About me

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My name is Mara, and while my friends have spent the last 10 or more years planning weddings and decorating nurseries, I have been planning and taking vacations. When you are 34 and single, sometimes you have no choice but to travel alone, however once you get over your preconceived notions about it you find you might like it better. I generally hike, camp, and backpack, because I am in love with the wilderness, although I am not opposed to exploring a city, especially if it is rich in culture. It is also much cheaper, well if you don’t count the cost of fancy equipment. I don’t always go alone. I have several close friends who are also in love with the wilderness, but if they cannot come, I don’t let that it hold me back.

I started this blog because I hope to inspire you to get out and enjoy life. The more I travel the more I hear from my Facebook community, “I just love seeing all your pictures,” or “I want to live vicariously through you,” so I thought why not share it with everyone. I love taking pictures and my friends who travel with me roll their eyes because I’m always trying to get that perfect shot, even if I’m telling them how to take my picture. In my day job, I am a photojournalist, so yeah I really love taking pictures.

As an Arkansan, most of my travels are instate. Despite my bias to my home state, Arkansas is a pretty awesome place. We have mountains, OK not Rocky Mountains, but some fairly rugged terrain. We have swamps, which are fun to kayak and watch wildlife. We have so many rivers and lakes, I still haven’t seen them all. And many fun and unique towns and festivals.

I have also been fortunate to have been able to travel to many locations outside Arkansas, from Florida to Washington State and many places in between. When looking at the list of places I’ve been, it looks like a lot, but my “places-to-see” list is even longer. So come along with me on my adventures. I hope you find this page useful and entertaining.

5 comments

  1. Mara! I’m Bethannie Newsom Steelman and I know I’ve seen you around before. I finished the LOViT yesterday because of you. I referenced your blog every bit as I referenced my trail map. In fact, your journey journal here became a different kind of map. From Shangri La to Blakeley dam, you kept me going. I’m writing about my hike as well on my shitty Facebook page “Camping in Arkansas.” I’d like to reference your blog publicly with your permission. I’d also like to hang out with you. https://m.facebook.com/bethanniecampsalot/

  2. Hi Mara,
    Thanks for sharing your story! I totally connect! I’m 47 and single since ’99 (throw in the occasional relationship lol). I decided long ago that I would not put my life on hold just waiting for that someone special. I travel quite a bit internationally and over this last year have started pursuing more hiking and will do my first multi-night backpacking in the next couple weeks! I grew up ‘car camping’ with Girl Scouts but never backpacking.
    I can’t count the number of times people ask me “But who are you going with? Aren’t you scared to go (insert place) alone?” And while I too, have some travel partners on some trips, I’m perfectly happy traveling alone. To be honest, sometimes I prefer it! It’s my agenda, my timing, my interests…me me me. 🙂 I’ve just recently discovered HLAW and all the blogs/youtube channels etc associated with the community at large. I look forward to reading your entries and seeing your pictures!
    Again, thanks for being open and sharing your story.
    Margaret Stewart

    • Awe, thank you ☺️ I’m so glad you can relate! A multiple day hiking trip sounds pretty awesome. I’m inching to go! But it will be at least two weeks before I get free time.

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