"For me, childhood roaming was what developed
self-reliance, a sense of direction and adventure, imagination, a will to explore, to be able to get
a little lost and the figure out the way back."
— Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Redwood Regional Park // Photo by Alison Christiana

Redwood Regional Park // Photo by Alison Christiana

Who am I?

I collect rocks from my travels and save trail maps in a binder that’s bursting at the seams. I’m a sucker for well-told stories, perfectly crafted jokes and good conversation. I prefer meeting friends for hikes rather than for cups of coffee. I’ve filled my home and office with too many houseplants and believe that trees are my spirit animal. Cloudy skies are much more interesting to me than clear blue ones. Once I missed a flight because I was too busy playing with Norwegian ponies and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Fresh mangos, lian wu and lychee from Taiwan are my weakness. My husband and I make up silly songs and sing them to our cat, Osiris because it makes us laugh. The week we spent backpacking in Yosemite's High Sierra backcountry left me awe-inspired, humbled and head-over-heels in love with California.

What makes me happy

If it’s raining, you’ll find me in the redwood forests of the Oakland hills, chasing fog and splashing in puddles. In the winter, I crave road trips to Death Valley along Highway 395 to feel small among desert mountain ranges. I love catching sunrises during morning runs around Lake Merritt and sunsets from wanderings at the Albany Bulb. When I need to clear my mind, I go to the ocean and listen to the waves. Nothing makes me happier than setting out on a hike with no particular destination, camera in hand, letting my heart lead the way.

WHY THE OUTDOORS?

I cherish childhood memories of snow days spent alone in the woods behind our home in Westford, Massachusetts. From the trunk of a fallen tree, I would watch snow drift about before dissolving into a meandering brook. I felt no sense of urgency, no sense of time. Just peaceful silence and contentment. As an adult, especially in moments of personal stagnation, I find myself trying to recapture that feeling. It's a search that inevitably leads me outside, time and time again. Because outside is where magic happens. It's a boundless source of inspiration. Life breathes in perfect rhythm and time traveling to prehistoric lands feels possible. When I'm outdoors, I'm filled with overwhelming gratitude for living. I recalibrate my perspectives, my priorities and feel grounded like ancient roots. The act of slowing down and going outside has become an essential practice and an important part of my daily routine. There is freedom in being open, in being vulnerable, in accepting our place in this grand world.