Exploring Outdoors to Maintain College Relationships

Graduating from college comes with a lot of excitement and change. You and your friends are making life decisions that will affect all of your relationships. Some of you will return home after college, some of you will stay in one place. Some may travel temporarily, and some may move across the U.S. to tackle their careers. I was the latter. Upon graduating, I packed my things in boxes and made the trek from South Dakota to begin my career in Arizona.

I quickly realized that the daily interactions between my best friends was going to be different. It saddened me knowing that we wouldn’t hang out every day, or even talk every day. But when it came down to it, I was still happy knowing that my friends and I were taking steps to begin our careers and jump start our busy lives.

Two college friends pose after hiking to Wave Cave in Arizona

How Travel Helps Old Friends Maintain their Friendships

Friendships are extremely important to me. So, I knew that maintaining them from across the country wouldn’t be difficult, but simply different. As our lives become busier, it requires more intent to foster our old relationships. I may not talk to them every day, but I can always make a point to visit and to catch up on their lives.

When I do get the chance to see my college friends, it’s important to make new memories and experience different things. Yeah, hitting the bar is always a must, but must not be the focal point of the trip. I truly believe in order for your friendships to grow, they must experience different things together with you. Making new memories outside of the daily college routine is a way for you to not live in the past with your college friends, but continue on in the present with an eye to the future!

Exploring Outdoors Are A Great Way to Make New Memories in New Places

One of the best ways that I’ve found to live in the present is by exploring new places. That means bringing my college friends to my life here in Arizona and exposing them to things that they don’t see every day in South Dakota.

The best memories we’ve made together in Arizona are outdoors:  hiking, river tubing, bicycling, and horseback riding. To date, my favorite was a horseback riding tour.

Horseback Riding Tour in Arizona

Although I went horseback riding when I was little, my friend and I had no experience together that we could recall; so we made one! There was a Groupon for a horseback riding tour at Lake Pleasant Regional Park. We booked it and set out on a road trip to Peoria, which was only about an hour away from my house.

The tour took us through washes with abandoned boats, up small, rocky mountains, through collections of all sorts of cacti. Not like anything in South Dakota, and certainly nothing like my daily life. We laughed the entire trail ride… Mostly because we weren’t the best riders, but we did our best!

Two college friends waiting for horseback riding tour in Arizona

I love that we have a new memory that was nothing like anything we did in college.

I Encourage You to Experience the Outdoors with Your College Friends

If you maintain your college relationships, I encourage you to get outside and make new memories together. Getting outdoors provides many different opportunities create memories unlike any that you had in school.  Exploring together will not only nourish your existing bonds of friendship, it almost certainly will expand and deepen them.



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