Ilse ❤️ Winter HikingBlogHiking December 12, 2022
We’re beginning a new series for the the Sunday emails. For this week, a week in January, a week in February, and a week in March, we’ll feature LAC members who have been deeply involved in the LAC over the years and have good stuff to share with us about their own adventure stories. Kicking this off is Ilse Haag who recounts her time as a child in Germany and why Maine is so important to her. Read on:
I moved 14 times by the time I was 17, which is why I consider Munich, Germany and the Austrian Alps my “home”– because that’s where my extended family lives, and they’ve never moved. I now drink my morning coffee from the same mug I used to drink my hot cocoa when I was a kid, I sit in the exact same chair, and I look at the exact same painting, while I’m sitting in that chair 🙂
When my husband, Bart, and I decided to have kids, we moved to Maine, and made sure to stay put. But I knew raising kids in a bubble wasn’t any healthier than constantly moving around, so we started traveling with our kids when they were still babies — they could barely sit up for their first passport photo! It was through traveling that we taught our children the importance of connection.
As much as I love traveling, and have even made it my second career, I believe that a trip away from home is only as good as the home you come back to when your holiday is over. For me, traveling enhances my life and reintroduces me to my true essence, in the context of my global community. When I remove myself from my familiar routines and meet people from other cultures and/or walks of life, I’m naturally in the present moment at all times and that’s when things become clearer. For me, traveling isn’t about checking experiences and countries off a list — it’s about how many kitchen tables I’m invited to sit around where the stories flow. I always come home from traveling with new perspectives, renewed energy, and a clearer sense of place in my world.
And this is exactly how being in nature works for me — my mind, body, and spirit are completely cleansed and reconnected with each other and my *place*!
Since nature restores my soul, joining the LAC was a no-brainer! Challenging myself in the outdoors alongside inspiring women with amazing stories to tell?? Umm… HELL YEAH!
After developing friendships with remarkable women, the second-greatest gift the LAC gave me was winter hiking. I never knew I could feel so alive — talk about the highest kind of vibrational frequency! Winter hiking is 100% being in the present moment. I’ll be forever grateful to the bad-ass women who guided us on those adventures. I love winter hiking so much because I felt completely safe with you. I know how to keep myself safe, and therefore confident, because you taught me how. I know how to recognize my limits, release my ego and turn around, because you led by example. THANK YOU!
Because of the LAC, I now always travel with a Lifestraw, a Kula cloth and a headlamp 🙂 And after years of incredible trail conversations with the extraordinary women of the LAC, I’m able to articulate exactly what’s important to me and share it with the people who now travel with me:
Trusting others and stepping out of our comfort zone brings us back to our Self; when we reconnect with Self and Community, we are unstoppable.
Ilse with LAC Adventure Experts, Stevie and Kelly
Thanks for taking the time to write and share this, Ilse.
Do you remember when Majka Burhardt joined the LAC via Zoom to talk about her climbing and work with her non-profit, Legado? She’s written a book and asked that I share it with you all. Here’s her blurb about it:
More is the real time story of my keeping it together, or trying to, while pregnant and then a mom to young twins, while also trying to maintain my career as a pro climber, have a good marriage, re-parent myself, grow a fledgling international conservation organization I started with climbing and, well, more. Details are available on the Simon and Schuster website. It arrives March 2023.