Little Jeep Big World is not just a women community for adventurers. It’s a place to tell our stories, share our adventures, connect with fellow Jeep lovers, and more than anything else, share what adventuring in this captivating world teaches us about ourselves along the way, man or woman. Often times, it is very obvious that this is written by me, Genieva, through my eyes and the way that I see this world around me as a woman who is in love with the outdoors. As I dive more and more into overlanding, off-roading, backpacking, boon docking, and getting into the outdoors, I find a community of strong powerful women from all different walks of life and it makes me want to know them even more.
I see women who beat the odds, who came back from something hard and made it through or even made it into something better, young mothers with little ones who still get out, powerful leaders, CEO’s, teachers, and strong women who are changing the world more than they know and I want to know more about them. I want to share their stories and hear why they go outdoors.
When I listen to their words, I see a theme. I see that getting outside in mountains that take your breath away, in harsh deserts, in towering forest trees so wide you can’t even wrap your arms around them is something more. The outdoors is a place where many of us feel free, empowered, strong, courageous, risky, fearless, humbled, free from expectations we put on ourself and given to us by others. When I sat down with a cup of coffee to flip through Outside Magazine’s all women issue this last month, there was an REI ad (Photo from Twitter #reiemployee) that hit me hard and perfectly described this series.
As you read that, I am sure something jumped out at you. “More ladylike” “You should want to stay home”… But then, those words at the bottom. “These are the voices we’ve heard our whole lives. But they get harder to hear, the farther we go, outside”
These words is where this series begins. This series is called Where the Forest Grows. You see with a forest, it’s already there and moving, but each tree adds something more and continues to make the forest grow little by little. A forest can’t be just one tree, but a group of trees coming together, doing what they’re already doing alone, but together becoming something beautiful.
Just like this, the adventure community is already out there in motion. This series is about creating a space where females can come together and share what the outdoors means to them and making something from that. Here, we will create a place for this strength we find outside to grow. This is where the forest grows. This forest is not just my words, my input, and my interpretation , but these words are built off of collaboration, sharing, and encouraging with our stories as women in the outdoors, by you. I hope that from there, other women read these stories, join us in the outdoors, and thus begin to further grow the forest.
Each week, I will feature a new woman, young or old, near or far and ask generally the same questions to hear what the outdoors is for them. Follow along as we meet these amazing women and maybe you’ll connect with them along the way and join the forest too. For from here, is WHERE THE FOREST GROWS.
For today, I have answered the questions I will always ask of these women, but who knows, conversation may lead to even more. So here it goes:
Bio: Teacher, Amateur Camper, hiker, runner, Jeep lover, sunset noticer.
1. What is your favorite adventure story you love to share when telling others of your adventures over a cup of coffee?
“Hmm. I would hands down have to say the day I first saw the Tetons. We had been driving for hours after about a week of being broken down in the middle of Colorado in the Jeep. We were finally back on the road and ready to see some more sights. Jeremy kept telling me all about the Grand Tetons and how much he could not wait to see them. I kept asking every time I saw a few hills together if this was the Tetons. He just kept saying, “You’ll know.” We turned the last corner and around the bend, I saw these towering spiky snow-capped mountains, clothed in dense clouds with sun rays peaking through at the peaks. I think my exact words were, “Shut up, those can’t be real!” The storm that had followed us from Arizona through to Wyoming was arriving and the weather was getting icy, windy, and it was beginning to rain. We followed an off road trail to find a place to stay for the night. My face hurt from giggling up the trail. There were endless wildflowers, zero people around, and a beautiful show being put on by this storm rolling in over the mountains. When we parked, it began to pour rain and was colder then my San Diego blood could handle. We cooked soup in about five minutes and couldn’t even wait to pour it into bowls. We jumped into the roof top tent, with the pot in tow, and ate dinner looking out over the Tetons and laughing at our out of the pot eating habits and the axe we were keeping close by, “in case the bears came”. This sounds so anti-climactic I know. But the simplicity, the solitude, and man that sunset while enjoying laughs and bundled in blankets with your best friend and pup was better then I could have imagined. Ah. Take me back. “
2. Why is getting outside important to you?
“Getting outside is important to me because it reminds me to be humble. It reminds me that I can’t do it all alone. It reminds me that this world is so big and I am so small on it, yet that makes me feel like such an important part of it. It makes me laugh. It pushes me beyond what I think I can do. It frees me from the pressure I put on myself to be perfect. It brings good people together and gives them something that they share and carry with them forever. It creates stories we can pass down to our children and to others. Getting outside teaches me more and more about who I am and who I want to be.”
3. What is your favorite thing that being outside hiking, camping, exploring, or whatever you love, bring out in you?
“That’s easy…Bravery. I am such a chicken, even though I try to play the tough girl. I am deathly afraid of heights. Good thing God made me only 4 foot 10 inches, because heights is not my thing. It will stop me dead in my tracks where I freeze and can’t move any further. There are a few times in my life where I was trying to be the tough guy or impress a boy and of course they wanted to ride tall rollercoasters, climb tall rocks, or scale on the side of cliff edged trails. It takes everything in me to do it. It shows me that I am strong when I do it. To ride a tall wave and make it out and to see that I can overcome even the fears I put against myself, I leave feeling stronger then ever. The outdoors reminds me that there is so much more to me that I haven’t even reached yet. I recently wrote about the Super Bloom and how we all must have a super bloom waiting right beneath for the perfect rain to make it happen. That is what being outside is for me. Fierce sunsets, powerful currents, tall mountains, climbing the rock and making it to the top when it scares me. That’s where I see what I am really made of”
4. Your number one go-to “You must Visit this place” recommendation.
“Altal Lake, Colorado. The most beautiful, serene, breath taking place I have been. It’s on the back side of Telluride and the lake is icy snow melt. In the middle of July, there are plenty of mosquitos, but these views make your heart skip a beat and makes you feel refreshed. Just go. Don’t ask questions.”
I can’t wait to share stories beside my own. Working to create this series is incredible and full of way more stories then my introduction of my own words, but you get the picture. Tune in next week to hear stories from women other than just me… I can’t wait.