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  • Writer's pictureMichael Kennedy

Two Years in Tahoe

On June 7th, two years ago today, I moved to Lake Tahoe. Had never spent much time in the mountains, on a river, in a forest, or near a Lake. In the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “What a wild life! What a fresh kind of existence!”

Prior to moving to Squaw Valley, CA, I was suffering like so many others from depression and lack of self-worth. Went through a divorce after 25 years of marriage. In-between jobs. Drinking too much… and overall, a train wreck of personal failure.

And then something changed when I arrived in Tahoe. There’s a special kind of magic here in Lake Tahoe and it helped me break through my depression. I learned to hike the endless mountain trails, competed in a couple Spartan races, volunteered with the Truckee Tahoe Airshow committee, stopped drinking, started getting published as a writer, and launched this website sharing my view and love of this incredible, life-changing place through photos and stories.

So, what is this “Tahoe Magic” and how can I get some of it if I don’t live nearby?

The Japanese call the practice of spending quality time in nature “forest bathing,” and scientific evidence links it with lowering blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones, while decreasing anxiety, depression and fatigue. This Wall Street Journal article, dives deeper into the therapeutic impact of spending time in nature.

I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I’ve personally experienced a transformation in my health and well being since I moved to Lake Tahoe on June 7th, 2019. And what a wild life and fresh kind of existence it’s been!

Bottom line: You don’t need to splash in Lake Tahoe, hike her mountains, or tube down the Truckee River, ‘though I believe you should add these things to your bucket list. If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, obviously seek professional medical attention. If you want to feel better, get out and spend more time in the closest park or forest near you. The “magic” is in the nature itself.

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