I’m really excited to announce the newest dates for Let’s Go Out(side), here in Humboldt County, CA. You and your buddy are invited to join me for a day of play amongst the redwoods in the Arcata Community Forest on Saturday, March 16th and Saturday, April 20th! Click here for more information.
This is my favorite workshop to lead because it’s a super intimate experience, and honestly it’s just plain fun! I first put it together after doing a lot of the activities with my own partner on various dates. It’s an experience I want to share with other couples, friends, coworkers, etc.
In late winter of 2017, I was living in a gorgeous little studio apartment in Coloma, CA and working as a Naturalist at Coloma Outdoor Discovery School. I had only been there a month, but I felt like I already knew all 450 people in town– the local bar, the little coffee shop, the quiet trails. The gnarled oaks looked like the sentinels of my hometown, but the rolling hills were undeveloped and as wild as my nature. It was home before I even put the word to it. “Serendipitous,” is what I felt, over and over again.
But there was still a lot of uncertainty– I had moved across the country for a relationship that had never really existed outside of extended vacations, phone calls, and care packages. Sure, we had lived and worked together for a couple summers, but real life was quite different and I could tell Caleb wasn’t so sure about it. He lived up the windy country roads in Placerville, where he was working an Americorps term with a nonprofit that restores parts of Eldorado National Forest. It was his first time living outside of LA, and Placerville’s dark gold rush history and rough and tumble ways was oddly charming. On the weekends we got together on actual dates, switching off between his new “big city” (of 15,000) Main St. and my sacred river town down in the valley below.
Let’s be honest, dating is weird! Especially when you’ve already gone over the starter questions: Where is your favorite place in the world? What are your friends like? What are you passionate about? Are you close with your family? Who are you??? So beyond the getting-to-know-you dates, what’s the point? It turns out, you still need dates to get to know your relationship, to figure out how you communicate and interact, and at the heart of it all: how you have fun together!
We went on hikes on Murphy’s ridge, to Open Mic’s at the Cozmic Cafe, we played chess in every coffee shop with a board, and we danced to 70s hits in our bathrobes. It was the second honeymoon phase– beyond the getting to know you and into the getting to know us. And we had so much fun!
One cloudy afternoon we stopped at Henningsen Lotus Park to check out the flooding. That winter was one of the wettest on record for Northern California, and Coloma’s founder, the American River, truly ruled the valley. Trees larger than semi trucks rushed through town and washed up in yards, parks, and roadways. It was remarkable to watch it all during, and after. That day, the trails at HLP were blocked by driftwood. “Danger” signs were posted past the parking lot, and even that was a small lake. We were the only ones out, splashing in the puddles and watching the river rage by.
I told Caleb to close his eyes, and I took his hand. I guided him through the puddles and over the wreckage to a young beech tree. I guided his hands to the tree and introduced him. A short while later, I brought him back to where we started and then asked him to open his eyes and find his tree. This was always a fun, but chaotic, activity to do with kids. But with an adult partner it felt more intimate and incredible than ever before. So much trust and depth in connection. I closed my eyes and was introduced to another tree– a grey pine.
This was the beginning for Let’s Go Out(side), but it finally came together at Warren Wilson College, when I led a group of college students through a journey of love, nature, and play. I have since led Let’s Go Out(side) at a Women’s Gathering in Virginia and for my family during the holidays.
The game we begin with is actually the same game Caleb and I played at camp the first day we met– and let me tell you, there is no quicker route to connection, laughter, and fun than this game! (In my humble opinion, anyways!) I’m really excited to keep sharing this adventure with new and old friends. We could all use a little more play in our lives. I can’t wait to go out(side) with you! Join me in the redwoods this spring!
Saturday, March 16th — Celebrate the coming of Spring from 1pm to 3pm in Arcata Community Forest. RSVP on facebook or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Walk-in’s welcome (space permitting). Suggested love offering: $20/couple.
Saturday, April 20th — Earth day is coming, let’s go green outside! 1pm to 3pm in Arcata Community Forest. RSVP on facebook or by emailing email@example.com. Walk-in’s welcome (space permitting). Suggested love offering: $20/couple.
For information on booking private workshops and events please email firstname.lastname@example.org call Nadia at (805)660-2501.