Born in Seattle, Shoestring Warrior Sam moved to Los Angeles to study and become a psychiatrist. Raised in a strict religious environment, he discovered a deeper connection with himself through nature.
Nature and meditation remind me of who I am and that my purpose is to be fearlessly me. I believe everything I need is within me.
Sam decided backpacking was a great way to get in touch with nature and himself (we agree), so he signed up to join Shoestring Adventures in Joshua Tree to learn some skills before venturing out on his own solo adventures. Get to know more about our friend Sam in the interview below, including his advice for incorporating a meditation practice into your daily life, and be fearlessly you!
Shoestring Warrior: Sam
Playa Vista, CA
What are your passions outside of work?
Yoga, listening to music, playing piano and guitar, basketball, and football
How would you describe your level of camping experience?
Shoestring Adventures Trip Completed:
Tell us about yourself!
I believe each and every person/human being is a unique expression of the divine. Kind of like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle of the face of the universe. I am a unique expression of the divine. A complex soul who enjoys expanding my mind and evolving my soul by trying new things and meeting different kinds of people. I was raised in a strict religious environment but am discovering that I am a free soul. I currently find my freedom most when I am in nature, playing/listening to music, doing yoga, or trying something new.
Words to live by?
Heal myself so I can heal others.
What benefits do you receive in your daily life from practicing meditation and spending time in nature?
Nature and meditation reminds me of who I am and that my purpose is to be fearlessly me. I believe everything I need is within me. So when I’m able to quiet my mind (which nature helps me do), my soul speaks, and my mind doesn’t know the way through this journey, but my soul does, if I tune into it.
What inspired you to try backpacking for the first time?
A few years ago, I had an epiphany that nature is not separate from me, but that I am nature. I decided backpacking is a great way to get in touch with nature and myself. I also wanted to learn how to backpack from people who’ve done it before venturing out on my own.
What advice do you have for Shoestring Warriors who wish to incorporate a meditation practice into their daily life?
Find something that quiets your mind, whether it be music, nature, a creative project. I personally think yoga is a great way to start learning how to breathe. The breath is in my opinion the most powerful tool to keep you present, decrease anxiety, increase energy, and keep you out of your mind. Once you figure out your style, practice! The mind is a muscle, and can be trained.
Congratulations on completing your first backpacking trip with Shoestring Adventures! What was your favorite memory from this trip?
Climbing the rocks to watch the sunrise after sleeping beneath the stars.
What piece of gear did you find to be the most helpful? Anything you’ll add to your pack next time? Anything you’ll leave at home?
Have the backpack fitted before purchasing. I’ll leave almost everything at home next time. Minimalism was something I learned. You don’t need too much out there but I’ll definitely up my snack game next time, including sour worms — that hit the spot after a long walk!
What appeals to you about solo backpacking? Now that you have some backpacking experience, any plans for your first solo adventure?
Solo backpacking appeals to me because I think it would force me to get out of my comfort zone and that’s where I grow. I also think it would help me get in touch with nature and myself more. Yes! My list of places to go keeps growing. For now on top of my list is Yosemite and Big Sur.
Photos © 2017 Shani Leead