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  • Writer's pictureTara Vaughan

To Live Would Be An Awfully Big Adventure

A few months ago I wrote a blog titled “To Die Would Be An Awfully Big Adventure”, well I guess now it makes sense to title this one “To Live Would Be An Awfully Big Adventure”. I wanted to die for so long and tried a handful of times to but now, now I want to live. When I went to the jungle I found a new lust for life and with the help of some very special people back at home between Peru and America I have found my feet again. Peru got me from crawling to walking, actually from bedridden to walking. And the months between Peru and America I have gone from walking to running (riding is more apt as I can't run but I’m not sure that’d make sense…).

I can’t thank those people enough for all of their help; I don’t need to name them, they know who they are.

I’ve been travelling for over a week now, in a land unknown to me, perhaps to many. I flew to New York and spent a couple of nights there with a great girlfriend of mine. It was there that I changed my plans of flying to Phoenix and driving north to Oregon, to flying to Denver and driving northwest.

I then met up with a friend and took the train to his family home half an hour outside of Philly. I stayed there for the night and had a wonderful time catching up with them all.

The next day I went to the airport and I flew to Denver. I have driven 1,045 miles to Idaho, going north to Wyoming first, right up to Yellowstone before heading west into Idaho. Unlike the ‘old’ me, I haven’t planned a single day. Hell, I didn’t even look at the weather when I changed my plans from Phoenix to Denver – turns out Denver, Wyoming and Idaho are cold, too cold even to sleep in my car at night like I had planned to do, temperatures dropping to as low as -4ºC, something I probably should have looked into before booking my flight.

But that wasn’t what this trip is about. I don’t want to think. I want to wake up in the morning, look at a map and say right I’m going here, that’ll get me a few steps closer to Oregon. After about half an hour of Googling, I have a route and a place in mind to stay, with sites to stop off at on the way. I have never been this spontaneous before. ‘Old’ me had everything planned out to the T. Hell I knew what I was doing every weekend for the next six months and I liked it like that. When Hugo left, I emptied my diary. I deleted plans that we had made together. I didn’t want to do anything therefore I didn’t plan anything. Now I want to do things but I want the universe to help guide me. I want to go to places that’ll light a fire within me; I want to meet people that I wouldn’t meet if I had planned to do something. I also want to be alone and not talk to anyone. I can do both. When I was in Sun Valley, I had planned to drive south to Twin Falls the next morning, they’re waterfalls that are bigger than Niagra Falls. I met a man who told me not to waste my time, he said once I’d been there for 15 minutes I’d have seen it and that’d be that. He told me to, instead, keep going north and to check out the hot springs. He drew me a map and pointed out where the best spots were. So that’s were I’ve gone. And it’s magical.

I've written the majority of this sitting in the boot of my car, parked along a river underneath some trees. It is so peaceful here. It has been so peaceful for the entirety of my trip. My thoughts can wonder but in a meditative way I can watch them go by and not allow myself to become distracted by them. I do sometimes go off with them, wondering how things could be different, trying to paint different outcomes but then I remember that there’s no point in looking back trying to imagine different scenarios. Things happened the way they happened for a reason and I may not know what the reason is yet but in a few months or a year from now, I’ll know why.

I am now in Boise, staying with the girlfriend of someone I’ve met out here. Luckily for me she’s down-to-earth and we seem to have things in common. We probably spent a good hour or two talking about hunting in the UK and the US. I told her stories of my season and showed her picture and videos to go along with them; she couldn’t believe how big the hedges are. And she told me all about hunting elk, bear and mountain lions as well as some very funny stories about hiking and hiding food from bears.

I have 353 miles to go of unknown country until I reach my destination in Oregon where a new chapter will begin. I’m excited for this. I’ll be living out a childhood dream of being a cowgirl. I’m going to be cut off from the world and I cannot wait for that break. Don’t get me wrong I love being able to connect to people from all over the world, but I need this time to myself. I need to let go. I need to just be.

The nearest town is an hour and a half away. I’m going to be on a 70,000-acre ranch in the middle of nowhere. There are 500+ head of cattle, I don’t really know anything about cows, I guess I will within a couple of weeks. 30+ horses, I do know something about them, but I am so looking forward to learning the western way, which I know nothing about. And I’m sure there’ll be a few dogs running around that I can steal hugs off.

I’ll reach the ranch on Tuesday and the temptation to reach out to you will be taken away. It’ll be good. It’ll be one less distraction. And I’ll come out stronger for it.

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