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Interview with #GlyderGirl @jess_wandering

20 Feb 2018
Interview with #GlyderGirl @jess_wandering

“Some places always feel like coming home. But for me, home has never been a box with rooms, a yard, and white picket fence. I tried. I really did. Less than two years ago I spent my days behind a big desk, in a small office, with nothing on the white walls except for the law degree that I thought would be enough. I was restless, couldn't focus, and was definitely not at home.

I wrestle with WHY I'd ended up behind that desk. When I was really little I wanted to be a doctor. Then entomologist, photographer, journalist, veterinarian, conservation biologist - I could go on and on. Point is, at no time do I remember wanting to be a lawyer. And all those paths I didn't take, they haunted me. So I walked away from the desk.”

Jess, you worked as a lawyer before deciding to quit your job one day and pursue your life of adventure. What went through your head before you made this decision?
The story actually isn’t quite as glamorous as that! I didn’t quite my job to pursue a life of adventure. One day I showed up to the law firm I worked at, and the partners told us that they were having financial issues and had to let us all go. When it happened I felt a great sense of relief, and I immediately knew I didn’t want to pursue law any longer. But I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I got my real estate license and became a broker. It was a lot of work, with crazy hours, but I had more control over my schedule than when I was practicing law. That flexibility allowed me to reprioritize my time, and rekindle my love for the outdoors. The rest is history!

Did you travel a lot when you were younger, or was this something that came about as an adult?
I had the opportunity to travel some with my family growing up. And even as a young kid I had a strong sense of wanderlust. I’m not sure exactly where it came from, but I’ve never been able to shake it!

No matter how big the wanderlust, traveling can seem a bit daunting for a lot of people, especially internationally. Do you have any tips for beginners on planning trips / traveling to places you’ve never been?
Traveling can definitely be daunting. When I first started traveling, going with a buddy, and planning out my itinerary beforehand (especially accommodations), helped a lot. Just knowing that if all else failed, I had someone to laugh about it with, was very comforting.

What has your life of adventure taught you about yourself?
I think my travels have taught me that I’m a lot closer to my family than I ever realized growing up. I was always so focused on getting away, that I never appreciated how important they were to my happiness. That realization taught me to cherish the time I get to spend with loved ones at home, and the importance of being truly present during those times.


You’ve hiked some pretty incredible places, including what some have called The Most Dangerous Trail in the World. How do you prepare for hikes like this?
I prepare for most hikes in the same way. It doesn’t matter if they are considered dangerous or not. Usually people get into trouble when they least expect it. So I try and always carry the essentials like water, food, light, and extra layers - just in case. But I think preparing mentally is even more critical than the equipment you take with you. When I’m out adventuring in wild areas, I try to focus on being present in the moment, and listening to my gut. There’s an important difference between pushing yourself outside your comfort zone, and ignoring your intuition.

Are there any places on your bucket list you haven’t conquered yet?
Of course! It seems like the more I travel, the longer my list grows. There are huge areas of the world that I have never explored, including Africa, the Middle East, and a lot of Europe - so those are definitely still on my bucket list.

Do you have any must-have items you bring with you on adventures? Any favorite Glyder pieces?
I don’t go anywhere without my black FormaOne leggings. In fact, I usually pack two pairs! I like to travel light and those leggings are so comfy, I don’t need anything else. I seriously wear them everywhere when I’m traveling - on the plane, hiking, and out to dinner.

You’re constantly in new places – from snowy mountains to the beaches of Hawaii. What’s your favorite place you’ve ever been?
I get asked that questions a lot, and I always feel like I should name some super exotic, hard to reach location. But the truth is, I think my favorite place to explore is probably Canada. The Canadian Rockies, and British Columbia are so beautiful - for my particular interest it’s pretty hard to beat.

At Glyder, we believe there are no limits to what you can do. Do you have any advice for other girls about how to live limitlessly?
I think the best advice I could give is to just start! It’s cliche, but starting is the hardest part of anything. I’ve come to realize in my own life that there is almost no such thing as ready. There is no perfect time. If I wait until I feel ready to do something, I will likely never do it. So in the end, I would say don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Now is the best time to start living limitlessly, because it is the only time we are guaranteed!

Anything big planned for 2018?
I have a few things in the works, but nothing solidified yet. I’m hoping to do a backpacking trip with my family in Europe this summer. It’s a trek that I planned out with my dad years ago, and I’m looking forward to making it a reality!

For more information about Jess and her adventures, check out her website
www.jessdales.com or follow along with her on Instagram @jess_wandering

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