Alexander Abramson PLLC - March 2020

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Finding My Happy Place

Why I Go Into the Wild

If you know Faith and me, you know we have different opinions when it comes to the great outdoors. To put it frankly, she doesn’t think they’re all that great. And I’m fine with that; it’s healthy for couples to have different interests. Still, I appreciated it when she decided to go to an RV show with me last month in our attempt to try and find a happy middle ground between comfort and adventure we could both enjoy. The outing ended up being a good laugh for the both of us. You wouldn’t believe the sorts of boats-on-wheels they’re selling these days. We saw one RV with a hefty quarter-million- dollar sticker price — the interior was dark wood and gold like a cruise ship suite. But at the end of the day, it was still a box on wheels. If anything, seeing that extreme end of the spectrum made it clear that compromising between comfort and camping just wasn’t realistic. That said, I’m not a huge proponent of the word “glamping,” or accusing people of “glamour camping.” To me, it’s a very relative thing — some would call kayak camping “roughing it,” but compared to some of the backpacking trips I’ve been on, getting to paddle downstream with a cold cooler feels pretty darn luxurious. I’m not here to judge how people choose to experience the wilderness.

It’s funny how the outdoors can have very different impacts on people. The same forest grove that would have me in my happy place would give Faith nothing but anxiety. There’s probably some nature and nurture elements at play here. For me, I trace my love of wild places back to my teenage years. My grandfather had always loved nature, and growing up, I thought I understood where he was coming from. The forests where we would go camping in upstate New York were certainly beautiful. But it wasn’t until I went on a hunting trip at age 15 with my friend Ken and his dad that I really understood what people found so great about the wilderness. On this trip, I wasn’t so much hunting as I was aiding and abetting the hunters. Ken’s dad tasked us boys with going up and over a ridge to

drive the deer toward them. Not the most exciting job, I know, but I took it. Trudging up that mountain in the South Otselic state forest, I began to appreciate how tranquil the place was and how free my mind was to wander as I padded through those trees. It’s a feeling I never got tired of chasing. So, these days, I largely go on solo excursions. Some people think I’m crazy for it, but I deeply love the solitude I can find out in the wilderness. Besides, it’s not like I’m doing anything too crazy — though I did get into a rather tense staring contest with a gator during one of my kayaking trips. But even then, I’d rather be in that 14-foot kayak than a $250,000 RV.

Here’s to our happy places,

–Ed Alexander

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