bit nostalgic as I thought about how I came to love the outdoors. For me, it all had to do with where I was raised and the influence my parents had on me. Where I grew up had a huge impact on my love for the outdoors. Even before we lived in the house my parents have now, we lived on a HUGE plantation with wide open fields, streams and lots of places to explore. My brother, sister and I spent most of our time outside building forts and stomping around in the creek because we didn't have a TV or lots of toys- my mom was a huge advocate of throwing her children outside to play. Our family often went hiking and camping and it was fun to look back on all the pictures of us spending time outdoors before video games and social media were even a thing. My parents would hike with my sister and I before we could even walk; they would throw us in a backpack and take us anyways and as soon as we were able to walk you better believe we were happily stumbling all over the trails.
I never imagined myself moving away from home because I love it so much but I'm so happy I took a chance and moved somewhere new. I always wanted to experience a new place after college, I felt it was important to go out and be exposed to somewhere I had never lived and that would test my independence. Loving the outdoors and adventure has transformed me into the person I am today. I'm not afraid to take risks, I'm impulsive yet calculated and I try new things even if they make me wildly uncomfortable because how are you supposed to experience life and know what you really love if you never test your limits? Home will always be close to my heart but I love the life that I'm building for myself and home is a humble reminder of where I'm from and why I love what I love.