A Hippy Reignited.

You might be wondering how travel relates to sustainability especially with the affects fossil fuels have on the environment, I mean airplanes aren’t helping! But if you love to travel, then you love the World. I felt like a hypocrite saying “I loved Mother Nature” and yet still planning to take trips to see the World. The places I love the most are places that require more fossil fuels to get to.

So I comforted myself by thinking ‘It’s hard to find anything in this World that isn’t harmful to the environment’. The problem is, that’s a lie. There ARE options… there’s actually a lot. Once you begin truly looking you’ll find more than you could imagine! The World outside of America has been fighting against climate change for a while. Being ‘green’ isn’t a new concept. In fact, most of the West Coast of the USA is environmentally aware and green, too. The problem is America is HUGE. I’m from the East coast and before I exposed myself to this lifestyle- I didn’t really know I could make a difference. I’m getting ahead of myself here… Vacations are awesome, but it wasn’t until I started traveling solo that I was really traveling- going on trips for more than 2 weeks.

The sun sets at Joshua Tree National park- beautiful gold sunburst shines through a joshua tree silhouette.

I started living to travel and not traveling to live.

Traveling allowed me to connect to nature; it brought me back to my roots. I connected back to myself without restrictions or pressure from society. Of course I went to major cities and met new people, I like experiencing that, too. I was born in DC and raised in the surrounding areas. Life is fast on the East Coast, there aren’t a lot of escapes around here. I would escape by going out with friends- I love a reason to dress up. I am a stereotypical American woman.

In the end my favorite places were away from all of the noise. I found myself drawn to places of solitude- for me this was always in nature. I’d visit National Parks whenever I could! I would find solitude and similar people while I was connecting to Mama Natch. I found myself actually getting angry at people who didn’t care about her- then I realized while I might not throw my trash on the ground, I was contributing to the problem in my own ways.

…I still do- I’m evolving.

photo of me sitting in front of a van at my campsite, campfire- splintting wood with an ax for kindling.
Photo by Jair Flores

As a kid I ran around in the woods all the time. I was in nature ALL THE TIME, then we moved. I was still a kid and I was always outside but my curiosity changed; I was interested in boys. I was in middle school and all of a sudden I started feeling like I needed to be more ‘girly’. I didn’t realize I could be me and be feminine because advertising didn’t show that. So I lost myself in a time of transformation when I didn’t really understand what marketing was.

I continued traveling with my grandparents- but the only nature involved would be beaches. Eventually I went to college and long story short… got into marketing and economics. This allowed me to start understanding how marketing worked for products and services- but I still didn’t truly understand the impact on lifestyle created by advertising. I just knew how it worked- not how it impacted society as a whole. It was confusing because economics was common sense to me. Economics taught me about how the business cycle works… businesses adapt and evolve or otherwise become obsolete. What that means is, if we want changes we need to use our dollars to vote. Companies will adapt to the market and the market is run by US! I’m so happy to share with you all of the companies already evolving and the ones working on long term fixes, loop cycled practices, etc.

It’s a lot to understand all at once, its complex. I explain this on a more personal level here. I graduated in 2012 and am still having epiphanies about how it all works. On the surface, it’s simple and I think the way I explained it above is an easy concept to see. I’m finally seeing a lifestyle image shift, I’m seeing the cycle happen in a way that is beneficial to a cause that means something to me. It’s not just added competition to gain more options and better prices anymore. If you didn’t think 1 person could make a difference, think again.

I’m seeing the people transforming the market and not the market transforming the people.

It’s a movement.

Kaitlin

A traveler who has allowed the World to show her that extreme posing beliefs are necessary to find the sweet spot that is revolutionary. Because life is too complex; it’s a balance of black and white; we need to blend the two so we can live in the grey space of an Open Mind. Currently finding a balance in exploring the World and being sustainable everyday.

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