Hello and welcome! I am a mom to three amazing kids, a wife to the love of my life, a veterinarian, owner of a home-based baking business, a team member of our local search and rescue squad, a burgeoning naturalist, and an active adventurer whose second home is in the Great Outdoors (and a chronic insomniac, which is why I can pack so much into one life!).
I started my blog in 2011 in the wake of my beloved mother’s death from cancer. She was my anchor in life and a saint walking the earth. Shortly before she died, she gave me a card with Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Hope is the Thing with Feathers” hand written in it, because I had given her hope with my extensive research into treatment options. After she died, writing became the perfect channel for me to process my grief in a healthy way. Since the poem is so intimately connected to my mom, it felt fitting to weave it into my blog’s name.
I’ve written about lots of things over the years: Grief, family life, homeschooling my kids, the journey to adopting one of our sons from Ethiopia, starting a public charter school with an emphasis on outdoor experiential learning, and my adventures hiking and backpacking (both solo as well as with my family and friends).
As much as I’ve enjoyed writing about a myriad of topics close to my heart (which are all still there in the Musings section of this website), I’ve narrowed the focus to suit my ever-growing audience of folks who are as passionate about the natural world as I am. The content of Hope and Feather Travels is now specifically geared towards:
- Hiking trail and trip reports, both locally in western North Carolina and beyond.
- To discover what’s possible and doable, fun, and educational in wilderness areas with kids. I am an avid follower of the teachings of Richard Louv’s principles, outlined in his popular book, Last Child in the Woods, Curing Nature Deficit Disorder. My goal as a parent is to raise my kids as stewards of the earth and with an understanding of how vital the natural world is to their mental health and happiness. We get our kids out on trails every chance we get and it is my firm belief that it’s one of the best ways we are parenting them!
- Wilderness/Outdoor Education which is a tremendous passion of mine since joining our local search and rescue team. I love educating folks about how to stay safe in the woods and have a great time in the process.
- Environmental awareness and appreciation
- Tips and tricks that folks can use to travel wherever their heart leads them, in an affordable way. Our family of five travels every chance we get, and we couldn’t possibly afford to take the trips we do without my extensive research into tips and tricks for budget travel. Over the years I’ve counseled many friends and family how to use the same techniques we do, and my hope is that other folks reading this blog can take advantage of my knowledge and plan their own dream vacations.
I love talking shop about hiking, backpacking, and traveling, so don’t be shy! I am happy to answer questions and offer suggestions, if I can be helpful in any way. Reach out to me via the contact form below, through my email (email@example.com) or through my Facebook page.
Nancy, a.k.a. “Seal Mom”
Disclosure: Hope and Feather Travels is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
You certainly don’t have to use these links, but I sincerely appreciate it if you do. Using them does not increase your cost on the products whatsoever. Any revenue I earn is used for the financial upkeep of running this website (and just FYI, the cost of running the site far surpasses the proceeds I make from the affiliate program!). If my earnings one day surpass my expenses, I pledge to donate at least 10% to environmental organizations I support, such as Friends of the Smokies.
Also, any links I provide on this site are to the best deal I know of, for the particular product I’m referencing, and many of my links will send you directly to cottage industries who don’t sell their products on Amazon. Supporting small businesses is very important to me!