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.
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,