I’ll be the first to admit that talking to strangers is a skill. Wanderlust offers a safe environment to reach out to folks you don’t know for some in depth conversations on things you have mutually in common, or perhaps, don’t. I decided coming into my first experience at Wanderlust that I’d love to connect with some participants and what brought them here to this amazing shared experience. Want to make some new friends but don’t know how? Don’t hesitate to check out Wanderlust blogger Andrea Manitsas’ awesome tips on talking to strangers in her piece: 8 Ways to Connect at a Wanderlust Festival.
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Wanderlust Wanderer: Mountain Momma Bethany
Hails from: Minneapolis, MN
Arrived via: Foot (yup)
Yes, you read that right, Bethany, who is currently going by her “trail name” Mountain Momma, came to Wanderlust on foot. She may be the only Wanderlust participant to ever hike into the festival. Since April 15, 2014, this Mountain Momma and her one-of-a-kind custom backpack named “Pink” have been hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (or the PCT for short), which stretches 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada.
I met Bethany when she decided to join the Bollywood Dance class on a whim, originally scheduled to head to another class. Her energy was infectious. “Everyday I’m SO happy! I just love being outside!” she exclaimed to me.
Before embarking on the trail, Bethany had an inkling that she’d love to participate in Wanderlust Squaw, but unsure of whether or not she’d get here in time, she decided not to get her hopes up. The stars aligned and she found herself hiking through the Desolation Wilderness at exactly the right time.
At home, Bethany is a certified yoga instructor and she’s been known on the trail to hold impromptu yoga classes for her trail mates. Bethany is excited to participate in a yoga inversion class while here at Wanderlust because her body has changed while hiking on the trail.
“I didn’t think that walking and hiking would help my yoga: my flexibility, my strength, my endurance is all at peak performance. I’m the fittest I’ve ever been in my life.”
Bethany plans to leave Wanderlust and hike 25-30 mile days with 7 days off in order to finish the PCT by mid September. You can follow along on her adventures on Instagram.
Lauren Lindley is a Tahoe-based traveling photographer. She is an adventurer and athlete claiming the following to her sports resume: runner, swimmer, cyclist, snowboarder, and sometimes climber. Lauren is a music lover, prolific reader of literature, and the only bottle of wine she doesn’t like has the word Merlot on it. Lauren is also a firm believer that guacamole is an all the time food and when she’s not doing athletics, you’ll probably find her on the dance floor.