As outdoor enthusiasts we frequently convene here, in a virtual world, that seems utterly opposite to our passion of the outdoors, but the internet allows us to share and bring together our passion and love for the outdoors. I have "met" and connected with so many amazing people through social media. When I have the opportunities to travel and finally getting a chance to actually meet some of these people in person, it has been a wonderful experience. I recently got back from a trip to Utah where I took a cab from the airport to someone's house who I had been working with long distance for the last year and a half. Upon entering her house it was like walking into a gathering of close friends back home, except I only knew them from the social media world. I felt incredibly comfortable and blessed that all of these amazing connections were finally coming together in one place and in person. In many ways the internet does bring people closer together because it allows us to make friends in a virtual way or stay in touch with old connections that may not live anywhere near where we live. I have been online since I was in middle school, I remember dialing up with prodigy and blocking the main phone line just to experience the internet and chatting via AOL's AIM. Some people say the Internet keeps you from people, but I think it can bring your closer, because you can talk to each other more often and sometimes at a deeper level.
This vehicle for sharing also allows outdoor enthusiasts to share with friends, family and the world the beauty of what is out there to explore. Everyday I am motivated by the photos I see and stories I read online. This brings me the motivation and determination to keep planning my next adventure. I also use the social media world to share my love and passion for all of my adventure because backyard adventures are just as important as far away ones. If you are always envious of other peoples adventures you see online it is important to remember that we only tend to post the best of the best- frequently leaving out the struggle to make things such as the "perfect photo" to happen. But we all go through it and in the end I am stoked when other people are doing rad outdoor activities- even if I am sitting inside at my desk on that particular day.