In college, I discovered there was a major called "Wildlife Biology". I was so excited, I called my mom and told her I'd figured out just what I wanted to be. She scoffed. "What are you going to do with that?" she said. I probably would have loved being a wildlife biologist, even if it meant never living in the Bay Area again and never making a whole lot of money. Maybe the politics of it all would have found me jaded and unhappy. Hard to know.
Then I left my college sweetheart to become an outdoorsy girl with an outdoorsy guy. He was outdoorsy, but didn't want the other things I wanted...marriage and a family. It took me far too long to come to grips with that.
Finally, I took a little break from my mid-life existential crisis and went out to find myself in the wilderness again, booking myself with a group of "solo travelers" on a sea-kayaking trip to Wyoming and leaving family behind for a week.
Our three guides were in their early 20s and apparently having the time of their lives guiding kayak trips in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. I can't say I got to know any of them super duper well, but I can tell you how grateful I am to these three.
I'm not sure this trip could have been a whole lot better...at least not for someone in my situation.