Reflections on our experiences together while hiking through Mt. Tamalpais

We should do this more often.

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Last hospital visit to Jesús' before I flew back to New Jersey, July 2013.

Last hospital visit to Jesús' before I flew back to New Jersey, July 2013.

We say this every time we see each other. I realized, though, that since my family and I moved to the east coast, we've seen each other every year. Save for 2012. And I suppose 2013 doesn't count. It was the year of Jesús' stroke - we jumped in a plane to California to be there for him and Bianca, and we obviously didn't do any getting there and getting lost together. 

But yeah, we do see each other once a year; and yet, every time we post photos of us together, whether on our Get There | Get Lost Instagram or on my personal, we always make note in saying in the captions that we should do all the things we do when we're together more often. Once a year is simply too rare. 

For this year's Get There | Get Lost Founders Meetup (I just came up with that, and I'm going to make it a thing!), we had planned a two-day excursion of some of Bianca's tried and tested places in Marin County, and one of them was Mt. Tamalpais. 

My family and I have gone to quite a number of trails here on the east coast. Bianca has conquered plenty of trails in Mill Valley and beyond as well, including one major, major conquest, Moab! But I realized that this Mt. Tamalpais hike is just the second time that we are hiking together.

The first time was more or less 25 years ago, during one of the very few trips to our dad's province in Nueva Vizcaya. It's actually the only trip to the province that I remember from my childhood. I am not sure if it was a spur-of-the-moment decision of my dad's or that he had really planned it for the day, but I vividly remember the experience. We only had slippers on. I was probably wearing a skirt. I remember it not feeling like a sizable mountain, and there was a long trek through vast, muddy paddy fields and we were so careful not to fall over the rice crops. At some point, an exhausted Bianca had to be carried by our ever-reliable helper. The adventure ended when we hit the lake on the other side of the mountain, where we washed ourselves clean of mud, dust and whatnot, and where I saw how big the mountain actually was. 

Fast forward to 2017. With Bianca behind the wheel and me as her sort of co-driver in the front seat, we had taken charge of putting together a mix of thrill and relaxation with nature for our multi-generational group. There was a moderate hike through Mt. Tamalpais' Steep Ravine trail for the [aging] millennials and the iGens, succeeded by a picnic and lazing about at Stinson Beach where we met up with the Gen X-ers and our stroke survivor champ. Unlike the time we first hiked together, as we're now crafting our own travel plans for our households, we have total awareness or, at least, some sort of expectations on what's to happen on this second one.

So, really. When we say, "we should do this more often," we're actually saying it to ourselves. To each other. There are plenty of things that can hinder two people who live on opposite sides of the country to see each other more often, for sure. Family schedules, work commitments, the ushe. But we are calling the shots now. Who knows what we can make happen?

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Carol is one of the founders of get there | get lost.  She is a New Jersey-based content producer and social media specialist, and a digital nomad wannabe. With regards to travel, she writes mostly about getaways with her family, and is a strong advocate of the “experience over things” mantra. Follow her everyday adventures @fcbsantiago.

Born and raised in Manila, Philippines and briefly lived in California before moving to the east coast of the USA. I'm a digital marketing executive currently based in New Jersey and a digital nomad wannabe. I write mostly about family travel.