Jenny Bruso's foray into the great outdoors started in an unlikely way — she was just trying to impress her partner on one of their first dates.

It was 2012, and the pair took a hike through Portland's Forest Park. Bruso, who identifies as fat, femme, queer, and a former "indoor kid," was curious about the hobby her partner enjoyed and also wanted to seem outdoorsy and game for a good time. While her first hike was challenging, she says it opened up something inside her she couldn't ignore.

"Something kind of magical happened, and I found that there was this part of me that was very intrigued by it and enjoyed it, and I wanted to do more of it."

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At 19, Patrick Joseph Falterman left his life in Houston to realize his dream of exploring the Amazon.

Falterman sold everything he owned to purchase gear and began hitchhiking to the Amazon on an incredible journey. It ended up taking two years to complete and changed his life forever. Along the way, he saw unbelievable things, met fascinating people, and yes, got into some trouble now and then (which he freely admitted). The point is that he took a chance and was rewarded with a life entirely different from the one he left behind.

In turn, he rewarded the world with an account of his adventures, complete with hitchhiking guides and detailed anecdotes that read more like a thrilling novel than a blog.

Unfortunately, in September 2016, three years after achieving his dream of reaching the Amazon, Falterman was killed in a plane crash, leaving only the stories of his travels behind.

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Want to jumpstart your creativity and brainpower and feel more alive?

Raises hand. Wouldn't that be nice?

Studies suggest a way to do just that: No, it's not by drinking copious amounts of coffee. It's by going somewhere else. Get out of here!

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Everyone feels like they missed out on something as a kid.

Maybe you never got the Sweet 16 party you always wanted or never got to go on the glamorous family vacations your friends were always taking.

Eventually, though, you grow up, you move on, and you tuck those loose ends away.

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