There’s something funny that happens when you start spending more time outside: what you want out of life changes, too. In this episode Amy reflects on how spending time outside has shifted her priorities, and why her birthday is the perfect pause point to reflect on that shift.

[:45] Have you noticed this about heading outside?

[:55] How it started for me

[1:28] How the mission creep started

[1:54] The shift from time to time, money and energy

[2:30] Why I’m thinking about this now

[3:00] What I used to do

[3:15] What I wanted to now

[4:20] And here’s what’s next

There’s dreaming, there’s preparing and then there’s doing. When it comes to big outdoor goals and adventures, dreaming and prepping take the most time — but the doing is where you get to see if you have what it takes after all. In this week’s Outdoor Diary Amy dives into the race she’s been preparing for all season, why she decided to try the shorter distance instead of again tackling the race she dropped out of last year and how it all went. Listen now.

[:46] A little bit of background on my race

[1:34] What happened last time

[2:26] What I picked instead and why

[3:14] It started like this

[3:40] What you can see there

[4:15] What I was hoping to do

[4:40] What actually happened

[5:10] The sweet reward

[5:20] Tiny little snafu and rescue

[5:35] Zero stars to the burger place

[5:45] Bugs are rude

[6:00] 50 again?

We do our best to roll with nature’s punches, but we’re definitely not ready for this warm, sunny and green relationship to be over. It’s only July, after all. But when push comes to shove, perhaps the ticking clock is inspirational. Listen now.

[:46] My buddies, the leaves

[1:25] What should be happening with my leaves

[1:50] A startling discovery

[2:12] We’re going to talk about it anyway

[2:26] What is “termination dust?”

[3:00] The bad news

[3:11] This brings us back to the leaves

[3:30] What that makes me do

[4:00] Please send good vibes thanks

Things are going summer crazy here at Humans Outside as we milk every hot second we can from the season. That’s why this week we’ve only got two things: one suggestion and one ask for help. Listen now.

[:46] What we’ve been up to

[1:04] A midsummer habit suggestion

[1:43] Why you should spend some cash

[2:25] We really need your help with this

How do you know where a good adventure stops and something that’s just not worth it starts? And can you tell when you’re avoiding something because it’s uncomfortable or if you’re avoiding it because it’s miserable and unnecessary, unrewarding suffering?

Those are the questions Amy is asking this week as she scraps a long-planned adventure while thinking about things she’s done that sound bad but end up being great in the end. So how can you make that decision?

[:45] As you know, I like predictability

[1:05] But sometimes I don’t

[1:25] Another thing to know

[1:40] One of the best things about going outside

[2:20] The problem with all of this

[2:45] What I am not doing while I record this

[3:30] Things I’m considering

[4:00] There really is a line

[4:07] But sometimes it’s not clear

[4:30] This one is really over the line

[4:45] Is there a good answer?

[5:30] The real key

What if instead of a “to do” list you made the opposite: a “not to do” list? Coming up with the things that should go on it is an exercise in self-awareness and the gift of perspective. And where can you really find that? Outside, of course! In this episode Amy discusses how she developed her “not to do” list and why heading into nature helped her make it happen.

[:59] Why this matters

[1:05] A little bit of background

[2:15] The magic of unplugging trips

[2:45] My love of “to do” lists

[3:18] What is a “not to do” list?

[4:00] What belongs on a “not to do” list

[4:25] How I created my list

[4:45] Some stuff Im not going to do anymore

[5:40] What belongs on your list?

It took months of planning, but Amy and her family headed out for a three-day, totally unplugged adventure in a dream Alaska spot: a wild lagoon off the coast in an Alaska State Park. From otters to birdsong, kayak trips to perhaps too many days without a shower, this adventure was a picturesque keeper in Halibut Cove Lagoon of Kachemak Bay State Park. Listen now.

[:45] An important question

[:55] Why we were MIA

[1:25] All the planning for this

[2:00] How we got there and tide problems

[3:05] About the public use cabins in Alaska

[3:45] About the Halibut Cove Lagoon Overlook Cabin

[4:12] Here’s something weird about this place

[4:45] Wildlife center and some wildlife sounds for you

[5:50] What we did out there

[6:05] The 3-Day Effect and how to learn more about that

[6:50] Why these trips matter for me

Happy solstice! Summer solstice is a big deal in Alaska where there’s plenty of reason to celebrate the endless light. But midnight sun is not why Amy celebrates it, exactly. In this episode Amy talks about why the solstice is important to her — and what she doesn’t do on it.

[:45] The first thing you need to know

[1:00] What this means for endless light

[1:35] What I mean when I say I celebrate summer solstice

[2:28] Why I celebrate these things

[2:50] What the solstice means to me

[3:00] (Am I old?!)

[3:20] The patterns it brings

You know how much Amy loves her small town and all the festivals and outdoor events it hosts. Thanks to one of the annual summer festivals, she’s been thinking about the ways nature creates a sense of place, and why that matters to her.

[:45] The place understanding created by going outside

[:55] A reminder that I love where I live (as if you forgot)

[1:39] Why a sense of place matters

[1:55] Lessons from a morning in town

[2:28] What other people have to do with this

[2:53] The emotional connection to the changes of nature

[3:40] The appreciation that drives it

[4:10] The safety of pattern

[4:30] The recent festival that was a reminder of all this