Taking time to explore

The end of the semester always catches me off guard. Especially this one. The past five months appear to have vanished into thin air. Deadlines for research proposals are just days away, the stack of ungraded assignments sitting on my desk is at its tipping point, final exams are rapidly approaching, the AGU fall meeting is only weeks away, the paper I am trying to publish is getting pushed farther to the bottom of my to-do list, and on top of all that I am working on applications to graduate school yet again – this time to pursue my PhD.

Even though I am currently experiencing mental chaos, it is during times like these that it is most important to take time for yourself. Today I chose to get outside and explore a new chunk of wilderness – the continental divide trail near Grants, New Mexico. The snowy peak of Mt. Taylor beckoned me, and I decided to defer my mountain of work and breach the limits of Albuquerque to explore a mountain I had yet to visit. The clear skies, the fresh air, the vantage points that look out hundreds of miles, and the density of quaking aspens and ponderosa pines worked together to provide an unrivaled experience of indulging in nature. It was the perfect way to clear my mind in preparation for a demanding week ahead.

IMG_0947When given the opportunity, #OptOutside.