look at everything as a learning experience.

On Sunday, the second night of my trip, I did something extremely out of my comfort zone...I went camping. It was a very interesting experience to say the least.

During the day I drove from the Adirondacks to Niagara Falls. I ventured to the Canadian side of the falls because I heard the view is spectacular. I really wanted to take the boat that goes near the falls, but after 30 minutes of looking for parking I had to resort to a 3-hour parking spot. At least that was enough time to collect stories about #lovelustandheartbreak from other people admiring the falls.

After leaving Canada, I quickly realized that I needed to eat something because I had a small breakfast and skipped lunch. It soon became unsettling that it was 5:30 pm...I still needed to find a grocery store and cook myself dinner on the Jetboil [which I didn't practice using].

After checking in at the KOA, I set up my tent with ease. However, cooking on the Jetboil did not go as smoothly. I had purchased waterproof matches before I left New Hampshire. I was able to assemble the Jetboil, but when I went to light the burner, the match lit up like a high-speed sparkler. I panicked a little because I knew that once it got to my fingers it would burn them, but at the same time I didn't want to drop the match and light the campground on fire. I tried to blow it out, but that seem to just fuel it more. I took one for the team, and let the match burn me. I was then left with raw hamburger meat and no way to cook it.

I went even more out of my comfort zone. I started walking around the campground, raw hamburger in hand, with the hope that someone would have pity on me. Keep in mind I was desperate with hanger [hungry to the point that you could explode with fury]. I looked for the first family with a lit fire, hoping they would let me cook my burgers.

I approached this family [David, Freia, and their exuberant daughter] that looked friendly and experienced at camping.

They were extremely friendly and welcomed the idea of me borrowing their fire. I ended up sitting with them for a couple of hours. I learned that they are business owners of the Integral Life Center. The center provides yoga therapy, energetic medicine, and spiritual counseling. David showed me how to properly light my Jetboil, explained the right gear for cooking, and agreed to provide me with a weekly camping tip throughout my trip. Freia taught me some yoga poses that would help ease my body after a day of driving [view the video on Facebook], explained the basics of essential oils, and engaged in conversation about love and relationships. They even let me interview them! This is just one of the positive interactions I have had during my trip thus far. Everywhere I have gone, people have been extremely friendly, helpful, and supportive.

Once it got dark, I went to my tent to sleep, well at least try to sleep. As I was getting into my tent, I noticed there was a man staring at me [he had been staring earlier as well, but this time it was creepier because it was dark]. I was convinced that he was going to come murder me in my sleep, so I slept with my axe, colossal mag light, and cell phone [I have a very active imagination]. I soon realized this was the least of my problems. The thunder and lightning storms started. My tent swayed to the left and then to the right, ready to takeoff into the sky. I didn't sleep very much that night. I woke up around 5 am, and decided to just pack up my tent and move onto my next destination: Cleveland!

I am interested to see how my next camping adventure goes. When learning any new skill, you need to take the risk of trial and error and hope for the best. The good new is that I didn't burn down the campground, was able to put food in my stomach, survived the night, and learned so many new things about camping for next time!

Phoebe Axtman