Throughout this journey, I experienced many personal revelations that affected the way I saw my project. As result of these new perspectives, the scope and goals of my project matured and led me toward new directions.
Originally, my project focused on the lives of women athletes in the outdoors. However, after traveling for three months in South America, I decided to broaden my vision to include the stories of women who live and work in the outdoors. Though the difference may appear subtle on the surface, it is indeed significant. I realized that in order to represent diverse female role models, I needed to focus on the many different ways women function in nature.
This became all the more real to me in Nepal when I came face-to-face with the massive socioeconomic disparity that exists between the developed and developing worlds. Though I have studied and known about this great divide most of my life, being there and witnessing the environmental impacts of my own carbon dioxide emissions on the lives of the Nepalese shook me to the core of my being. Further, I was horrified by the way privileged foreign recreationalists polluted pristine land, leaving mountains of plastic for the locals to deal with. These were painful experiences that ultimately led me to an increased specification in the scope and goals of my project.
From this point on, I began focusing almost exclusively on women who were building and sustaining powerful social, environmental, and human rights movements against the backdrop of the great outdoors.