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8.01.2016

Solo Yolo Wanderer Chronicles: Shi Shi Beach

This last weekend, I went on an epic adventure! I went backpacking for the first time. Even though I met up with my friends on the beach, I did the entire commute alone. It was a transformative experience for so many reasons. Tiring, inspiring, beautiful. I decided to make a story out of my experience, partially as a way to remove myself from the discomfort I was feeling by objectifying it through art. This is always a helpful tactic to get me through more difficult experiences. I also did it to experiment with writing in third person narrative. As a writer, it's really fun to explore with different methods of communicating and engaging with my audience. She Shi beach will forever hold a special place in my heart, not only because it is the most Northwestern tip of the U.S or because it is home to many indigenous tribes in the Pacific Northwest, but also because it is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful!
So, I present to you the Solo Yolo Wanderer Chronicles! (Originally posted on my Instagram and Twitter)

1. Solo yolo wanderer arrives to beginning of trailhead, after 9 hours of commute, and is filled with both excitement and terror...


2. Solo yolo wanderer prepares to cross the first bridge. Sunlight, magic, and mystery await her on the other side...



3. Tired from 3 miles of trekking with a mal-fitted backpack, and wondering how it's been 3 miles (according to her Fitbit) when the entire trail was promised to be 2, tired solo yolo wanderer decides to look....Up towards God and listen to the sounds around her....and just breathe...


4. Suddenly, there's hope. About 1/2 a mile later, solo yolo wanderer catches a glimpse of the ocean-a mere and magnificent sampling of what's to come...


5. Slightly nauseous 4 miles in, solo yolo wanderer sits on a tree trunk to catch a breath and asks herself a question she has become far too accustomed to asking "Can someone with a body like mine actually do this?". She tears up a little. She wonders if her lack of fitness coupled with the stubborn "freshman 15" or rather "Med school 20" meant that she wasn't made for this lifestyle. But staring down at her mud-stained boots gives her a tickle. She laughs. This ever so slightly bougie New Yorker is in the middle of the peninsula wearing dirty combat boots and actually really needs to pee now that she thinks of it. Solo yolo wanderer sees a group of people of different body types walk by and remembers "there are people who have done this before me and there are people who will do this after me". She gets up and pushes forward.
Little did she know, the last part of the journey (albeit, the most dangerous part), was but a few steps away...


6. Solo yolo wanderer looks back and wonders how she survived that steep descent (not fully pictured)...but is grateful for her body, the support of the earth, and the welcoming sound of the ocean just behind her...


7. Solo yolo wanderer arrives just in time for sunset and wonders how they always seem so holy. The natural ebb and flow of the universe, moving at its own perfect pace. She couldn't help but wonder if he was watching the sun set somewhere too...


8. "Is this Earth or is this Mars?", solo yolo wanderer thinks to herself, as she treks down the coastline in search of her friends, slightly hopeless and slightly delirious with exhaustion. She begins to understand the concept of mirages, as she keeps thinking she sees them just...right...there. With only 1 hour left til dark and dwindling energy reserves, it is critical she finds them so she can set up camp and get some much needed....rest...


9. Solo yolo wanderer survived. She found her friends eventually. They set up camp, past the creek, amidst the logs, nestled by the haystacks. They gathered by the fire, gazed at the stars, and exchanged tales...hopes...dreams...fears. Solo wakes up and takes in the enchanting air of mystery, intensified by the morning fog and sea breeze.x.


10. Solo yolo wanderer looks back at Shi Shi Beach with gratitude for all the lessons, and commences the hike back to the mainland. Something has changed within. She returns feeling stronger and more capable than ever...



11. Nearing the end of the 6 mile trek back, solo yolo wanderer thinks she sees a fairy/nymph thing at the corner of her eye. It was a flash of shimmering light amidst the bushes.She looks closer and it's just a little berry plant, or so it seems...
Solo takes a moment to thank the spirits of the forests, animals, waters, lakes, light...etc...for their company and guidance.
There's something magical about the olympic peninsula, a space that's been inhabited by numerous indigenous tribes for time immemorial. The Spirit is palpable everywhere....


12. Solo yolo wanderer glances at the forest, now back on the mainland, and wonders what other chronicles from other storytellers lie buried in all the sacred places such as these...

Fin

Let me know what you think!!!!
Stay engaged,
N

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