The beginning of beautyI originally planned to pay for my first backpacking trip with REI. I had planned to go with my boyfriend at the time, but he ended up having to travel for work. I had worked two years to afford the gear and expenditures of a backpacking trip in the Smoky Mountains during the fall season. The pictures I saw at art shows were such a beautiful escape and I was tired of looking at someone else's pictures. I wanted to hve my own memory in that landscape. My boyfriend simply suggested we just wait until mid-November, that "it wasn't a big deal to wait". It was to me. The leaves would be gone already and I didn't want to wait another year to see the changing colors draped across the Tennessee border. I would not want to take the chance of an accident or medical issue potentially stifling the trip the next year or for the rest of my life. "Carpe diem" ruled my emotions. So I invited family and friends. My brother was the only person that accepted. We backpacked at least ten miles each day for three days! Low on water and running out of boiling tabs, we boiled water with damp wood. I called it "mesquite-water". It was hilarious! We saw shooting stars in a sky of speckled gems. We met amazing backpackers on the Appalachain Trail. I took SO many photos of the majestic rainbow hills, waterfalls, campsite adventures, and nature's pure beauty. I caught the backpacking bug. Lo and behold my relationship ended soon after the hike. And I had no regrets of not waiting one someone who didn't care for my passions and interests close to the same degree as myself. I didn't lose an experience. Now I am planning a trip to New Zealand with REI to backapack for ten days and that is why I got this credit card. I plan on maximizing on its awesome benefits here and all across the world with future backpacking and mission trips and I won't wait on anyone to do what I love. The world and nature has so much to offer and the least I can do is apprieciate a world unabated by technology. I am 28 and escaping my phone. I am 28 and single. I am 28 and motivated. I am 28 and ready to see the world in all of it's grandeur and Barclay is helping me do that.Completed 30 mile hike!