My name is Amber: part-time adult and full-time adventurer.
Originally, I hail from the Last Best Place, otherwise known as Montana, a state I assure you is neither by Indiana, possesses a southern accent, nor lacks cars in favors of horses and buggies. I first came from the rough and tumble mining town of Butte, then the beautiful but unfortunately heavily touristed village of Bigfork. Either way, I grew up in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, instilled with the strength of the wilderness in my bones and its wild essence in my blood.
Unfortunately, I lost that love along the way. Growing up in a small town, I inherited the stereotypical desire to do nothing but get the hell out. Go to big city, live in the rat race, do something important: that’s how I thought I wanted to live my life. In pursuit of that, I left Montana after graduation, traveling over 2,000 miles to the outskirts of Philadelphia to Arcadia University, I school I chose primarily for the great sum of money it granted me. But more than anything else, they gave me a way out of the small town life in which I was suffocating.
I had always known I wanted to be a writer, but naturally I subscribed the societal “what are you going to do with a BA in English?” attitude and decided to pursue a “smart” degree. I could always write on the side of whatever career I ended up with, I told myself. But as I entered sophomore year, I began questioning why I was studying something I ultimately didn’t want to do. It seemed asinine for me to be spending so much time, money, and tears for something I didn’t want. Life is far too short that. And just like that, my priorities fell into place and I changed my entire outlook on life. I switched one of majors to English (and kept the Psychology one because why the hell not?).
I began devoting my time to looking up crazy adventures I wanted to have and planning them out in detail. I read the works of long distance hikers and transcendentalists, following their words and forming my own philosophies from them. I tore through books like Into the Wild and fell into the consuming ideology of Chris McCandless. Today, he still stands as my inspiration and idol. It’s probably not the most affirming of my sanity to say my idol is someone who trekked off into the Alaskan wilderness and subsequently died there but alas (sorry, Mom). Ultimately, I fell in love with the absolute freedom by which he lived his life, refusing to be propelled by anything but his passion for adventure. That, I thought, is how I want to live.
The following year, I left the country for a total of eight months, four of which I spent studying at St. Anne’s College of Oxford University in England, and the other four of which I spent backpacking solo across Europe. After that amazing and life altering experience that solidified my notions of living a nomadic lifestyle, I still needed to go back and finish one more year of school. I no longer saw the point of it, as I came to realize that getting a college degree has nothing to do with knowledge, but more to do with jumping through hoops, but I had spent far too much time and money on it to really let it go so easily.
And in the end, I’m glad I went back for that final year because I gained something invaluable from that time (and no, I don’t mean the fancy piece of cardstock that tells me I have a B.A. It was during those last long and torturous months of college that I met Chris.
He and I worked together at the university Writing Center, casual friends at an overall boring job where we got paid to look ready to help students. Then one day he invited me to go rock climbing with him at the nearby rock gym. Desperately needing some change in my life, I took a chance and agreed, always having wanted to try rock climbing. Little did I know that not long after I would fall hopelessly in love with him. Being completely unconventional people that we are, after less than a month of dating, Chris had a job lined up in Montana where I was moving back to for the summer and a plane ticket booked. In just eight days, he moved his entire life across the country. Wise men say, only fools rush in. If that’s the case then call me a fool.
But boy are we ever kindred spirits, and according to my best friend Jeffrey, he’s “even crazier” than me. And like the former adventurer with whom Chris shares his name and I share my endless love for the mountains, we both set out to perpetually seek that which lies beyond the horizon.
So this is us, and this blog is a testament to our travels, trials, and tribulations. But no matter what roadblocks appear in front of us, we’ve proven that we can get over them as long as we have each other. Together, we are indomitable, unconquerable, with wide eyes hungry to take in everything the world has to offer. We may be reckless but we are relentless in our pursuit of the amazement, the adrenaline, and, most of all, the adventure. Always the adventure.