Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Braden // Hawaii Explorer

Aloha, Hola, Hello!  My name is Braden Geddes (pronounced like lettuce) and I'm from Cedar Hills, Utah.  As well I have lived in Hawaii and Arkansas.  I can tell you that those three places are all very different, but each one of them has had so much to offer.  I have always loved to be outdoors and enjoy the fresh air.  But I never truly took advantage of what was around me until I lived on my own.  

After graduating from high school I decided to buy a moped and attend school in the great state of Hawaii. This ended up being one of the best decisions of my life.  My brother had lived out there for four years and had made a list of things that I could do when I was there.  I started doing a few of that things on that list (mainly hikes) and that’s when I realized how cool the outdoors and all the beauty that God has surrounded us with is.  From that I made the goal that every single week that I was there I was going to do something awesome whether it was hiking, cliff jumping, skydiving it was going to be done!  Rain or shine we hiked and enjoyed the scenery of the island. 

By the end of it basically everything had been checked off and the list had grown quite a bit as well.  Since then I haven't looked back. In so doing this I became a much happier person and had constant desire to go on a new adventure and see what there was to offer.  I would sit in class just anxious waiting for the next hike. I felt so much more fulfilled and as well I met a lot of great friends along the way.  I would also met people who would complain about how there was nothing to do or how bored they were.  I believe that we can make the best out of anything, and I think that comes from taking advantage of the outdoors rather than being in front of a screen all day.  This world has so much to offer, we can't just sit around thinking about all the things we could be doing, and we got to start doing them.

 Hiking and exploring is now something that brings me lots of peace, and it always makes for a great day when I can be out in nature.  As well I love hitting up the course for a round of golf.  Especially because I have worked at a golf course for a significant amount of time.  After coming back from Hawaii I was able to explore a lot more than I had before in Utah and other places.  I also developed a passion for boating, wakeboarding. and basically anything else that's thrilling.  Some have called me an adrenaline junky, I just call it having a good time! 

I'm really looking forward to being part of the Pangea explorers club and the concept that's behind the company.  As well being part of such a great community.  Half the experience of all the adventures that I've been on is the great people that I've gone with. If you're ever having a bad day or feeling down, just get outside, head to the mountains and enjoy what there is to offer.  The air is better out there anyways!  Safe travels!  







Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hannah // What Bali Taught Me


Hello fellow lovers of nature and travel (I hope) my name is Hannah Matthews and I’m here to let you know a little bit about me and how travelling and the great outdoors has significantly changed my entire life. I was born and raised in Utah, mostly Alpine and so I grew up surrounded by beautiful mountains and canyons all within arm’s reach.


As a child we were lucky enough to have the world's most amazing single mom that even though she worked full time she took us camping, climbing, hiking, and outdoors at least once a week. She’s really the one who sparked my love for the outdoors and traveling. My life hasn’t always been easy. When I was 3 my parents got divorced and my father came out as a gay man which was a life changer. It’s not that it was hard to have a gay dad but how people treated me for having a gay dad. We had drinks thrown at us and people yelling at us but my dad always taught us to love people no matter how they treated us so we had a solid upbringing.



In the last 4 years of my life I have lost my two best friends to suicide, two best friends to driving accidents, and my father to a brief illness. It’s been really hard and sometimes I have wanted to give up but what has really kept me going is having this amazing outlet with nature. There is something about having a bad day and going to the canyon and being surrounded by beauty and such amazing things that still takes my breath away most days. Climbing and hiking are really where I have found comfort within those days that I had a dark cloud above me.

And then something crazy happened.

I started getting this crazy desire to travel the world. As a college student I felt it was so out of reach financially that I just stopped thinking about it entirely. But it wouldn’t go away so I just decided to pick a place and go with it. I was sitting on Pinterest one night when I searched “safest solo female trips” and there it was...BALI…and that was it, I knew in an instant that it was BALI.

