So, with such uncanny likenesses, I decided to do a little tally to see who is the raddest in the land.
Hometown – Alaska
Biggest fear – Heights
Noted sport – Snowboarding
Fave food group – Chocolate
Summits – 1?
Hometown – Colorado
Biggest fear – Heights
Noted sport – Snowboarding
Fave food group – Chocolate
Summits – 8
The Clueless Wanderer – 0
The Fox in the Forest – 1
Read on to find out why…
My name is Meg, but some people call me Fox. I’m the creator, writer, and photographer of Adventures of Fox in the Forest. A blog where I describe tips, tricks, and lessons learned about my travels and outdoor adventures through the art of storytelling. I grew up all over and stopped counting after move 13. My passport is pretty full, with 29 different stamps (and quite a few repeats), including living in 4 different countries. I’m not married, but I’ve got my forever forest friend, Squirrel, by my side. No kids, but I do have a full time job as an architect. My passion is adventure. When I’m at home I spend most of my time roaming the Colorado Rockies hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, summiting mountains, snowshoeing, and snowboarding.
How could you describe yourself in 5 words?
Adventurous. Energetic. Curious. Intelligent. Strong.
What do you love to do?
I love overseas travel and the outdoors. My friends typically call me crazy because I’m almost always out doing something. I spend nearly every weekend in the mountains in one way shape or form. It originally started as a way to satisfy my insatiable urge to travel. It has developed into a deeply rooted passion that is now influencing the destinations I’d like to go to. I try to leave the country once or (if I’m really lucky) twice a year. I think for someone that works full time this is often.
What can you do today that you could not do a year ago?
I can confidently lead climb, belay and take falls (also known as whips). For those who don’t know lead climbing is when you climb and the rope trails behind you. You clip into the wall as you go either using pre-drilled sport bolts or cams that are temporary anchors you set yourself. I’m terrified of heights, so lead climbing has never come naturally to me. It’s taken me a long time to be able to be comfortable enough to let go of the wall and fall knowing I won’t plunge to my death.
Do you like your job?
It’s funny you ask that, in short, no. I’m a licensed architect and it took me 11-½ years, including school, to get here. I have a master’s degree in architecture. I spent the past year and a half working full time while studying, taking, and passing the 7 exams I was required to take for my license. There was even a time when I worked construction and was a welder for a living. I got licensed and realized that architecture just isn’t for me. I am drawn to nature and the outdoors, architecture is the opposite of that – it’s shelter from nature and a manipulation of the landscape.
Although, to be quite honest, it bothers me that I worked so hard to end up unsatisfied, I’m using the realization as an opportunity to explore my real passions and interests. It’s really hard to admit something like that to yourself. I come from a family that is very career driven. When you don’t like your career it’s difficult for loved ones to understand you when you’re suffering. It’s perceived as failure, when it really isn’t. Blogging has been such an amazing outlet for me. I can write, teach, and share with people the things I love. That’s been special to me.
What would you regret not doing?
I wish I could say I have no regrets – and in general I don’t, but there is one thing that I should have done and didn’t. When I graduated from grad school I should have taken a longer break. I couchsurfed through South East Asia for almost 2 months. This was after I had lived in Malaysia for a summer. I should have continued onwards with my travels and worked overseas. I was in a bad relationship at the time and it clouded my judgement.
However if I hadn’t done that I wouldn’t be where I am now, which is quite happy. I have the world’s greatest dog (Nina and I go everywhere together) and I’m in a loving relationship. These days, I’m an aspiring mountaineer. Had I left the country I don’t know if things would have played out the way they did.
When was the last time you traveled somewhere new?
I travel all the time on short trips (1-4 hours) from my house. Almost every weekend I’m away exploring someplace new. However, my last big trip was to New Zealand. I lived in a van and road tripped through the South Island for 2 weeks. It’s actually a more tame adventure for me – I could read road signs and people don’t cram 10 lanes of traffic in 2, but it was magical!
New Zealand absolutely BLEW ME AWAY. Words don’t do the place justice. Every day I thought to myself “I’ll never see anything more gorgeous, there will not be a more perfect moment.” Then 10 minutes later I’d eat my words. I was constantly pulling over, taking pictures, and just smiling so wide to be surrounded by such stunning natural beauty. I was nature nerding to the max!
Have you done anything lately worth remembering?
Oh wow yes absolutely! In fact, I don’t even know where to start. Since July I’ve summited 8 peaks over 13,000.’ Falling in love with climbing high things is a new found passion of mine. Prior to this year I never really thought I was capable of doing something like that. You’d be amazed at what you are capable of with the right state of mind. The first 14er (14,000’+ high peak) I summited was Mt Bierdstadt. I had attempted it a couple of years prior, only to turn around halfway up. This time around I took my first break where I turned around 2 years ago. Seeing that kind of progress was eye opening to me. The real prize was watching the sunrise 200 vertical feet shy of the summit. There is nothing quite like a high altitude sunrise.
What does success mean to you?
Success is accepting yourself for who you are and embracing that person.
What are you doing to pursue your dreams right now?
I’m in constant pursuit of my dreams. There are a few things I’m actively doing. One cool thing is getting myself signed up for mountaineering courses. Safety is the most important thing in the wilderness and I feel like my climbing, scrambling, and mountaineering skills are at a point where I need some formal training or a mentor to safely take myself further.
Also, I’ve spent the past few years letting go of quite a bit of what I call “noise”. I don’t wear makeup, I DIY most of my life, my car is 10 years old, I don’t go to bars, cook all of my own meals (I go out once a week), pack leftovers for lunch, my clothes are old, and I don’t have the latest and greatest anything other than some sweet gear. This allows me to save a phenomenal amount of money a year. That way I can go on that amazing adventure at a moment’s notice or get that splitboard I’ve been dreaming about. It’s really quite simple – if you want a certain lifestyle, build your financial environment to have it. Nothing is free and it takes sacrifice, there are definitely days where cooking a full blown meal sounds awful, but to me it’s beyond worth it!
What are you most scared of?
Heights! And yea, I rock climb. Just more fun that way I guess.
What are you most proud of?
Loving myself for who I am.
Where would you like to live?
New Zealand, Golden, CO or Silverthorne/Dillon, CO. Right now I’m living in Denver, CO. The current plan is to move to New Zealand in a few years, then head to either Golden or Silverthorne/Dillon. Must. Be. Closer. To. Mountains!
If you left your current life in order to pursue your dreams, what would you lose?
I’m currently pursuing them so nothing. My life is pretty darn awesome. I’ve made sacrifices to get here, but I they don’t feel that way when you’re living a life you love.
What bad habits do you want to break?
Social media and the computer. That’s the great struggle for an outdoor blogger. Before I started my blog I wasn’t big on social media – just Instagram – I love photos! Now it’s becoming a bigger part of my life. Although I’m thankful for the support, it’s important to know when to put it down and be present.
If you were someone’s life coach, what would you tell them?
Living your life based upon what others want you to be is a tragedy. Believe you are wonderful. There’s nothing wrong with being different, weird, or nonconforming. Stand up for yourself and let that freak flag fly!
Fun and furious questions:
- If you could do it all over again, would you change anything? Never
- How old would you be, if you didn’t know how old you are? 30
- What activity makes you lose track of time? Summiting a mountain before dawn.
- Best cheat indulgence? Really, really good chocolate…or cheese. I’ve got a serious cheese addiction.
- If you could only speak one word today, what would it be? Smile!
To tail the Fox, check out her social media sites by clicking and subscribing:
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101343934378324833037
Much love and Aloha,
your second raddest in the land clueless wanderer 😉