Like the majority of the working world, I found myself getting tired of my daily routine and was looking to reset my battery. I knew I wanted to do something different, but I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for.
Growing up in the Midwest, “vacation” in my family meant lying in the sun on a patch of sand all day.
Then, while mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, I stumbled upon a gorgeous picture of the Zion National Park. I tracked down the IG handle and looked them up online; Have Fun Do Good, ‘adventure through the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell. Payment plans recently added.’ And that was it; I’d never thought about anything less. I made my first payment and booked my flight within 15 minutes of finding HFDG. It felt so good to be spontaneous and unsure of what possibilities that August volunteer travel trip could bring.
Then, the second-guessing set in….
The thought of a hiking-heavy vacation worried me a bit. I mean, I’m good for about 20 minutes on the Stairmaster, but unstable rocks?! Dry heat?! Critters?! Throw in a bunch of random strangers judging every panting breath was enough to keep me anxious for a while.
But, the photos on the HFDG site made me eager to explore these new places, and ultimately, I (obviously) over-estimated the Bear Grylls-style hiking we would be doing. In truth, all my concerns were immediately put to rest when I was greeted with a hug the moment I met the HFDG team. So, I hopped in the van (with 10 strangers and one friend from Chicago) and we set out on our first leg of travel.
While we drove across the desert and got to know one-another, the crew explained what we’d be in for the next few days. Despite being a self-proclaimed “go with the flow”-er, I figured having a rough itinerary created for me would likely be the best use of my time, especially considering I had never been to this part of the country before. This was why HFDG ended up being such a great fit for me; we had a loose plan regarding what activities we’d partake in, but the team was incredibly open to suggestions and flexible based on the interests and energy level of the group. What was to follow would not only “reset my battery,” but also leave me with much more to be thankful for in my nostalgic, “sad-it’s-over” post-trip state.