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Why do we swamp hike?

I hear the question from many whom have asked me this on various occasions and my response is always the same. You will not truly comprehend the reason why we venture forth unless you travel out there. You will never really grasp the feeling by my pictures nor my videos, it is something you must experience first hand. You must breathe the fresh air, you must hear the winds coming from miles away, you must experience God and nature up close and personal to fully appreciate it. It is an experience that opens your eyes, your heart and your mind, that truly makes you come to terms with how small we are in the grand scheme of things.

You see my friends, the world is a vast and beautiful place which we become blind to as we perceive the false narratives that everything in life we need is around us. Sadly to that I must state what is around us is nothing more than distractions, false impressions and human conditioning. It steals away the feelings that burns in our chest to be free to explore, to discover, to venture off into the wild, to escape to that promise land that God has always provided for us.

So why the everglades?

Because to me that is a slice of heaven that civilization cannot duplicate, or master. It is a place I call home, a place where I will never be judged, slandered, looked down upon, or labelled. Truly it is one of the first places I have ever hiked in Florida,  and where I know many people with same minded interests.

But isn’t the everglades dangerous?

My answer to that is what in life is not?  Yes sometimes the paths may be full of perils, predators and dangers, but the same can be stated walking down a city street.  You see alligators, snakes and all else are far less dangerous that the common thug or crazed, drug influenced psychos that surround us on a daily basis. At least in the wild what you see is what you get, in civilization everything hides behind a facade, a false image and barely anything is what it is. At least in nature a pig is a pig, no matter how much lipstick you put on it.

Now some friends of mine may think I am literally insane for venturing forth in this manner. With that being stated, I believe what is insane is going through a lifetime not experiencing true nature.  Not witnesses first hand the beauty that exists out there, or not venturing forth to become one with God’s creations. I believe that if more people did, they may discover a part of themselves that they never realize existed. They may come to realize that in the process, they may in fact find themselves becoming closer to God.

So am I insane? I think not, for more insane is to be a puppet of society, sealed away in a cage, rather than being free.

~ George Mercado