Wandering alone can be nice, but I’ve found that I truly prefer to hike with others. Whether it’s a big or small adventure, getting out there with others makes the experience better in three simple ways:
1. IT BUILDS ON WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE IN COMMON
For many Latinxs, culture plays a big part of social gathering. Sharing humor, stories, and other relatable experiences makes any outing more memorable. And familiar comforts (like a good carne asada, for example) draw people together. Venturing outdoors with that spirit allows us to build on our commonalities to create closer relationships, and to expand our ambicultural identity. For instance, I am Latino, American, and outdoorsy.
2. YOU CAN TEACH OR LEARN FROM ONE ANOTHER
If you’re new to hiking, or to a specific landscape, someone with more experience can help support you. Similarly, if you’re more knowledgable, you can give a novice good tips or a helping hand. When we’re together, we help each other grow and connect. And in the process, we also connect with nature.
3. WONDER IS BETTER WHEN SHARED
The spirit of wonder is alive and well in the outdoors. And it’s really exciting to share that feeling with others. Whether it’s scrambling over rocks, pointing to wildlife, or staring at the sunset and sharing a story – we’re going beyond the physical and tapping into the heart of the experience. Personally, I feel wonder most in the desert: the landscape reminds me of the special, fragile, and powerful connection we have to life.
In sum, if you’re venturing out for the first time, it’s okay to do it alone, but if you’re open to going with colegas (colleagues) and amigxs (friends), I highly recommend it. A few closing tips: The most important things to bring are water, sun protection, snacks, and a first aid kit. But don’t forget an appreciation for your surroundings—and a spirit for exploration and adventure.
So, con ganas (with gusto), curiosity, and adventure —vamos (go) outdoors!