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*Originally published November 8,2020**

How do you put into words the emotions and experiences that you had on a weekend trip with 16 women who started as total strangers? I’m not entirely certain I can, but I’m going to try, so here goes.

I started following Krissy [Cagney] Harclerode about….7 years ago, give or take. I had just started lifting weights and working on my strength & fitness and I stumbled on her page and loved her personality as well as her banging body that was total #Goals for me at the time. She was also brutally honest and hilarious. What I didn’t know when I clicked that “follow” button was that she was fighting so many of her own battles and that 7 years down the road she would not only be one of my biggest inspirations, but that she would also be one of my friends. To say that I’m incredibly thankful to have found her page and clicked “follow” is a massive understatement.

When Krissy first shared that she was going to be the host for some travel trips with TrovaTrip I was ECSTATIC. International travel with the women that inspires me daily?! SAY NO MORE LET’S GO!!! I signed up to go to Borneo in June 2020 and I could not have been more excited for that trip. I was PUMPED! We were gonna hike, camp, see orangutans and sun bears, spend the night immersed in a local village, cross a jungle rope bridge [this terrified me], and SO MUCH MORE, but then the COVID-19 Pandemic happened and the trip was canceled. I was devastated. Luckily, I was able to choose another trip, so I chose Peru in September 2020, but then that trip was canceled as well, so I changed my trip AGAIN and will now be going to New Zealand in October 2021 and I’m so excited. This year, the only travel I was able to [FINALLY] go on was to Zion National Park with Krissy and 15 other women and let me tell you, it was worth so much more than the money I spent.

First, Zion is just gorgeous. The red rocks literally glow in the sunlight and the way that nature has formed these hills and rocks and valleys for miles and miles is just breathtaking. Sure, it’s just rocks and sand, and trees, but they’re untouched. They’re beautiful in their natural state as the sun comes up and gently kisses them or as the moon rises and glows across the parks as far as the eye can see. Simply gorgeous.

Second, we had •MAYBE• one bar of service almost the entire weekend. I barely scrolled Instagram, I didn’t take a single phone call, I think I checked my email twice, most of my texts were ignored, and it was so incredibly refreshing. Unplugging is a game changer. It makes you live in the moment and truly enjoy yourself, something we often forget to do.

Third, it was peaceful. Even when we were being loud and obnoxious around the fire pit with s’mores, it was still so peaceful to be outside in the night with just the moon glow and the fire light. To look up and see the stars sparkle. To hear the snaps and pops of the fire and smell the burning marshmallow’s as everyone made s’mores. You can’t help but relax and just enjoy the time spent together. And the poop stories. So many poop stories.

I made friendships on this trip that I never expected to make. It was 4 days. 96 hours. How can someone make a strong enough connection to form a lasting friendship that quickly? Have a panic attack finding a tarantula in your tent, it creates a bond like no other. Take photos of those friends naked in the middle of a desert just off the path. Rappel down a 50+ foot wall into a canyon, I promise it’ll make you feel like a total badass and you’ll also gain friends for life. Forget to lock the door when you shower and have a staff member open the door on you standing there completely naked. I guarantee you that you’ll make life long friendships when you scream in surprise and horror. Get excited over seeing your first ever roadrunner. Make a wildly inappropriate fireman joke on Halloween. Tell ghost stories. Get a splinter in your ass cheek. Split a bottle of wine. Trust me, forming lasting friendships in a short span of time isn’t as hard as it seems and it’s 100% worth it my friends

This trip was short. It was sweet. It was fun. It changed my life. It made me realize that I have to stop holding myself back. That I’m stronger than I think or believe. That I can do great things. That my dreams are 100% attainable. That I’m not the number on the scale or on the tag of my clothes. That I deserve to love and be loved in return. That I can do anything that I put my mind to.

This trip was magical. I can’t say that enough, and I’m looking forward to New Zealand, Namibia, and Indonesia and the experiences that I'll have on those trips as well as the new friendships I’ll make and the old ones that I get to renew.

2021, I’m coming for you.

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