by Troy C. Thomas

The last two years have been an amazing ride. I have climbed some of the most beautiful mountains within Southern California. Yet I cannot recollect the exact moment I fell in love with hiking. But whenever that moment in time occurred, there was a change. A light came on, and caused a change in my thinking and feelings towards being outdoors. It is indescribable. There are so many layers as to why I became so enamored with being in nature. Sometimes it’s the most obvious reasons that would make people go into the mountains. And other times it was a bit more complicated. But no matter the reasons, I still had to go. Hiking became a necessity. A moment in time where it would be just myself and my maker. And the rest of his/her’s perfect creations. Every trip is a new experience. Even if I do the same trail. And no matter how many times you do it, there will never ever be the same experience. And that’s the blessing of it. It will always be new. A new challenge, a new adventure and a new you.

I love my great escapes. In fact, I actually need and look forward to them. For me time stops, and nothing else matters. There are no outside influences. Once you’re on the mountain there are no faux tree cell towers, therefor there is no signal. There will be no “dings” for an email. No alerts for a text message. And there are definitely no phones ringing. It’s just nature and yourself. The sounds immediately make you forget. The world you live in no longer exists. There are distinct sounds that you don’t enjoy in daily life. And that’s mostly due to being caught up in the daily grind of life. The sounds of the wind dashing by you, the trees and mountains are amazing. The birds chirping sounds like chitter chatter. The smell of trees relaxes you. Being outdoors makes you take a few steps back, you instantly become present. An immediate use of all your senses kicks in. With each one being used it helps you paint the perfect picture of your experience. Even with all these things going on, you feel at peace. It seems to be quiet even though there are plethora of noises going on all around you. For once you can hear yourself. Your thoughts are not muffled by the things that clutter our daily lives.

“Hiking exercises your body and your mind, and nourishes your imagination.”
-Ignacio Malpica

The most obvious reason most people decide to take up hiking are the health benefits. You are exercising while exploring nature. There are numerous actions taking place while you’re on the trail. The altitude and inclines cause immediate cardio vascular adjustments, which make your heart and lungs into full drive. And whats even better is that you are breathing in fresh air. Which is a rarity in our daily lives. The city life is convenient, but is not a benefit to our health. The air we breathe is filled with exhaust from our cars, homes and businesses. And we can see the repercussions daily from these things affecting our air quality. More people have allergies and plagued by asthma more than ever. Hiking gives our bodies that much needed break. Our healing occurs in real time. It’s also been noted that hiking can assist in fighting depression, lower blood pressure and has even been found to aid in getting a better nights sleep. Hiking is one of the ultimate exercises. It is a full body workout. It works out muscles from your feet to your neck. That’s a win win situation.


There is something about being in nature that unexplainable. It is spiritual. You have time to appreciate the brilliance of the world. Dissect and observe perfection. And you’re surrounded by it, everywhere you look there is beauty. A wonderful puzzle that you fit into. The colors are so vibrant. The sounds are bold. There is no monotony. Each turn or gaze in a different direction is a one of kind view. It causes a calm excitement. And it’s just for you. You get to have your own dynamic exchange with Mother Earth. I get that feeling every time my boots are planted into the soil on a trail. The experiences were so moving that I had to share them with the world. Especially considering that most people in Southern California don’t realize how close we are to national parks that waterfalls, rivers and amazing wildlife. #HavingConversationsWithTheUniverse came about based on those adventures. The use of that hashtag is due to witnessing or experiencing something memorable. It is my equivalence of therapy session with the Most High. When you have a moment of discovery. Being in nature gives you the time to reflect on ourselves. Listen to our own pure thoughts. There are no outside influences to try to sway you one way or the other. You can just be… You.

Hiking is one of the oldest activities known to man. Exploring land has always been key to our growth. Whether it be for spiritual reasons, new food sources, better weather conditions or simply just for the pleasure/admiration of being in nature. It’s actually a beautiful sight to see a large amount of people taking up hiking. Especially in our day and age that there are so many people that get stuck in their homes for different reasons. Or get caught up in technology. You can see it just by driving through different neighborhoods, you barely see people outside. Even the kids don’t go outside to play. It has gotten so bad that I get really excited when I see children outdoors. It’s that rare. And with the rise in childhood obesity and diabetes we should be on high alert to make the much needed changes, for the children as well as the adults. The first step is always the hardest. And hiking is not an activity for the faint of heart. But it is the best activity to start off with. There are different levels of trails and you can always move at your own pace. So take that first step and find out. See if you start #HavingConversationsWithTheUniverse.


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Troy C. Thomas

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