There is no way to describe that feeling. I felt so many emotions that I just sat in silence and shed a few tears and I knew I was going to Bali no matter what. I felt the same feeling when I booked the hotel, and then the airplane ticket, the passport, and then when I got on that first plane. I never had a doubt, I was never worried, and I had never been so sure of anything in my entire life. I joke that until I won’t get married until I feel the same way about the man I am marrying as I did about Bali. Yeah, I could sit here and tell you about how unreal the scenery in Bali is, or how I ate a fresh pineapple on a white sand beach while getting a massage, or about the time two young beautiful British boys offered to buy me a drink, or about the 2am hike up the tallest mountain in Bali just in time to see the sunrise while drinking the most delicious cup of coffee I’ve ever had, while sitting next to a baby monkey. I could brag to you about all these amazing adventurous I had but that’s not really what this post is about.
 
This post is about Bali and the eye opening, earth trembling, and hard to ignore experiences that I felt while visiting this place I had dreamed of for 2 years. Bali started out as a dream that became a reality with a little hard work and determination.

When I got to Bali I was overcome with so much emotion that my taxi driver probably thought I was mentally insane, since I was just looking at every single thing and just crying. I didn’t realize that Bali would actually change my life in the way that it did. I knew travelling changed you, and I knew that I might have some eye opening experiences but I didn’t expect this many, or to feel that deeply while on “vacation.”

So here I am with a classic list of things I learned in Bali with literally the tiniest explanation compared to the depth of emotions I could dive into. I could’ve written a blog post on each of these and I still might so just love me ok? Can you do that this one time?

1.     You can do anything: Simple right? You can do anything. No, not simple. It’s like meditation. Meditation is literally just sitting on the floor and thinking nothing yet it is near impossible to do that it takes people years of training until they can actually fully meditate. So, yeah it’s easy to say you can do anything but to actually do anything is wildly different. I knew I wanted to go to Bali for two years,  people didn’t believe me, at times I didn’t believe me, and my bank account definitely didn’t believe me but somehow after working hard for two years and never giving up I was in Bali. It was so inspirational, I became my own inspiration. I had a wild dream and I went for it and I did it. That’s something that changes your life.

2.     If you think you deserve more, odds are you do: This can apply to almost anything, although I think it had more of a specific meaning to me. This last year has been hell and most of that is due to other people treating me less than I have felt like I deserved. I’ve had to make some hard decisions and cut some people out of my life and that has been incredibly hard.
But I discovered in Bali that I feel about myself how other people treat me. If I feel like someone ditches me a lot and doesn’t really want to be my friend I start to feel like I am not someone people want to be friends with. If you constantly don’t include me or make me feel left out I start to feel like I am not a person that should be included, and that there are a million people better than me. So in order for me to be happy and positive about myself I need people who don’t drag me down. I need friends who share opportunities with me, make time for me; want me to hang out with them and their other friends, and who make me feel like I am valuable. I want to feel valuable. And I have very few friends that make me feel that way and I have to step back from the rest.

3.     You are valuable: I haven’t felt valuable in a long time. I feel insecure, dumb, useless, friendless, and alone most of the time but in Bali I felt valuable. Strangers thought I was smart and pretty and unique. I felt like I had something to offer to this world and my own opinion of myself changed within an instant. I stopped listening to what everyone was saying and tried to just think of myself and what I had to offer the world and I discovered that I have a lot to offer.

4.     You don’t always have to be the “Cool Girl”: You know the cool girl? Who dresses in guy t shirts and ripped jeans, never needs to DTR, listens to old rock, hardly wears makeup or brushes her hair and still looks perfect, and seems to never be affected by anything anyone says about her. That’s who I have been trying to be and it’s not me. I care about everything; I care about everything too much. I hate old rock, and I care about what people think of me. I will keep the boy t shirts and ripped jeans but that’s strictly due to being comfy AF and being bad ass. It’s ok to be emotional, and have feelings. It’s ok to want a commitment from a guy, its okay to be a girl and watch one tree hill. I think I just needed to finally allow myself to not be so into being someone I am not and just being me. Hopefully that still means I am cool…but like it’s also ok not be cool.

5.     Stop giving a shit: Hannah, stop caring so much about who people think you are. Get out of your mind. If it makes you happy, keep it. If it makes you sad, ditch it. If you’re not sure, ditch it. I cling to everyone and everything no matter how shitty it is, or how shitty they treat me. JUST LET GO. You’re going to eventually lose the things that make you sad so save yourself some crying time and get it over with. You are worth so much more than you think. You are worth so much more than what you think others think.

