Interview With Everyday Explorer: Melissa Hidalgo

Melissa Hidalgo is a 27-year-old high school art teacher. She is also a freelance photographer and general outdoor enthusiast. She was born in Lima, Peru and moved to Texas with her family when she was eight years old. We asked her about some of her memorable travel moments and what she’s learned from her adventures.

girl jumping in keep exploring sweater in front of mount rainier


What's the first family vacation you remember?

We went camping on the beach a lot when my family and I still lived in Peru. Although I’d much rather camp in the woods or the mountains these days, nothing beats waking up to the sound of waves crashing.

Guy riding piggyback on fiance in snowy forest

Tell the story of one of your wildest/weirdest or funniest travel moments.

Lol! There’s been plenty of random wild and funny things that have happened to me or my friends during trips but one that stands out the most is my birthday hiking trip to Palo Duro with my close friend (no names just in case she minds). It’s a long drive from Denton to Palo Duro so we knew we were going to do an overnight trip. We set up the back of my suv with a make shift mattress made out of couch cushions and packed some food. A quick stop for road trip snacks is always a must and her choice of snacks were Peach-Os (gummies that taste like peaches). The last part of the lighthouse trail can be a tough one for beginners and at that time, we were both considered beginners for sure. April in the Texas desert is also hot so sweating is normal but we started smelling something sweet. Let’s just say that learned that day that you are what you eat and you SWEAT what you eat. It was hard climb up but we made it and smelled like peaches at the top 😅🍑

We haven’t had any since 😂

What's the one moment of a trip you will always remember and has affected future trips?

Well this didn’t exactly start because of one specific trip but the more trips I take, the less I take my phone out when I’m outdoors. This gradually started to happen and I just became aware of it this last year or two. My first camping trip ever, I was still concerned about having cell service to check Instagram, Facebook, or text messages during my breaks from hiking. But now, the only times I take my phone out is to take a picture whenever I’m not using my real camera. It lets me have that connection with the outdoors that I seek to have when I go hiking. Plus, pro-tip, if you leave your phone on airplane mode when hiking, you’ll save that battery life 😉

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