Darley was headed to Wyoming and looking for a local guide to show her around one of my favorite places, Vedauwoo.
Her email came at a time when I was searching for a way to breath new life into this website.
The day of our big hike arrived and I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Would Darley be cool and down to earth?
Would she ask me hard questions?
Would it be awkward hiking knowing that a microphone would pick up every word I said and a cameraman would follow our every move?
But Darley had this incredible ability to put me at ease, to listen as I told her my story and to ask questions as we hiked together.
I started my morning hiking with the Little Laramie Hikers at Lake Owen and ended my afternoon hiking with @darleynewman, host and producer of Equitrekking & Travels with Darley at #Vedauwoo. Such a fun day doing exactly what I love to do, wandering around the wilderness. Thanks for coming to #Laramie, Darley! #justtrails #takeahike #laradise #laramie #wyoming #wyoutside #wyominglife #pbs
After our hike I had a new idea.
I realized the direction that I need to take Hike Like A Woman and I figured it out while hiking with Darley.
You see, she is the star of Travels with Darley.
She does all the work setting up interviews, she prepares for each interview, she’s on camera, she edits her own video, she’s amazing.
Her name is in the title of the show.
But her own show isn’t about her.
It’s about the places she goes and the people she meets.
I realized that I don’t want this website to be about me.
I want it to be about my readers.
I want it to be about the places you go.
And the people you meet.
And the adventures (and misadventures) that you have.
I want this website to be something bigger and better than me, I just never realized how to do that until I hiked with Darley.
So what’s new?
116 women applied to become HLAW Ambassadors.
I’ll choose 25 of them to share stories on the website with me next year. A few will get access to free gear for gear reviews and other fun stuff. They’ll also be invited to join me on a backpacking trip during the summer of 2017.
I’m basically turning over the blog to our Ambassadors and playing more of an editor-in-chief role than that of a blogger.
But, after spending a good chunk of the morning reading Ambassador Applications I’ve realized that there is too much talent, motivation and inspiration out there to stop with just 25 Ambassadors so I’ll be asking several others to join the team as Contributors.
If you’ve applied stay tuned as I make my final decision for both groups…it’s not gonna be easy but I think moving to a more community-based website with more contributors is exactly where we need to go.
To continue to build our tribe of awesomeness we’re also going to start having regular google hangouts, twitter chats and facebook events hosted by me, our Ambassadors & Contributors on a regular basis starting in September. I think this will be a fun way to get to know you all a little bit better.
The bottom line is this.
I want (and need) different voices, diverse opinions, and crazy new stories on the website and I think we’re on the brink of something totally kick ass.
It’s not about me anymore. It’s about YOU!
But first a disclaimer.
Except for the #takeahike challenge it’s going to be quiet around here until August when I introduce our Ambassadors. I’m going to redesign the website to make it feel more like a community. I’m not so awesome at that so you can expect technological glitches.
But when it’s all said and done and we’re all redesigned and functioning I think it’s going to be pretty amazing around here.
So thank you, for sticking around with all of the changes.
Thank you for putting up with my wild and crazy ideas.
Thank you for applying to be an Ambassador.
And thank you for sharing your stories and experiences with me and our community.
Here’s to the rest of an amazing summer and new adventures in the future!
p.s. A special note for gear companies and outdoor brands.
I’m looking for companies (who don’t make crappy gear) to sponsor our Ambassador’s by providing products for reviews and giveaways in exchange for a lot of social media love, honest feedback on your products and a sidebar ad listing you as a Hike Like A Woman Ambassador Sponsor. I have a few brands lined up but I’d love to add more to the group. Are you interested? Drop me a line, rebecca(at)justtrails(dot)com.