Reporting from the other side of our first presentation (WE SURVIVED!). Plus, a visit to Arches National Park.

by Kim on March 31, 2014 · 52 comments

The last time you heard from me, Brian and I were headed to Moab to spend a day hiking in Arches National Park. We’d been to Arches before back in 2012 during our National Parks Road Trip. We loved the park and the city of Moab, Utah and were excited to return, even if for just a quick visit.

RV park

Spring break and Moab was packed. We had to camp at an RV park.

K light

Our version of electricity.

The park is beautiful and March is the perfect time to visit because temperatures average about 75 F during the day. We hiked to Delicate Arch and Tower Arch before ending our day at Broken Arch. It was beautiful.

Hiking Arches National park

On our way to see Delicate Arch.

Delicate Arch

Brian checks out Delicate Arch.

On the way to Tower Arch

On the way to Tower Arch.

Tower Arch Arches National Park

The view from behind Tower Arch.

After Arches we drove on to Idaho where we had the random good luck of pitching our tent in Three Island Crossing State Park, the best state park ever, which happens to be located right next door to a vineyard and winery.

Three Islands Crossing State park

Keeping warm at Three Island Crossing State Park.

Upon leaving Idaho we pointed our car towards Bend, Oregon and the looming reality of our first presentation. Thus began 48-hours of pre-presentation panic.

I cannot express in words how nervous we were. Neither of us could eat (very unlike me). We were both waking multiple times in the middle of the night from dreams in which we bombed the presentation in one form or another (forgot essential items, forgot our lines, showed up at the wrong time, etc.)

And I would vacillate between very logical thoughts like:

It’s an hour-long backpacking seminar for the love of God; you’re not performing brain surgery. Get a grip, Kim.

To irrational, over-the-top internal freak-outs:

You are going to forget your lines, have a panic attack, pass out and piss yourself in front of everyone.

pre-presentation

Arriving at the location of our first presentation. We may look calm but in reality we were in FULL PANIC MODE. 

Luckily, I did not pee my pants and Brian only peed his a little (kidding!). Overall, we did… okay. We did not panic. We did forget our lines once or twice. We were obviously nervous. The audience (over 100 people) had a hard time seeing our slides. We hobbled through. We tried to laugh. I sweat through my shirt. We survived. I think it will only get better from here.

presentation

Twenty minutes in to our first presentation. I’m already sweating profusely. 

giveaways

Giving away free gear at the end of our presentation. That part was fun.

It’s been just over a week since we hit the road. We’re at the beginning of a brand new adventure and I’m not sure how I feel. On one hand I feel a bit crazy because of the driving, the camping, the packing and unpacking, the wild moving around. It’s a bit of an effort to find my chi.

On the other hand, we are having fun. And once spring finally arrives and my life isn’t spent freezing cold and dressed in 14 layers of clothing I can almost see how writing each morning from a picnic table in the forest might actually work. I can see how I might be able to balance writing and this job and still find time to hike and run and enjoy all that comes with living outside. Just like at any new beginning, I’m struggling to find a routine but so far I am feeling quite hopeful that I will be able to keep room in  my life for all of the things that I love the most.

We are headed to Boise, Idaho and Murray, Utah next. Then we’ve got stops in Colorado and Oklahoma. (Check out the full schedule). But more importantly we’ve got a couple of days off near Bryce Canyon National Park (!!) and we can’t wait to explore the area. If you’ve got tips on great hikes in and around Bryce Canyon NP and the Grand Staircase please let me know. Thank you!

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Maddie March 31, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Just think, in a few months you’ll be able to run through that presentation as easy as brushing your teeth in the morning. Congrats on making it through the first one, as someone who is terrified of any sort of public speaking I am seriously impressed.

Bryce Canyon is unbelievably stunning – make sure to hang around at the top of the rim as the sun goes down, the colours of the hoodoos are unbelievable. One of our favourite short hikes there was the Queen’s Garden loop, it’s only a few miles but takes you right amongst the formations.
Maddie recently posted..Tips for finding a job after long term travel

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Kim April 1, 2014 at 2:59 pm

I’m pretty terrified of public speaking myself which is what made it so damn hard!!! But you’re right, I’m sure in no time we will be completely comfortable in front of a crowd (I hope!).

