Lessons Learned During My Stay In Montana

Hello!!  It’s me.  It’s good to be back.  Today, I might be writing my favorite blog post to date.   This is the story of how two weeks spent in Montana changed my life.  It’s taken me so long to write this, and I still don’t have the words to fully express my gratitude towards this experience (and the people I met along the way).  Let us explore the lessons I learned, day by day.

Day One:

Sometimes, you find yourself crying on a composting toilet.  Yes yes very glamorous indeed.  It is easy to doubt yourself and the situation.  But if I would have done that, what good would that have been?  I remembered all the scenery I had seen and the little glimpses of the friendships I would soon form.  As I went to bed in the tent, I reminded myself: Things take time.

Day Two:

Step outside your comfort zone.  White water rafting is fun!!  Also, trying to get into a wetsuit could be a start of a friendship.

Day Three:

It’s hard to believe that one of my favorite memories of this trip is singing “You Got a Friend in Me” in the back of a van.  The most wonderful, fun filled moments can be found in the smallest situations.  Backpacking requires a lot of work (who knew) but it’s all worth the little slice of nature you get to call home.

Day Four:

The most magical place on earth goes by the name of Mirror Lake.  It is a place where mountains and crystalline waters and wildflowers meet.  Sometimes, all it takes to get outside of your comfort-zone is Irish step dancing around a group of people while blowing a whistle (you had to be there).  Also, the feeling of community is the best thing in the world.

Day Five:

Alpenglow is enchanting.  That rosy hue set behind the mountain ranges will stay captured in my mind forever.  Friendship brings a sense of security.

Day Six:

Leaving the backcountry is bittersweet.  Hello civilization, goodbye wilderness.  But the ice cream sandwiches from that gas station and the showers (even if they were only for four minutes) were very comforting.  Even though West Yellowstone is kitschy, I still fell in love with it.  I think it will always hold a special place in my heart; it reminded me of my independence.

Day Seven:

Kayaking on the Snake River is very peaceful.  Three moose greeted us on our little adventure.  And when I felt sick, a friend so very kindly rowed me to shore.  People In this world are filled with kindness.  In our little community, we all looked out for each other.

Day Eight:

Horses are majestic creatures.  They let me rest while still showing me the beauty that is earth.  The mountains, rock formations, creeks, forests.  Horses also like to eat a lot.  It takes some effort getting their attention back to the task at hand.  But, who could blame them?  Montana is DREAMLAND for them.

Day Nine:

I think Yellowstone might just be one of my favorite spots on earth.  Watching the power of Old Faithful, learning about fumaroles (?), viewing the multi-colored geysers was pretty spectacular.  And doing yoga by a creek?  Can it get any better than that?  I mean Yellowstone is a pretty magical place.  Bison roam the campsites.  A man from a faraway place gives you freshly baked bread which tastes like a warm cloud.  I learned group hugs fix just about anything.

Day Ten:

Rock climbing is hard.  I learned the importance of doing my best.  Swimming in a chilly river is pretty cool.  Swimming in hot springs with live music is also pretty cool.

Day Eleven:

Ice cream is the best thing in the entire universe after you’ve exerted almost all of your energy.  And, since we are on the topic of food, sometimes all you want to buy is a bottle of huckleberry lemonade and a ciabatta roll.  Pizza fixes just about any heartache about leaving Montana the next day.  Hmmm, I guess I relate day eleven with food.  And when you get back to your campsite (that is now a second home) it’s ok to cry and let it all out.  It shows others how much you care for them.  It’s not goodbye, just goodnight.

In conclusion, I am eternally grateful.  I am grateful for every single person I met, for every piece of scenery I saw, for the opportunity to go on this trip, and for the things I found out about myself.  Okay, I’ll stop now before it turns into too much of an acceptance speech.  Here’s to us sisters, until we meet again ❤

EXTREMELY grateful, maya




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