Gaia Founders Married, 3 Years Ago Today

Anna and I co-founded Gaia GPS, eventually got married, and we’ve been married for 3 years today. You hear from me the most as spokesperson for the company, but Anna has always been the technical brains of the operation.

I might never have gone backpacking if not for Anna, and I certainly wouldn’t have founded Gaia GPS myself. Whether you know it or not, if you are a Gaia GPS user, it’s a matter of love, through and through. Here is Anna from one of our earliest trips to Henry Coe, June 2007.

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I’m grateful to Anna for many things, but backpacking was one of her earliest gifts to me. Backpacking changed me as a person – being out there in the wild, with few companions, and a lot of time to let my mind rewire itself. I like to think, overall, backpacking has made me wiser, more patient, and more robust to the world. And in general, I get three distinct effects from each trip, which I love:

  • Feeling Uncomfortable – I like to feel uncomfortable – the heat, the blisters, the hard sleeping pads, and the crappy food. I like it, because in the woods, I don’t notice. And when I get home exhausted and aching, I do notice how cushy and easy and nice my actual life is.
  • Clear My Head – Two days without email, instant messages, phone calls, and responsibility makes your brain work differently. It has to be 2 days minimum I think – there seems to be an actual physical change after removing myself from civilization for 24 hours, where my entire thought processes open up. It’s a mindset of adventure and creativity. Much of what we built came from long hours of thought in the woods – code gets written in your mind as you lay under the stars.
  • Get some exercise – There’s almost no better exercise than walking uphill with a 40 pound pack. And I feel strong and independent in the process. It’s better than any gym, any exercise bike, any track you can run on, for me at least.

Just thought I’d throw out a couple of thoughts on why I love Anna, backpacking, and Gaia GPS, with Anna and I celebrating our anniversary today,

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