Country Is Where The Heart Is

Jason Aldean Concert

I’m writing today’s post still reeling from the Jason Aldean concert I attended this past weekend.  It was incredible.  I’ve been going to concerts my whole life, but this was my first country show.  My interest in “country” things has grown in recent years, so I’ve had a lot of “firsts.”

I didn’t grow up country, I grew up in the city.  I’m glad to have found my way to the country side of life.  Looking back on how I was raised, I don’t think it’s surprising I ended up here.

I’m the only girl with two brothers.  Being girly was never the norm for me.  Sure I loved my Barbies and Polly Pockets, but I also loved Legos, Hot Wheels, and getting dirty.  I spent part of my childhood in Northern California playing in the sun, climbing trees, chasing geckos, and digging in the dirt.  I have the freckles on my face to show for it.

Country Huntress Fishing Young

Proudly displaying the day’s catch. You’ve gotta love the 90s fashion!

My dad is very much an outdoorsman and my summers were full of exploring the Puget Sound.  Making forts out of driftwood was a pretty common occurrence, as was exploring new areas, caves, and hiking trails.

Country Huntress Driftwood Forts

One of the many forts we made out of driftwood growing up.

Country Huntress Beach Driftwood

I have a lot of great childhood memories playing on this beach.

Country Huntress Exploring

My love for exploring the outdoors started young.

My mom grew up riding horses and I started taking lessons at 8 years old.  I fell in love with horses and being in the saddle.  To this day it’s one of my favorite places to be.  I hope that I can eventually combine my love of horses and hunting and go on a hunt by horseback.

Country Huntress Horse

Me with my horse, Firefly.

Country Huntress Horseback Riding

I might not have been raised country, but my first pair of cowboy boots was at 8 years old!

The fun I had in my youth laid the foundation for a love of the outdoors and horses.  In my teenage years, I strayed away from that.  I lived in the suburbs in a cookie cutter neighborhood.  The tomboy phase wore off as the mall and boys became more interesting.  Less time was spent outdoors as I felt there were more important places to be.

However, that all changed when I chose to attend a college in a small town.  Many of my friends didn’t know why I wanted to move to “the middle of nowhere” instead of choosing a college in a big city.  I’ll admit, at first I kind of hated it.  All that surrounded us were wheat fields in every direction.

Country Huntress Rolling Hills

But slowly, I began to fall in love with it.  Those rolling hills became something I looked forward to seeing on the drives back to school after breaks.  I met great friends and have some of the best memories in that town.

After graduation, I moved to one of the biggest cities in the country.  I swapped small town life for hours of traffic and a constant city bustle.  After a few months, I found myself unhappy.  I missed hiking in the wilderness and being able to look up and see a blanket of stars in the night sky.  I remember one time I actually asked a friend if anyone hunted around there, with a laugh he asked, “you mean like birds and stuff?  No.”

Eventually, I moved away from the big city and had my sights set on somewhere that felt a little quieter.  I moved to a smaller big city, and while living there I met my then boyfriend who was a country boy.  He showed me the ways of country life and I absolutely fell in love with it.  Driving on back roads, fishing at hidden lakes off dirt roads, and spending time outdoors just felt right to me.

After several years of laying dormant, my love of the outdoors seemed reignited.

To friends who met me in high school or college, it might seem out of place for me to want a quiet, country life filled with hunting, fishing, and dirt roads.  But I think it makes complete sense.  I’ve gone back to what inspired my childhood curiosity for life.  When I’m outdoors connecting with nature, I do feel like a kid again with no worries other than what I’m doing right at that very moment.

I’m not entirely sure where I’ll end up in life, but I know I’ll always be working toward the goal of having a nice, little house on a plot a land away from the city.  I may not have been born and raised country, but I’ve come to love it and appreciate the lifestyle that comes with it.

I might have started out more as a city girl, but my heart feels at home in the country.

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