I didn’t really grow up doing what people consider the outdoors. Things like hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, etc. I’ve only been camping once as a young kid as birthday gift from a childhood friend. I had a blast but I will never forget my Dad asking me something a long the lines of, why would you want to sleep outside when you have a roof over your head? I was just a kid. I don’t think I had any good response.
As many of you may know I was born and raised in the Sunshine State of Florida. I loved growing up in Florida. What some of you might not know is that I was raised in Tallahassee, north Florida. Completely different vibe from south Florida. Instead of palm trees, beaches, and year round warmth picture moss trees, water springs, forest, and literal freezing weather in winter months. I know, doesn’t sound too sexy right? But hey I’ll rep Tally til the day I die. It’s home.
Growing up in Florida everyone expected me to be in love with the beach (which I am) and go to the beach every second (which I didn’t). The reality was the closest beach was over an hour away, going to the beach was a treat. Although, I will forever love the beach my heart is now being torn with the wonders of the forest and mountainous landscape of North America.
I am experiencing a new landscape in a whole new way since living in Minnesota. The view can truly make you pause. Process your presence in the world and the current time. I appreciate where being in the forest/mountainous landscape takes me. My growing love for the outdoors naturally coincides with the start of my sustainability/minimalism journey. The more I wanted to protect the environment and treat the planet better, the more I wanted to experience it. There’s such an appreciate for the outdoors here, since every Minnesotan is deprived of proper love from the sun for 6 months.
Why do I still live here?
I couldn’t be more excited to finally embrace summer with open arms. I am even more ready to get outdoors with my new Allbirds shoes. This isn’t a sponsored post and all opinions are my own. I just want to share an sustainable product with you all that I’m excited about. These sustainable shoes are processed using 60% less energy than materials using typical synthetic shoes. The shoe laces are made from recycled bottles and the packaging is made from 90% recycled cardboard. I also want to mention that they were extremely helpful and responsive to me as I exchanged my shoes for a different size at no additional cost within 30 days. I’m happy to have received these shoes as a gift because my friends knew this item matched my values.
Now over the course of my time in Minnesota, I’ve really ventured out and embraced the outdoors. These images are from a visit to Interstate Sate Park in Taylor Falls, MN and I just recently went to Minneopa State Park with my husband and had a blast. We low key got attacked by flies and were kind of lost but we enjoyed the journey. Plus we got to see bison!But can I be real with y’all? It feels odd to talk about the outdoors as an African American person. It legit didn’t surprise me at all to see just one other brave Black soul at the state park. There’s a crazy disconnect between Black Americans/ African Americans when it comes to the outdoors. The only time I seem to hear Black people, particularly women, talk about nature/outdoors is when we are talking about shea butter or cocoa butter. Don’t get me wrong, ya girl LOVES that stuff.I’m just excited to embrace other parts of the outdoors that I have never experienced before.
What do you love to do outdoors? I am interested in trying new things!