Thanks for the Bryce Canyon tips. I’ve written them down.

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Patti March 31, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Yay! You did it! How great is that?! I looked at your schedule again, they really have you going all over the place, but then I love a good road trip so I’d be all kinds of happy! Just think of all the new followers you will glean along your way, the fun people you’ll meet, the beautiful country! Speaking of which, Bryce is incredible in every sense of the word. Unfortunately, we only had 1 day in the park (and there was snow on the ground) so no hiking on that trip. Who would have thought it, that day you were sitting in your cubicle planning your escape?! Well-done Kim and Brian! ;)
Patti recently posted..If Every Grain Held a Story ~

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Kim April 1, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Ha, you are right Patti, I couldn’t have guessed in a million years that we would be doing this on those days I sat in my cubicle planning my escape. It is crazy where life takes you :)

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Rob March 31, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Yay! Congrats on getting through it guys. I used to have a massive fear of public speaking, but it gets much easier honest! You will find your flow very quickly, especially with all your experience of travelling. Good luck in finding your routine.
Rob recently posted..My 34th birthday – Getting old, wanting kids and travel.

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Kim April 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Thanks Rob. I always get SUPER nervous right before I give a presentation but then I calm down once I get started. Usually, though, I’m just giving ONE presentation. This one I’m doing 65 times. In some ways after the first one was over I didn’t feel the relief I usually feel. Instead I though, DAMMIT, that’s just the beginning!

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Emily March 31, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Congratulations on making it through! I think the biggest things to help you are to just keep smiling and remember that they are just other people and there to learn (& not there to criticize you!). Good luck getting into your groove!
Emily recently posted..In Peru: A Review of Peru Hop

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Kim April 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Yes, you are right! I do try to keep smiling. The worst (for me) is when I tune in to the sound of my own voice. That’s what makes me lose focus!

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Rhonda March 31, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Great job and what a wonderful turnout! Safe driving and enjoy Bryce. It’s one of our favorite parks and a photographers dream. Sadly, we just had time for some day hikes from our campground but it’s just stunning. You’ll find your stride, work the kinks, out, and have a fantastic experience and yea, writing each morning from your campsite doesn’t sound bad at all :)
Rhonda recently posted..An African Experience

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Kim April 1, 2014 at 3:02 pm

I just wish it would stop raining/snowing. It is SNOWING in Boise today! So we are in a hotel. I can’t wait until the warm mornings when the sun is out and I can work for that picnic table :)

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Kolbie March 31, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Public speaking only gets easier over time so here’s to things only getting better! I just had a quick question for you. We are planning to do a camping road trip next summer and I was wondering, considering you spend most of your time in campgrounds and parks, where you find the best luck with power/internet? Do you regularly chase these things down or do you tend to find them easily along the way? I can’t imagine your laptop lasts very long in the forest! :) Thanks!

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Kim April 1, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Great question Kolbie.

We do try to get campsites that have electricity. We are camping at a lot of state parks because they have showers and electricity as well. Many also have wifi but we have purchased a mobile hotspot through Verizon (called a jetpack) so we can have wifi anywhere we have a phone signal. So far it has worked GREAT and I love that I don’t have to stress about finding wifi along the way. We can also charge most of our electronics in the car while we drive.

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Kelly March 31, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Congratulations! You made it through the first one; the rest will be cake. Well, more or less. Those arches are beautiful! They remind me of a desert version of the arches at Cathedrals Beach in Ribadeo, Lugo, Spain (in the Rias Altas). My husband and I live part time in Galicia (and eventually, full time). I followed your Camino journey . We can’t wait to do it ourselves. You’re such an inspiration. See you in the Boston area in June! :-) Cheers!
Kelly recently posted..A Well Spent Sunday

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Kim April 1, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Oh, I love that you are living in Galicia. I talk about Galicia in our presentation! You will love, love, love the Camino. I think about it often and what a special experience that was for me. See you in June!

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Martha March 31, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Soon you will forget how nervous you were the first time!

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Kim April 1, 2014 at 3:05 pm

I trust you are right!