Well I think those are some of the most valuable things I learned while in Bali, and some of them are going to be a lot harder to actually do than others but eventually I think that I will be OK and that I will do hard things. Cause I’ve done hard things before and not to toot my own horn but I kick ass at it.





Monday, August 22, 2016

Cole // Utah Explorer



What’s up, my name is Cole Moriarty. I was born in Northern California, moved to Southern California, then moved to Utah when I was young and have been here ever since. I’ve always had a passion for surfing, so when you’re landlocked, it’s pretty difficult to find places to surf. To cope, I started getting into hiking a little bit. When I was 12, I really got into rock climbing because of my mom’s boyfriend. It became a new passion to fill the void of not being able to surf. 


Everyone has trials and some crazy stuff they go through. In 7th grade, mine was depression due to some past experiences. I was told I needed to be on medication, but I didn’t want pills to tell me that I was okay. That’s when I really started to appreciate being in nature and my attachment with American Fork Canyon grew an insane amount because it became my second home. Whether I was with friends, by myself, happy, sad,  anything, AF Canyon was my favorite place to be. 

From that I’ve really come to appreciate the beautiful places Pangea has to offer. When I was 16 I went on a service trip to Fiji and Tonga for a month. I mowed lawns, knocked on doors, did whatever I could to get enough money to go. It was incredible.


I started looking for more opportunities, but none presented themselves until last year. I was able to go to Nepal, a place that I’ve been obsessed with since I was little. I was there for two weeks doing service and exploring.


A few months later I was asked by a good friend to go to Kenya to help start up a charity with one of his contacts over there. So I was in Africa for a month doing service and helping get the charity started. I feel super blessed with the opportunities I’ve been given to go to such beautiful parts of the world and meet such beautiful people and cultures. 

If you ever have an opportunity to go anywhere new, whether it’s a trip your buddies are going on close by, or a trip half way across the world, find a way to make it happen. Don’t feel pressured to follow the footsteps of a society we’ve grown so comfortable with.


Don’t go to college for the fear of disappointing parents and those around you, don’t get a mediocre job doing something you aren’t passionate about. If going to college is something you want to do, then do it. But if you live your life according to other people, and not what you truly want, you may be successful, but you may not feel fulfilled and truly happy.


I’m 20 years old and just starting college, but I took necessary time for myself to figure out what it is I need to be happy and to be able to look back when I’m old and feel I lived a fulfilled life true to myself. I’m not saying don’t go to college, wait to go to college, or you should go to college, but honestly ask yourself if what you’re doing right now is the best path for your happiness.

Whether you think I’m crazy, annoying, or choose to take my advice, keep on exploring and stay safe!

Thank you Nellie and Pangea Explorers Club for such a genuine company. 




Thursday, August 11, 2016

Ryanne // Solo Trip to Eager, Arizona

“Why are you alone?

That is the question I was asked at least a dozen times on my recent solo trip to Eager, Arizona. Not only was it an unknown self-discovery trip, but one of the best decisions of my life. During my visit, I stayed in a cabin, not too big, not too small, on the outskirts of Eager. It was a rather scary place at night, being all alone up there, but eventually the night became a very welcoming part of my stay.


Each day I would visit somewhere or do something new. Whether it was a different cafe where no one knew who I was or different shops with unique signs that would draw my eye and, often, I would find myself in the oddest of places that I normally would not have ventured to; the whole experience was exuberating and freeing.

One place I particularly enjoyed was a very small fossil museum just outside of Eager called Spingerville. A sign was posted outside their door describing a new dinosaur exhibit. My inner T-Rex/Velociraptor loving self-took over from there. It was an empty place and only had two paleontologists present. One was an older woman and the other was a teenage boy. I must have been there for an hour or two now that I think about it.

I learned that the boy, Christopher Wolfe, had discovered the dinosaur Zuniceratops Christopheri, when he was only 8 years old (and it was even named after him)! He was featured on Jay Leno’s, The Tonight Show and a few other series of interview shows! I was able to have a very nice chat with him and his mother, the owner of the museum, and was sure to take a quick pic of him with a few of the fossils he discovered! It’s so incredible what is hidden in such a small place and how easy it is to stumble upon something this amazing and unique. 

