Cape Split on a foggy day in June.

I’ve always been a wanderer. As a kid I’d follow the bigger kids or adults into the woods and along babbling brooks in search of adventure. Some times we walked a short distance on well-beaten paths; other times, we bush-wacked our way deep into the forest where we set up tents and spent the night.

The more time I spent in the woods, the more I wanted to be in them. The older I got, the more I went off alone. By the time I was 16, I was wandering for hours alone in the forest. By the time I was 19, there were days I’d be gone eight hours. Just me. Sometimes a dog. Most times not. I took nothing with me, not even water, a compass or matches. I never feared the woods; it made me stronger, more independent.

Like everything in life, not everyone goes on adventures or into the woods eagerly. Sometimes they are asked and feel obligated to tag along. Other times, they’re coerced, such as siblings and children, because they are forced to experience the outdoors or they couldn’t be left alone.

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