After spending a summer in Harriman State Park, I’ve gotta say, the area is wrongly overlooked. Far more accessible than the Catskills or the Adirondacks, Harriman and the surrounding areas boast comparable hikes and views only an hour outside of New York City. Within and nearby the park there are ample options for all sorts of lodging and activities, from upscale resorts and skiing to backcountry camping and swimming. The Appalachian Trail runs through the park, providing plenty of opportunities to hop on it for a day hike or just leave behind some trail magic for thru-hikers. Driving through the area gives you a taste of the gorgeous views and scenery that populate the region and shows you that you’re never very far from natural splendor around here.
As some of you know, I spent this summer in Harriman State Park in New York. I worked for the Appalachian Mountain Club, a company with campgrounds and lodges at various points on the Appalachian Trail, from New Jersey to New Hampshire. This means that I was able to spend the summer in a beautiful place, surrounded by nature and opportunities for adventure. The experience was one I know I’ll be telling stories about for years and years to come, so I thought I’d start here, where someone might be sparked to do something like this themselves.
A couple of years ago, I published a post about a scavenger hunt my friends and I did in a local mall. Recently, I revamped this idea for a trip my family was taking to Ocean City, Maryland.
The purpose of this site is to make adventure accessible. It’s to help you to incorporate the extraordinary into your life without spending tons of money or taking lots of time off work. In keeping with this mission, I try to avoid recommending purchases as much as I can. After all, I’m trying to keep my own spending to a minimum. However, there are cases where buying something leads you to have more experiences, and is therefore more than material gain. A few purchases I’ve made (or gifts I’ve received) have, in my opinion, been worth far more than their price. Therefore, I believe these items still fit within the mold for recommendations I make here. These things continuously bring more value to my life than the money spent on them did.
The same summer I went vegetarian, I quit soccer and joined the cross country team. The two events were unrelated, but at soccer practice they talked about how I’d “changed.”
Little did they—or I—know that the transformation had barely begun.
I can’t be the only one who looks forward to summer as a season of free time and enjoying the outdoors, a time to better myself and take on exciting projects, but finds myself mid-July with nothing to show but an iPhone with depleted battery life.
When it comes to traveling on a budget, I’ve relied heavily on several resources to make my plans into reality. Many of the resources below have been mentioned in some of my other posts because they became integral to a particular trip or adventure. I highly recommend checking them out if you’re planning a trip anytime soon.
One of my best friends and I have been trying to plan a road trip across Pennsylvania for three years. We’d seen and heard about must-see places in our home-state and had collected ideas for our trip. But each summer, cars or jobs or obligations kept us in a close radius to home. This year, despite the fact that we only had about one week that we would both be home, we were determined to make it happen.
Today I want to share a little thing that has been making me smile recently. I hope that you give it a shot, and that it brings some simple joy into your life as it has to mine.
As soon as the prospect of summer break comes into view, the wheels in my head start turning. Entire months where I am unbound by the structure of school and have the opportunity to fill my time according to my choices (provided, of course, that I can also make a decent amount of money for school)! Even with parameters, summer always looks to me like a wonderful opportunity to for fun and for growth.
Thanks to the help of some friends, TONS of applications and emails, lots of planning, and a bit of luck, I am so incredibly excited for what I have planned this summer.