Friday, January 31, 2014

2014 Enlightens Me With Changes!


Where do you begin when everything has changed?

People collect strange things, like coins, habits, and friends. I collect mountain peaks and photo albums after every trail I've hiked on. It's a childhood habit originating from an evident lack of "stuff I'm not supposed to do because I'm an Asian woman, but it makes me feel important anyway."


I've reached my goals last year, which means I have the opportunity to set some new ones this year. In 2013, I moved to a new place that allowed me to live the dreams, shattered my salary, found my love for nature, and took many wilderness escapes. 2014 opened my book of journey with a pleasant trip to Salt Lake City, with a purpose of meeting new people. I love networking, and I love interacting with people, especially the outdoor enthusiast ones.

The weekend in Salt Lake City was quite eventful. It's a nice little town with lots of live music and healthy adventurists. Over the few days course, I didn't see a troupe of naked bicyclists like Boulder. However, I drove among the mountains and did a bit of boutique shopping to finish everything off. Ironically, driving through downtown and witnessing the major event, the OR show I've been hearing all week, were the most experienced aspect of the trip. Think of 2,000 interactive marketers all gathered into one place for inspirational speeches, techie-marketing savvy, and free stuff. It's all about free stuff. Turns out, the internet isn't just a passing fad and there's a lot of awesome stuff happening with it. Keep your eyes peeled on this internet thing, it's a big deal.

A yoga session with live DJ jamming in psychedelic tunes was quite refreshing, especially after being enclosed in a tight-little-car space for 9 hours.


The food has been excellent; there was a band, and surprisingly good Latin music. Three-hour, nonstop, Salsa dancing at a "Best-in-Town" venue turned out to be exhausting. Wouldn't it be cool if we all had thought bubbles above our heads? I hope someone invents that before I die, because it'd make dinning with strangers a lot more entertaining.

The snowshoeing hike on the following morning was spectacular. The event was put together by TetonSports (an newer outdoor company that makes camping gear). The hike was far from strenuous; it was short and sweet. Beautiful scenery is an understatement. I've always been so impressed with the mountains. They're quite big, sometimes snowy and often filled with trees. If you're lucky, there'll be a rushing mountain stream gushing down the rocks with trout cavorting the slippery slopes. I've done sea caving, kayaking, shipwreck exploring, and overlapping waves of the ocean, but my heart belongs to the vertical gain. Much thanks to Shawn, who did a phenomenal job at organizing our adventure to the Donut Falls up in the Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Donut Falls.
The best part about the hike was the people I've met through social networking. These folks are from all over the states, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, and even from Texas. They all came with a bag of adventurous souls. Beautiful spirits and positives make the time spent more memorable. A family who currently resides here in SLC invited me into their home for a night of delicious food, and stories with enthusiasm, optimism and intellect.


Leaving downtown before dawn makes the flickering city lights a  lot more surreal. Salt Lake City reminds me a bit of a rural, upper class town. Only with "Trust Jesus" painted on the sidewalks (except for one, where it was scratched into "Don't trust Jesus. He hates you.") Besides skiing and disappearing in the mountains, I can't imagine what people do here. I don't think I'd make a very good Mormon, after all.

I'm thankful for 2013, for the people I've met, and epic adventures. Innovation has become a currency, although a great deal of wisdom has been passed down as well. Looking back over the past year, I finally have the perfect foundation to launch tomorrow with. Each year, I'm amazed at the memories and possibilities that are revealed. When it's all done, everything falls into place exactly as it should: the good, the bad, and the spectacular. I'm excited for 2014. The year of an ongoing quest for new, interesting friends, the people who cross my paths, things I'll do, and continents to conquer.

Photo Credit to MBybee.