Hey, I'm Erica!
In my family, the travel bug is hereditary: I love blaming my wanderlust on my mom, who took me to France when I was nine years old! I can’t say I remember the trip with as much clarity as I would like, but that and the subsequent family adventures sparked an intense, unceasing desire to see the world.
When I was 22, I took the plunge and spent five weeks in Iceland by myself. It was a joyous, momentous, and sometimes painful experience, and I was hooked. Ever since, I couldn’t wait to go abroad again.
I’m currently saving up for my next big trip, but until then I intend on exploring as much of my home country, the good ol’ U.S. of A, as I possibly can.
Traveling For Mental Wellness
I’ve spent a great deal of my life in the company of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and some general anxiety and PTSD joined the party fairly recently. Traveling with a mental disorder or illness provides a unique set of challenges, for which I found myself wildly unprepared. Everyone handles their issues differently, but I hope my account will inspire anyone who wants to travel to do so, and prove that mental illness is simply a challenge, not a dealbreaker.
In addition to hiking and traveling, I’ve found healing and Zen through meditation and art, so occasionally I’ll be incorporating those subjects as well.
Down The Deer Trail
I travel mainly for two reasons: the first, to immerse myself in another culture, and the second, to go hiking. My travel style is a bit impulsive: I tend to pick up and go somewhere with little to no research ahead of time. As long as I know what the weather will be like, I can figure everything else out along the way.
My hiking style is very similar - if I have the basics, and know approximately how long I’ll be out, any other challenges I can tackle as I go. It’s maybe not the most organized way of exploring, but I like it that way; thinking on my feet forces me to adapt and evolve in double-time, and I thrive on the challenge.
The advantage to planning on not planning is that it gives me the freedom to go where I choose. This means, if I want to dart down a little side path and traverse a barely-visible deer trail, I can. Maybe the path disappears and leads me nowhere; maybe it leads to an incredible vista I wouldn’t have otherwise seen. If I want to wander away from the main strip of a city and meander through the residential areas, I can. Maybe I find nothing of interest; maybe I stumble upon a hole-in-the-wall cafe with the best food in the county.
The thrill is in the mystery. So, come with me down the deer trail, and let’s discover what there is to be found.