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We love encouraging people to get outdoors, not only because it offers so much beauty, but also because it provides natural avenues for health, wellness and stress relief.
For Jennifer Hewitt, one of our Protector Ambassadors, getting outdoors is a way to relieve stress and create stories. She documents her travels on her blog, myperfectlydamagedlife.com, and is also an ambassador for the online hiking community called Hike Like A Woman. We spoke with her recently to learn more about her passion for travel:
BP: Tell us about yourself. Where do you think you got the “travel bug”?
JH: You know, my earliest memories are of going on vacation. We didn’t have a lot of money, but my mom was insistent on taking a vacation, so it was instilled in me from an early age. When my stepdad came into the picture we traveled even more, taking four to five trips a year.
As I got older and traveled on my own, it became a way to escape. I was a single mom and I didn’t have lot of money, so I initially still traveled with my parents a lot. After my first single trip with just my daughter I thought to myself, “This is amazing.” Before I moved to Arizona, my daughter, sister and I road tripped the entire east coast and did 11 states in 13 days. We did all that in a Yellow VW Beetle. It’s my mama’s fault that I feel the need to travel (laughs).
BP: How did your blog get started?
JH: Gosh, where did that come from? Let me think…I was probably sitting around the house bored. It was first a means to display my photography. I consider myself a hobby photographer, and it just went hand-in-hand and evolved from there. I actually took a year and didn’t write a thing, and then I went on this one trip and was like, “I need to write about this.” Getting involved with Hike Like A Woman helps me to stay accountable to myself and my writing.
BP: Can you share more about your photography?
JH: I use a combination of my Nikon and cell phone but regardless of device, for me, it’s about capturing time, creating a story and documenting my life. There may be a time when I don’t remember as much or at all, but I’ll have this photo story. I can look at it and know I lived my life as opposed to just existing.
BP: How did you get started with hiking?
JH: It’s funny because I say if I can do it, anyone can. When I was little I almost had to be outdoorsy because of my family and all our vacations camping. But from age 15 to mid-30s, I was not outdoorsy at all. I was a city snob who would occasionally go to the beach. I very blindly agreed to backpack the Grand Canyon and hated hiking initially, but I hit that pot-of-gold rainbow feeling at the end of the hike and loved it.
BP: Is your travel planned or organic?
JH: I practice what I call organized spontaneity. I have ideas of where I want to go and do, but I love brown signs, so if I see a brown sign when I’m on a road trip I’ll pull over and go check it out. There’s been a lot of “squirreling” for brown signs.
BP: What does traveling mean to you?
JH: The outdoors for me has become a sense of therapy. I have an extremely stressful job [as a nurse] and the more I’m outside, the less overall stress I have. Just the noise of the city, the noise of technology fades away. I leave it all out there. When I come back from being outside, I’m a better person.
Whether you’re an adventurer at heart or are just getting your feet wet, Jennifer has some good advice: Go slow. Build up. Find what interests you. It doesn’t have to be a great, grand adventure. Go to a park and sit on a swing. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to try something new!
Can you relate to Jennifer’s story? We love connecting with passionate outdoor enthusiasts and are looking for more brand ambassadors to live life outdoors with our all natural products. If you’re interested in becoming a Protector Ambassador, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.