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Lauren @Roamingtheworld March 31, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Yay! One down!
Exactly, you’ll get more comfortable and it will only get better!
GIving away free gear is awesome too!
Looks like they have you driving all over the place. Bummer you won’t be in the Bay Area but see you’ll be out in Redding and Livermore…hmmm. Random locations.
Lauren @Roamingtheworld recently posted..A blind-date adventure with Lauren from Sobremesa in Spain

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Kim April 1, 2014 at 3:07 pm

It is fun to give away free stuff. Especially really cool free stuff. And, yep, we didn’t set the schedule. I would love to spend some time in the Bay Area- great place.

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Michele March 31, 2014 at 11:09 pm

You guys did an amazing job! It was a difficult space, but you made it work. I really enjoyed how you wove your real life stories into the obligatory gear talk. We are always our worst critics…but I promise you it was great and it’ll only get better! So great to see you both!!

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Kim April 1, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Thanks Michele. It was nice to have a familiar face in the audience so thank you so much for coming!

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Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) April 1, 2014 at 4:56 am

Yay! Congrats on making it to the other side unscathed and for kicking off your new adventure in such a glorious way. I’m sure that the whole presentation went even better than you think, but even still, pretty soon you won’t be sweating this thing at all (literally!). Wish we could have been there to cheer you on—perhaps we’ll be able to catch you this summer, but no matter what, we are rooting for you and love following along vicariously. (That’s right, we’re coming home… I need to email you all of the angsty details…)
Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..Welcome to Laos, South East Asia’s Sleeping Beauty

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Kim April 1, 2014 at 3:08 pm

STEPH! I sent you an email. I definitely need to know the details!!!

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Tyrhone April 1, 2014 at 7:15 am

Congratulations guys, public speaking makes me sweat too, and 100 people is a pretty big audience for your first go. But like you say, I am sure they will get a lot easier now you have broken the ice!
Tyrhone recently posted..The ruins of Tikal in Guatemala (video), and another catchy title

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Kim April 1, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Yes, I hope you are right! We have the next presentation tonight so we will see how it goes.

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Chas Stanley April 1, 2014 at 7:35 am

The key to a presentation is not memorizing your line, but telling your story

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Kim April 1, 2014 at 3:09 pm

YES. This is great advice and something to remember for sure.

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Britnee April 1, 2014 at 8:05 am

Congrats! Can’t wait to see your presentation in Utah…I’m sure it’ll be great! I’d recommend Lower Calf Creek Falls in the Grand Staircase. It’s a 6 mile round trip to a really beautiful waterfall. In my opinion, Grand Staircase-Escalante is the most beautiful part of Utah. Enjoy! :)
Britnee recently posted..HOW WE SAVED $40,000 TO TRAVEL THE WORLD

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Kim April 1, 2014 at 3:11 pm

PERFECT! Thank you. I have added Lower Calf Creek Falls to my list. Can’t wait!

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Steve C April 1, 2014 at 8:56 am

Work? You call that work? What a life, telling stories and getting paid for it! I can hardly wait for when this “Gig”is up and you figure out a way to to get paid to travel the world and get paid for telling stories. Oh wait, you already did that. (Yer Blog)

Good going on your first presentation. Kinda like getting through your first country back when. And it snowballs too. The more you do this, the more stories are generated. Next year, you’ll be swinging in your hammock, on some beach in Southeast Asia and telling stories to all who will listen, in between sips of your favorite brew. But for now, have the time of your life. There’s a lot of envy out here.

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Kim April 1, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Haha, I know Steve. BEST JOB EVER. Honestly. It’s funny you mention it because I have been drawing comparisons between our first country and our first presentation. You look back at those new beginnings and almost cringe at how “green” you were. But you have to be a novice before you become an expert!

Also, DREAMING of swinging in that hammock in Asia :) But enjoying the moment too.

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Andi of My Beautiful Adventures April 1, 2014 at 6:37 pm

What gorgeous scenery!!!
Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..My Favorite Place For A Weekend Getaway: Banner Elk, North Carolina

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Kim April 2, 2014 at 8:12 am

Thanks Andi. It is beautiful.

