Yesterday I unlocked a new key to happiness – getting out in nature!   Ok, well, actually, it’s not so much a new key as much as a return to doing something that I love.  I was meant to be catching up with a friend in the early morning to go for a walk together.  We’d planned to hit the trails near me, hike up to the top of the hill, then return and most likely grab a coffee somewhere to continue our morning.  At 8am, my friend texted to say that she wasn’t going to be able to make it.

I’ll admit, I was disappointed – I’d been looking forward to catching up and hiking the hill with her.  For the past few months I have been either hiking the hill alone, or hiking it with other friends.  This year has been a vast change from the year before – last year I was a lot more social – I attended meetups almost weekly and I was really lucky to make some good friends from doing so.

This year has been more about me – spending time discovering what it is that I like to do, with the folks that I want to hang with.

Yesterday was a return to a more social time. Not long after my friend cancelled, I found myself online looking to see if my local hiking group was doing a hike nearby. I was in luck!

I knew that I didn’t want to drive for hours to get to a great location (I do live in one of the most beautiful parts of Australia, so really there is no need to drive for hours to go hiking) and I was looking forward to meeting some great people.  Luckily this group was doing one of my most favourite walks from Sorrento to Point Nepean.  I quickly checked my watch, texted the organiser to say I was coming, packed some water and lunch and I was off to the meeting point.

The irony is that this particular hike with this particular group was where it all started for me when I moved home last year.  It’s such a magical spot – starting in the town that I grew up in, right on the coast.  I had such a great day and met some really lovely people – some of whom I hadn’t seen in a long time, but mostly new people who I hadn’t met before.  It was fun to exchange stories and find out about other people’s experiences and passions.  In a hiking group, the main topic of conversation tends to be hiking or places visited, which also just happen to be two areas that I am well versed in!  🙂

Yesterday reminded me that I do need to get out more.  Whilst I am definitely firmly planted on the introverted side of the line, I do still really enjoy interacting with other people.  It also reminded me that being out in nature is really where its at for me.  I spend the majority of my week behind a desk, in front of a computer, in a stuffy office where my heart yearns for those wide open spaces that call to me as I turn my computer on each morning.  Those wide open spaces will always fill my heart and bring me back to myself time and time again, I just need to remain open to hearing the call.

You, beautiful soul, I encourage you to find your calling – do you love the outdoors like me, is your thing playing or listening to music, or are you a social butterfly who gets your kicks catching up with friends or busting some moves out on the dance floor. Whatever it is, don’t deny yourself the pleasure of experiencing the things that you love.  Go out, be brave and explore – you never know where it might take you!

My key to happiness: Get out, be social and explore nature.