What I Discovered During 6 Weeks & 5,000-Miles

in North America

I found myself traveling 5,000 miles from California to Florida, camping in a multitude of my country’s beautiful parks along the way. It involved endless days of hiking, sight-seeing, and a lot of learning. Here is what I discovered on those 6 beautiful weeks and 5,000 short miles:

Before 2015, the most camping I’d ever done lasted for an entire two days. Granted, it was a backcountry experience trekking through Mt Haleakala. My friends and I have learned much since then like how great of a difference it is to invest in lightweight supplies. I mean, we packed a nearly 25-pound tent and a hefty store of canned goods!

Still, I consider my level as a camper novice to the highest degree. Even with a few more camping excursions under my belt, I refuse to think of myself as an expert. I’m a beginner at best. We all have to start somewhere, and there is always something new to learn.

In retrospect, this post merely covers the wealth of knowledge (or discoveries) I walked away with.  There are but few moments and monuments in life that are truly sublime. For the first time in my life, I’d witnessed one. I felt closer than ever to who I was as a young girl. I felt things I haven’t felt since my childhood—feelings that, I assumed, disappeared with my youth.

Out there, I grew a deeper appreciation for nature and for myself. I’d take none of that back.  But those are a completely different breed of lessons worthy of their own narrative.



Erika is a writer and content creator exploring the globe boldly and slowly one destination at a time. Her travels and rich upbringing as an Asian-American fuel many of her stories where she endeavors to write about the human condition. Although she might presently call NE Florida home, her heart remains listless for her home in Maui. She is an advocate for "experiences over possessions," a Marquez fan, and a self-proclaimed introvert.

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