What if I told you that perhaps all those who wander are, in fact, lost?

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This past weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to go visit one of my dearest friends in Seattle, Washington. We spent four days backpacking through the mountains, sipping on some remarkable coffee, and enjoying life. 

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For me, it was one of those very few experiences that you have in life where you just... get it. There was one particular moment when we were atop a mountain, snow was lightly dancing in the wind, the fog rose over the treetops, it was still... quiet. Then, one peaceful note from a Native flute broke the silence. 

In this moment, I could feel my life shift. I thought, "This is what it's about." Just coming from not only a big city, but a very corporate job filled with compliance and regulation, and frankly a work environment that took such small things entirely too seriously, it was nice to be smacked by a spiritual brick that reminded me: life is simple. Take it slow. Take the time to see the things that surround you, not just look at them.

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My friend, Bridget, shared her driving phrase with me: "Stay Curious".

Don't you just love that? Stay curious. It seems so simple, doesn't it? But when you think of it, a different kind of light begins to illuminate the words. Stay curious.

The world is so large, and there is so much to see. It is a reality that none of us will ever get to see as much as we'd like to in the time that we are allotted, but that's sort of the beauty of it, yeah? Stay curious about it. Stay curious about the things that you haven't seen, and the things that you don't know.

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Life is way too short for us to spend all of our time worrying about trivial things. In the grand scheme of it all, the world is so much bigger than any of us... and the world is just a little speck of dust floating around in space. 

I know, I know. This all sounds like hippie nonsense, but I pose a challenge to you, dear reader: take the time today to stay curious. Learn one new thing. Say hello to a stranger (you might even make a new friend that has an amazing life story).

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On my flight home, I couldn't help but give myself the very same challenge. But, I wanted to take it a step further. 

I have had the fortunate experience of traveling the United States and Canada with my grandpeople, as I call them, since I was a small child. But, this trip was certainly one of "those" trips for me. You know, the kind that the annoying college freshmen comes in to class and tells you how they are all cultured because they drank wine with their family that one summer in Italy? I got on a plane by myself with absolutely no plan in sight, and I went on a life-changing adventure.

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I made myself a simple promise: I was going to bring back this feeling with me. I'm bringing The Pacific Northwest back in my heart. My soul is full. I feel creatively inspired.

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Thank you, Bridget, for my new life motto:

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photography | Nicholas Swatz & Bridget McCloskey

Editing | Nicholas Swatz

Video | Baby Pomegranate Productions