Small talk is great, but what we're really looking for are new friends in town to do cool stuff together.
The challenge is building a quick relationship. How do you meet someone new + get comfortable enough to want to share time together in the future + in a short amount of time?
After traveling full time for 2.5 years, we've found a favorite solution to meeting cool, like-minded, people: Trail work days.
Trail work is helping build and maintain local trails. We've volunteered building trails in Vermont at Ascutney Trails and in Colorado on Pikes Peak. These days have been awesome!
We've learned working on a project together with new people (who we know already like to be on trails) gives us time to chat, bond, and move forward in a friendship if we're keen.
If you haven't done a trail work day--
Here are five reasons doing trail work's an awesome way to meet new people:
1. You get outside!
And- you go to new places and see new views you'd never trek to without having the mission of trail work.
Look at this view! I wanna go back!
In Colorado Springs, we worked on the Missing Link Trail with Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates. To do this, we got free tickets to take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway up the mountain to the Four Mile stop and start working. A free train ride on Pikes Peak? Now, that's cool!
2. You get a different kinda workout.
Moving rocks? Digging? Raking? Heck yeah! We don't do this every day.
3. You meet awesome people!
When you're in the woods walking together, working hard together, and sweating together, you're bound to form new friendships.
Who knows, you could even meet your next trail buddy!
4. You learn new stuff!
We've learned how to use new tools.
And, we've learned the strategy behind building trails. Did you know, when building a trail you should use the natural contours of the earth to plan the trail? And, trail builders form the trail so water runs off in sheets, instead of forming a river and creating ruts down the trail. I know! News to me, too!
4. You gain appreciation for the trails we use.
When you're out there working hard, getting blisters, and working up a sweat, you look around and gain major appreciation for all of the hard work from those that came before you. You realize someone had to build these trails and someone has to maintain them.
You also learn the history of the trails you're on and the tenacity of the people who dream them up and build them.
Our friend, Jim Lyall (in the front above) has been working for 9 years to get permission to link the Ascutney Trails system to the local state park with a five mile trail. Talk about perseverance! We got to work on the linking trail on our trail day. So cool!
In Colorado Springs, Medicine Wheel's been working for 20 years to gain permission to build the Missing Link Trail to add to Pikes Peak's Ring the Peak trail. Talk about being perseverance and persistence. Amazed by these trail builders!
5. Give back.
We are always out on trails. When we're out there, we're making memories. Whether it's seeing a new place, escaping to the quiet, spending time with someone special, celebrating a birthday, or even being proposed to- trails are a big part of our life.
We have a responsibility to help maintain them for ourselves, our kids, our grandkids and anyone who comes after us.
6. Bonus- You get free food!
Okay, let's be real. We really go for the free food. I'm kidding... no seriously... I'm kidding!
How do you find trail work days?
1. Local mountain bike groups.
We've found out about trail work days from local mountain biking groups.
2. Find your local parks and trails websites.
Then, check out their upcoming events. Don't forget state parks and national parks.
3. Can't find a local trail days but want to get outside with other folks?
Become a member of Gociety! Gociety connects people who want to get outside and do awesome stuff together. We've gone out on running and climbing events with folks! It's awesome!
on other aspects of this lifestyle we've figured out.
Sign up and we'll learn together!