Laura Grieser

The quick and dirty:

Personality type: INFJ

Horoscope sign: Cancer

Location: Sequim, Washington

Currently pursuing: Nursing degree

Countries visited: Cambodia, Canada, Iceland, Laos, Nepal, New Zealand, Mexico, Scotland, Sweden, Vietnam

Favorite things: J, family, friends, skiing, trail running, backpacking, puppies, Bitmoji conversations, handwritten letters, reading, HGTV's Fixer Upper, #shotoniphone6splus

I grew up in Colorado, at the foot of the Rockies with endless wilderness at my feet. Fueled by trail gorp and competitive spirits, my brother and I hiked, camped, skied, snowboarded, biked, rafted, and boulder-hopped all over Colorado’s extensive wilderness. As products of parents who took their wedding guests whitewater rafting as part of the reception, a life without nature just didn’t make sense.

So when the time came to pick a college, I chose a small liberal arts school nestled amongst Southwest Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. I quickly realized I was on the wrong path, and traded a volleyball scholarship for a season of powder days at Purgatory. I was only 17 at the time though, and I still had questions to answer and a path to find. So when the snow stopped falling, I went north — to a Montana ranch, where I spent a few summers wrangling before following my brother to Portland, Oregon.

I attended Portland State University, worked to develop and launch Clymb Adventures, founded a local chapter of SheJumps, and ultimately admitted what I’d always known: cities aren’t for me. So I spent a winter in Bend — chasing powder, soul searching, and setting goals — until fate intervened and my heart found its home in Sequim, Washington, at the edge of the Olympic Peninsula where the mountains greet the sea.

From the Rockies of Colorado to the volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest, my path has allowed me to dig deep into who I am and what my goals are and to experience both the compassionate and unforgiving sides of humanity. These are the things I know to be true: a life without nature will never make sense to me. Taking photos and putting words to paper are the best ways I know to capture and share experiences. Work that empowers others is the only option for me. I was not cut out for a traditional path. As my childhood best friend Sam so eloquently put it, “you’re just a soul who’s always been hungry for more.”