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Katherine April 1, 2014 at 6:54 pm

A piece of advice that has always helped me is that your audience doesn’t have your presentation in front of them and they don’t know what to expect. If you have hiccups along the way, they won’t know and you have to own the mistake, celebrate it, and use it to get better. I’m looking forward to coming to see your presentation when you’re in NJ. You guys will be great, you’re both awesome storytellers, and we’re so lucky to follow your journey.

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Kim April 2, 2014 at 8:13 am

YES, I am already trying to remember this. They have no idea what I am supposed to say next so just roll with it. This has definitely been an exciting/fun/scary new challenge. But already I can see we are getting better.

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Amy April 1, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Congrats on completing your first presentation! It sounds like it went well and will get a lot easier with time (I would find it terrifying, I’m sure!). It must be exciting to be starting such a different, unique phase in your travels – I look forward to hearing more.
Amy recently posted..Why we keep Coming Back to Thailand

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Kim April 2, 2014 at 8:14 am

Thanks Amy. It is definitely a unique phase in our travels.. I’m exciting to really settle in to it. So far so good, we are having a lot of fun.

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Carmel April 1, 2014 at 11:12 pm

Woo hoo! Go Bri-Kim! Boy, your names are hard to make into a Hollywood couples name. Kiman?

Anyway, you have to start somewhere and this is only the beginning of a very exciting adventure. You both look so at home out in nature. I love it!
Carmel recently posted..S-21 AND THE KILLING FIELDS

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Kim April 2, 2014 at 8:15 am

Haha, I’ve got to say that I have NEVER tried to turn our name into a Hollywood couple name. Maybe that’s why we’re still married? ;)

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Corinne April 2, 2014 at 12:13 am

Kim, Congrats to you two getting through the hardest part! It will be a breeze from now on. Once I had to give presentations for one month….all in Japanese! And I can’t really say I speak Japanese….that was interesting!

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Kim April 2, 2014 at 8:15 am

WHAT?!?! In Japanese? There is no way!!!! Congrats for getting through that one ;)

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Kendra Granniss April 2, 2014 at 6:26 am

Public speaking is terrifying, but you made it through the first one! It’s all uphill from here! Congratulations!

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Kim April 2, 2014 at 8:15 am

Thanks Kendra!

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Sarah Somewhere April 3, 2014 at 10:31 am

Congratulations!!! You look like pros!! And the audience is smiling which is a very good sign. I’m so glad the first one is out of the way. The first of anything is tough. Though I do wonder, what do brain surgeons say to themselves to pep themselves up before their first one?!! “It’s not like this is public speaking! Get a grip! Scalpel…” xxx
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Kim April 4, 2014 at 10:28 am

Smiling or cringing in fear of our awkwardness? Just kidding. Actually, we have done 3 now and they first one was BY FAR the worst. Now they are sort of fun :)

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Karyn @ Not Done Travelling April 4, 2014 at 3:04 am

The best thing about your first time doing anything is that you never have to do it again. It’s all up from here!

I can’t remember who said it, but this quote springs to mind, “All things are hard, until they are easy”.

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Kim April 4, 2014 at 10:29 am

Yes, ain’t that the truth! I’m so glad that first one is out of the way!! Major weight off of the shoulders.

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TammyOnTheMove April 5, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Just because you think you may have messed up a few lines, doesn’t mean that the audience is going to judge you for it. I am sure what they took away from your presentation was not your stumbles, but your interesting and insightful stories. Don’t be too hard on yourself. After a few of these presentations you won’t even need cards to read off anymore.
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Kim April 6, 2014 at 8:11 am

I sure hope you are right (you are probably right :)). After the third presentation we do already have it pretty much down, and it feels good!

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Jimmy Dau April 16, 2014 at 1:56 am

Good stuff!

I sooo want to go to the arch for the sunrise!
Jimmy Dau recently posted..Eighteen lessons learned from travelling for twelve months.

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Kim April 19, 2014 at 8:23 am

I’m sure it would be beautiful! I was too lazy to get up.

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Trine-Marie May 6, 2014 at 5:53 pm

You’re in Atlanta a few months after I’ve moved :P If not I might have been there.
Trine-Marie recently posted..Planning The Road Trip Of A Lifetime!

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Kim May 7, 2014 at 6:37 am

Bad timing!!!!

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