“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” -Bob Marley
Hi! I’m Kristen – hiker, dance floor shredder, and outdoor travel blogger.
I am also a recovering cubical dweller with a background in environmental policy. Less than a year ago, I was living in Washington DC where I spent my days wheeling and dealing in an effort to propel conservation initiatives into the forefront. While I genuinely cared about the issues I was working on, I learned that the whole DC lifestyle wasn’t really for me. The suit, the sterile office environment, the political banter. None of this felt like the real me. I was so unsatisfied.
During this time, the outdoors and music were my strongholds and inspiration.
Listening to music got me through my work day, and when the weekend rolled around, I tried to escape town whenever possible. Whether that be hiking out at Shenendoah National Park or camping on the coast, I lived for my weekends.
I was also reading a lot of travel blogs in my down time. I had been saving my money for a big trip, and one day a lightbulb went off in my head. Why couldn’t I start a blog? I had kept a blog during my previous travels, mostly for fun. Maybe there was a way I could repurpose it? Blogging appeared to be a way I could combine my love for the outdoors with a new career.
So I began to teach myself the skills I would need to run a website. WordPress, Photoshop, social media. All of these things were new to me. Then in April 2014, I did it. I quit my job, moved to Las Vegas, and started my website, Bearfoot Theory (http://bearfoottheory.com), named after the Grateful Dead dancing bear tattoo on my right foot. It was scary, and I’m sure that some people in my life thought I was being reckless.
When I launched, I decided on my blog niche – outdoor adventure for the everyday explorer – and when it made sense I would work in a bit of music using quotes from my favorite songs. Through my blog, my mission has become helping outdoor beginners gain more confidence in their outdoor skills and to inspire the average person to spend more time traveling and connecting with nature.
Since then, there’s been many ups and downs with my blog, including a stint without a regular paycheck. However, things really started to materialize when I got the opportunity to spend three weeks in Belize on a travel writing assignment this past January. I couldn’t believe it. Was my plan really panning out?
Without hesitation, I packed my bags and got on that plane.
And of course, my rugged and waterproof FUGOO Sport speaker came with me. I knew that having my favorite tunes would make those long days on the road or those late nights writing in my hotel room that much better.
Over the next three weeks, I road tripped and island hopped around Belize checking out the country’s best sites, jungle, and beaches. My trip to Belize was both exhilarating and exhausting and gave me a true sense of what this new career path really entails.
One of my favorite days in Belize was when we hired local fishermen named Nolan to take us out on his boat to tour the South Water Caye Marine Reserve. It is the nation’s largest marine reserve located about 10 miles off the mainland, and we had the reef all to ourselves.
Calm turquoise water, palm-fringed islands, mangroves, and thriving marine life – was this heaven?
He drove around from one island to the next so we could snorkel, swim, and of course take lots of photos and notes of our surroundings. I also brought along my FUGOO speaker, and Nolan was so stoked when I put on one of his favorites, Bob Marley. With its 360 degree audio, we were all able to get into our reggae groove, and I felt so grateful in that moment. Cruising through the Caribbean, sun shining, and connecting over our mutual love of music, how could I be so lucky? This certainly didn’t feel like a job.
Other highlights from Belize included kayaking through a freshwater lagoon in Hopkins, waking for the sunrise, swimming with sharks, checking out the Mayan ruins, and camping on top of Volcan Acatenango during a side trip to Guatemala. It was great to have the perfect tunes for each adventure playing along via my FUGOO Sport. And I was relieved I didn’t have to worry about sand, heat or salt water damaging my speaker!
Unlike most vacations, at the end of the three weeks, I wasn’t bummed about it being over. Instead, I was actually excited to get home and get back to work.
I’m not sure what’s next for me, but my trip to Belize made me realize that leaving my job in Washington DC was the best decision of my life. It has helped me to get out of my comfort zone, find my passion, and to live a life that truly makes me want to get up every morning and dance.
A HUGE thanks go out to Kristen for sharing her Belize Adventures with us. Congrats on ditching the 9 to 5 and living out your dream of being a travel adventurer.
If you’re planning an adventure and want to share it here on the FUGOO Blog, leave a message in the comments below and let us know. We’re always looking to share experiences and spread the love of adventure and music.