The past two months in Ouray, Colorado, I have thought a lot about the intersection of the natural and technological world. The title of this entry asks the question: “living for whom?”, as it is one that I often ask whenever I have the almost automatic impulse to post something online, after experiencing something in nature.

Me, soaking in the magic at one of my favorite places.

I just got back from an incredible backpacking trip with my brother a few days ago. My typical routine when returning from such trips is to take a day to let everything simmer, then browse through all the photos on my iPhone – culling potential content to post to my Instagram story. This time, however, I felt more comfortable staying in that place where I let things simmer. It is in this place that I am able to integrate such wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime memories that I created with my brother.

It might take resisting that knee-jerk impulse to document everything. I was recently shown a secret local spot by a friend, and it felt both unusual – and liberating – knowing that I wouldn’t share details about the location or its whereabouts. It is perfectly okay, even healthy, to have things that are our own.

To answer the question, “who am I living for”, it will take reminding myself why I do the things I do. Why have I lived as a nomad in 2022? Why do I spend hours behind the wheel on some Fridays, only to live out of a heavy backpack for the weekend? What was it that drove me to move out to Colorado, roughly five years ago?

It’s my most treasured core value and virtue: appreciation for beauty and excellence. For me, this manifests in the beauty of the natural world. It is what fuels powerfully transcendent emotions that give my life its purpose. When I can remember it, I love that I love the outdoors. It is sometimes easy to forget, but behind every decision of mine is this driving force – the appreciation for the natural world. It also does not take being in a National Park, or on a mountain summit to exercise this core value. Nature is everywhere if you look for it.

So who am I living for? Right now I would say me. The next time I start to doubt this answer, I might just pull up this blog entry to nudge me in the right direction.

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