An Immersion Into The Blue Ridge Mountains

Time really does fly when we’re having fun. I’ve already been home for a few weeks from our road trip to the mountains but it seems like just yesterday I was shivering in a log cabin at this hour, waiting for the wood in an 182o’s fireplace to heat up our home away from home. While I put on a coat to walk my dog (and his coat too), I noticed the frost shining on the ground outside. I remember saying to Leo (my Chiweenie), “Burrr! We’re not in Florida anymore!” He responded with a full body wag. I knew right then and there, it would be another day of exploring and shooting the Blue Ridge Mountains with gloves on!

Can you believe we chose to drive up north and rent a old log cabin in the woods for four days as a vacation? If you know me, you’ll know that’s a shocker. I love the heat and the ocean! I am a Floridian through a through. But a little getaway to the mountains has become our perfect way to experience the beauty of this country, and step outside our comfort zones for a little while. It was freezing, but fantastic all at once. Those four days flew by even though we spent every moment either relaxing and/or in nature.

That’s because time flies when we’re having fun. No matter what that fun looks like, if you are immersed in something organically, if your complete attention is focused, and your whole body and mind are present to what you are doing – you are truly BEING present. Which really means, you are transcending time. Time cannot exist when we are entirely immersed in a fulfilling experience.

Though many individuals and families chose to vacation to tropical beaches and tourist destinations, we live in one of these places! And though I love playing and living in Florida, it is traveling to explore different landscapes and other unique cultures that make life more fulfilling to me. Stepping into contrasting climates and hiking rocky paths that don’t exist where I come from, that’s a vacation.
Driving down windy roads not knowing what’s around the next turn, that’s a vacation.

What is it that makes me crave such a vacation? Maybe it’s knowing that we’re only there for a short time. Maybe it’s knowing that we get to come home to the warmth of the Florida sun. Maybe it’s just that we want to FEEL something different, to remind us of what’s real. To pull us out of our everyday fast-paced lives that fly by even when we’re not having fun. Maybe we travel and explore to transcend time. Whatever the reason, I can’t help but think that you feel it too.

This isn’t just about stepping out of your comfort zone, this is about expanding it.

You have the urge to get out and go. You are curious and want to explore uncharted waters. You having this gut feeling that you need to discover something more. It’s true. Whatever you feel. It’s true. Follow that feeling. Just let it live for a moment. And then a moment longer. Know that however you explore, however you choose to vacation, however you choose to live, it’s that feeling that will drive your choices through life.

So chose wisely! Whatever you do today (and every day) do it with care and grace. Do it with passion and purpose. Do it with your whole mind and body. Be present and immerse yourself in the moment.

When we immerse ourselves in this kind of awareness during our experiences, we can immediately pay attention to our curiosities and encourage our creativity. We do things we didn’t think we could. We say things we didn’t think we knew.

We learn from within. We listen from our hearts, not our heads.

When was the last time you immersed yourself into an experience that made you lose track of time? What did that experience FEEL like? What exactly are those memories coming back? Memories are attached to emotions. Emotions are the language of our feelings. Feelings are language of our souls.

Feel something great every day. Force yourself to try new things. Step out of the comfort zone that you think you have and grow. The easiest way I have ever found to do this is to simply explore. Whether in my own backyard or on a road trip to the mountains, there doesn’t have to be some big plan. In fact, the less of a plan the better. If you are curious, just go.

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