On this trip, I kayaked for the first time at Big Lake and boy am I hooked now! The young gentleman who worked at the marina and set the kayak up for me of course asked why I was by myself etc... And somehow this boy and I became friends after talking for a while about this trip. As it turns out he had never left that area before and didn't know of many other cities and their names outside of the White Mountains. I wish I got his name but do hope to return soon and find him again.

Another unexpected friend I made was the RV park owner of Big Lake. I got out of my car on the side of the road to take some pictures of the Aspens. Suddenly I heard someone shout, “Take my picture!” I actually did take his picture as soon as I turned around to see who was actually yelling this. We had a very nice chat too and he gave me an interesting lesson about some of the infected trees, how they solve the problem of the dying trees and even told me what one the park rangers that drove by did for his job. I will certainly not forget this kind old man anytime soon.


Amongst a few trails that I researched, Thompson Trail was my utmost favorite. According to a few of the rangers, it’s the least popular trail for visitors, and not one ranger was happy at the fact that I was going alone. One even gave me a quick lesson on what to do if someone were to attack me on the trail. 

I got very lucky and ended up being the only one on the trail during my hike. Except for this older couple that I gave a scare to, I hopped off the trail and climbed down the side of the ledge to get a good shot of the river. As I was climbing up, (I was using my arms to crawl up as it was rather steep) this couple walked right by and the man yelled and jumped so high, his wife and I could not stop laughing. We visited for a while, and I learned that Steve and Brandy were from Prescott and they are frequent visitors to this area.
  
As we parted ways and while I gathered my backpack, ready to continue, I heard the man mumble, “You don't see that every day”, and for some reason that made my heart so happy and light. The rest of the hike was breathtaking and I can say for sure, that pictures do its beauty little justice. 

This trip taught me so many incredible lessons that may be of benefit to everyone. One, take the time and explore your surroundings. As I said before, there are so many hidden treasures and adventures right outside the door. All you have to do is step out.

Two, some strangers are not danger. Okay I’m not saying to trust all strangers and avoid the obvious bad ones, but rather meet new people actually have a conversation with them and I guarantee you will not regret it as it also helps build character, breaking certain shy traits, and making new friends in unknown places.

Finally, three, it’s okay to be alone. Personally I prefer to do and go everywhere alone. It seems to be a taboo idea, especially for trips, but it’s such an amazing experience. Being alone in a new place makes you discover who you really are, what you really like (not what your friends/surrounding peers like) and can clear your mind in such an indescribable way.


Thank you for taking the time to read about my little adventure and I hope it sparked some wanderlust in you :) I love being a part of the Pangea Explorers Club and I look forward to some more exploring soon.



 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Jayce // Texas + South Africa Explorer

Hey there, I'm Jayce. I am an ambassador for the Pangea Explorers Club and this is my story.

As far back as my memory can take me, my life has been filled with a surreal sense of wonder for this planet. From the biodiversity of life that inhabits the earth to the tumultuous activities taking place within passing seemly unnoticed, the balance of these things has been the forefront of curiosity in my life.

I grew up on a hundred acre plot of land outside of a small town named Fredericksburg in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. For the most part I lived the average life, only with a good amount of agriculture thrust in to the mix. 

My parents were adamant in my education and strictly enforced the ideology that hands on learning was the ideal method of gaining knowledge. That being said, the only practical amount of time I spent in the house was coming back for meals. Otherwise I spent my days exploring our land, learning the terrain and coming to understand the natural fauna.    


I now spend my time here in Fredericksburg exploring and wandering through Texas in its whole. Often you can catch me out at Enchanted Rock State Park barefoot running up the giant granite batholiths. I am a national and state park junkie, yet equally as content with just any hole that has enough water for me to jump into.
I recently left college after studying geology and playing baseball for the University of Texas - Dallas for a year and a half. My experience in Dallas was truly the most humbling experience of my life, but that in itself is a story for another time. I witnessed an entirely different psychological perspective moving from small town life to a metropolis of a little over two million.

I was truly blessed to grow up in a small community, one in which it's nearly impossible to go to the grocery store without seeing someone you know and where southern hospitality lives strong.

