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Base Camp

Getting Lost In The Right Direction

Wendi Hansen

We are please to feature a post from Wendi Hansen, a forever writer, doer, thinker and lover of all things adventure. When she doesn't have her nose in a book, you will most likely find her getting "lost" in the beautiful mountains of Colorado where she is lucky enough to call home.


Fun fact about me: I am horrible at directions. Like, the absolute worst. My GPS is the end-all, be-all, and not a day goes by that I don’t end up spending eons searching for my car in the parking lot of Target, panic-sweating in the process.

My first ‘welcome to Colorado’ hiking experience, a hike that shouldn’t have been more than 2 hours long, ended up being a 6 hour adventure. Three wrong turns, two loops around the same mountain, a few four-lettered words, and I finally made it back to the trail head. But not without that same panicked feeling.

Getting lost. Not knowing the way. Trying, failing, searching.

I used to think that it was bad thing.

But now? Now I think getting lost is necessary, needed, vital for each and everyone one of us to learn, to grow to experience new and incredible things. After all, some of the best moments I’ve had in my almost 30 years thus far have been a direct result of veering off course and taking the path less traveled.

It seems like we spend most of our lives trying to define ourselves. Every choice we make seems to say something about who we are and how we fit into the world. Then there’s this idea, that after you go on some life-changing trip or have some realization that you can truly “find yourself.” That you’ll just wake up one day and say, “Oh, so this is who I am. Huh. Guess I don’t have to look anymore!”

My advice: Never, ever stop looking for yourself. Keep digging and discovering new things about who you are. Surprise yourself with things you didn’t know you were capable of. Push yourself to be better and try new things just for the hell of it. You might hate it, but you also might really, really love it.

Get lost.

Stop trying to fit yourself into some category or box just to make yourself more understandable to other people. You don’t have to explain who you are to anyone if you don’t want to. Live life on your terms.

And just because you haven’t “found yourself” yet (whatever that means) doesn’t mean you never will, or that you’re any less complete because of it. In fact, I will go as far to say as it’s almost better if you haven’t. Declining to define yourself for the convenience of others is freeing.

Keep discovering things you love and things you hate.

Figure out what you want and don’t want.

Find your passion.

Keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

You should never get comfortable in being stagnant, in the sameness, in the never-changing and familiar. Always keep looking, and just remember that the day you find yourself is the day you stop growing as a person.

- Wendi

Check out her blog at This, That and the Other Thang!