Connecting with Life Through Active Adventure
Active adventure brings a special connection to nature, between people and with healthy living. A Grasshopper team member for just over two years now, all of these elements are a top focus for Christie. When she’s not designing our promo materials, she’s searching for the next adventure. Christie shares what connecting with life through active adventure has meant for her, and what’s up next…
Aren’t we supposed to slow down over the years? Much in contrast to what I once thought 40 would bring, my love for an active, adventurous life has only grown. Each decade has opened new doors for exploring and more amazing people to share it with. Even as we struggle through a worldwide pandemic, I can feel the same eagerness as people everywhere anticipate the day we can all get out.
Cooks Forest, Pennsylvania
“Get out!” My mom would shout those words in the most loving possible way on summer afternoons. Whining through our chores, my siblings and I argued and fought and drove her crazy, eager to get outside. My love for active, outdoor adventures started young, exploring the woods around my little suburban Pittsburgh home. We imagined spaces as clubhouses, climbed trees and cycled to the 7-11 practicing ‘hands-free’ balance. Summer holidays with the family were spent camping deep in Pennsylvania forests, hiking and fishing. Of course, I never considered that being outdoors was also a “healthy choice.” I only knew that I enjoyed it immensely.
Adventures with my daughter
In my 20s, I had a very focused reason to plan outdoor activities — my daughter! Adopted at age 5, this beautiful little being was eager to play and explore outside. I wanted her to experience the excitement, reward and healing qualities of nature that I felt. Weekend outings found us cycling on trails, hiking through forests and boating on lakes. During overnight canoe trips we paddled in the day and camped on small river islands in the evenings. The sheer magnitude of the night sky was incredible to her young eyes… and to mine.
Cycling in the Cambodia countryside with friends
My life experiences didn’t venture far from Pennsylvania until my 30s with a move to Asia! Graphic design is my profession and has always given me flexibility in work, and a broad range of clients — including one that introduced me to Cambodia. Immediately I fell head over heels with the fun-loving, respectful, living-in-the-moment qualities of the Khmer culture. Their innate spontaneous innovation and creativity inspired me to teach design here and it was here we enjoyed more frequent cycling. The many long, flat roads make for easy morning sprints and commutes to work and school. The rich and woody Angkor forests beckoned us, emanating an ancient energy with temple ruins and gentle pathways throughout.
Snorkeling in the Gulf of Thailand
Asia gave me exposure to many new natural wonders! I’ve trekked through rainforests of Northern Cambodia, camped by waterfalls and volcanic rock formations, snorkeled and kayaked the Gulf of Thailand, Hong Kong and adventured Bali.
Hosting the Mekong Bike & Boat tour, Udong Mountain
It was here in Siem Reap where I came aboard the Grasshopper Adventures team, first as a graphic designer and then a tour host for our Mekong Bike & Boat adventure! Such unique memories, exploring the Mekong from Saigon to Siem Reap with small groups of active world travelers. We cycled every day with our charming ship cruising alongside, much like a floating hotel! I truly cherish the individuals I spent so much time with, their fascinating stories and the many interests that were shared.
Pennyslvania Autumn walks, trekking in Cambodia’s Virachey National Forest & cycling the Angkor temples
Now, in my fourth decade of life, I couldn’t imagine it without a steady influx of daily activity. That could be yoga at home, cycling a local trail, or enjoying some new excursion during my holidays. Visits to the US include at least a few mother-daughter hikes and cycling adventures. Indeed, C-19 has taken a painful toll on many people. However, I can also see a renewed sense of personal health awareness and a yearning to explore — far beyond the front yard.
Northern Lights in Yukon, Canada
I watched excitedly as Grasshopper launched its newest tours in North America and Australia. The smells of pine forests, winding rivers and crisp cool air fill my mind. I feel the promised adventure of so many new lands I’ve yet to explore in the vast and beautiful USA and Canada. Like many, I look forward to traveling again and the treasure of sharing life experiences with great people.
Whether it’s an adventure through the forests, the coasts or a bit of both, Grasshopper has built unique tours for all of it. Check out our North America tours in Maine, Alaska & The Yukon, and Florida to learn more.