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By: Andrea Busche

I have been hearing a lot about “adventure vacations” lately. Snorkeling in Belize. Cliff diving in Oahu. Paragliding in Argentina. Now, I love experiencing the great outdoors just as much as anyone. But to me, these “vacations” sound a lot more like business than pleasure. Passports, rental cars, equipment, licensing, hotel reservations, and airline tickets come to mind. I get exhausted just thinking about it.

Call me simple, but I would prefer to walk the twelve blocks from my home to Lester Park in Duluth, Minnesota. On the way, I can enjoy the crisp autumn breeze on my face, and get my muscles nice and warm for a healthy, energetic hike on the trails. Upon arrival at the Park, I listen to the leaves under my feet, crispy and orange after being drained of their life-giving chlorophyll. I use rustic wooden bridges to pass over several waterfalls, where the rushing sound of the falling water soothes my ears and melts away my stress. There is no need to bring a camera; no still shot could ever capture everything I am feeling right now.

Many species of plants and trees surround me, and fill my senses with the feeling of calm that only the color green can evoke. I can barely see the blue sky now through the thick, dense layer of treetops above. Getting deeper into the forest, I am crunching through the fallen needles of coniferous trees, only occasionally seeing a fallen leaf. Inhale …Exhale.

Hiking clears my mind like no “adventure vacation” ever could. It allows me to experience nature viscerally, and lets it seep into every cell. I forget about the stresses of my life for a moment, and become part of the bigger picture. With that said, I’ll continue my simple Minnesota hikes for now, and leave the big adventures for someone else.

Andrea Busche - Freelance WriterAndrea Busche is a twenty-something writer who works for an electric company by day.

In addition to writing, her interests include reading, hiking, snowshoeing, personal finance, and wine. She and her husband live 3 blocks away from Lake Superior in Duluth, MN in a very old house with their two cats.

Andrea is available for freelance writing opportunities; she specializes in informational magazine articles (any topic – she has covered everything from adoption to zoos), and satirical essays. To contact her with a writing request, please call (218) 391-9568.

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