While Dallas was a much stronger stimulus, the mentalities on life people held differed vastly from my own and for the first time I could fully appreciate where I called home. Dallas made me question the vanity of my materialistic desires and I found myself focusing upon what it is in life that brings true love and bliss. For me personally, it's the outdoors. My love in life is exploring the world and feeling the sun on my skin.

 If I can leave any words of wisdom from the choices I've made its foremost that you should listen to your heart regardless what others think is best for you and regardless of where they stand in your life. Secondly, find the confidence to act now. You are a human being capable of any action or idea you set your intellectual capacities towards.

Lastly, while it's true fear is the enemy, I use fear every day in my life to test boundaries and test myself. It's okay to feel fear, it's not okay to let it consume you. Find what scares you and go and achieve it immediately. I can promise that if you implement those ideals into your life you will look around in wonder at all you have and can accomplish.

The world is yours; you just have to go take it.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Caitlin // Wyoming Explorer

Oh hey there!

The name is Caitlin Jade, I'm 21 years young, and the baby of my family.

Being outside and exploring wherever I can is definitely my favorite thing to do. I've got a serious case of wanderlust and I wouldn't have it any other way. Right now I'm living in Logan and going to school at Utah State, and if I could be a student there forever I would. I love it there.

I grew up in a family that went on one vacation a year, and that was camping. Most of my earliest, favorite, memories are of sleeping in a tent and roasting s'mores.

I'm also a runner. That's another thing I love doing outside. My favorite one that I've done so far has got to be the Ogden half-marathon, since so much of the course was in the canyon and it was so scenic to run through. I have a goal to do one half-marathon a year, and starting next year I want to travel to each different race to continue adventuring to different places.

My latest adventures have included going to Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Goblin Valley. It was my first time being to all of those places this past Spring Break and let me tell ya, it was incredible.

Here are some pictures of some of the neat places I've seen lately.




How Exploring Pangea Has Changed My Perspective; and a Glance into My Life

Let's rewind time to about a year ago, I went through the hardest time in my life. I found myself signing divorce papers to end my one year marriage.

21 years old and divorced? That's one place I never thought my life would take me. That's something life has taught me the hard way. You don't get to choose some things you go through, and it's completely your choice how you let it change you.

I didn't feel like myself. For a little bit there I stopped being with people that made me happy, and doing things that made me happy. It was so weird, it felt like my life had completely stopped, but everyone else kept going with theirs.

The weather started warming up, and my brother and I went on a hike one day. It was then that I realized that being outside and exploring was something that was actually really therapeutic to me.
I've been able to satisfy a little of my wanderlust from exploring places around me and going on adventures. I am stoked to have this opportunity to be an Ambassador for Pangea Explorers Club because being outside and active really changed my life for the better when I was going through a really dark time.

Guys, life can get really rough sometimes. And like I said above, you choose how it changes you. Don't just take my word for it, when you're stressed or feeling down, get outside and get in touch with nature and this incredible world we live on.

Let's all get outside, and go see something we haven't seen yet.

Explore on, explorers. 



Thursday, June 23, 2016

Jakob // Finland Explorer

Hey hey. My name is Jakob Kujanpaa. I'm a pretty simple guy! I love almost anything active and almost anything outside. I'm 23 years old and I'll be a sophomore at UVU this fall studying psychology and business. I was born in Illinois and grew up in Utah. My father was born and raised in Finland, which is why I'm the ambassador for the one of the most beautiful countries in the world, the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes, Finland.


One of my main goals in life is to be able to travel around the world and help those that are less fortunate than me find happiness in the simple things of life.

The reason I am happy, is because I choose to be. Yes I have been blessed with a great life, amazing family, and incredible friends. However, throughout high school I went through phases of depression. I didn't always realize when I was depressed, but the times that I did recognize it I didn't want to tell anyone, and keeping it to myself didn't help. The only things that would make me happy we're playing soccer or ice hockey. Those were things that I loved to do, because they put me in a good mood.


 I now know that not only did I become happy because I was doing something that I love, but by being active and exercising my body I was stimulating my brain and it would shoot off positive endorphins throughout my body.

I believe in being active and I believe in being outdoors. We have this beautiful world, let's go explore it and find the happiness that it has to offer us. A good breath of fresh air and a walk in the park can go a long way.


 I love Pangea. "Happiness is not just a mood, it's a work ethic." Shawn Achor