No Wonder You Were Afraid to Ask #35 – Angelina Avelar – Hiking Her Way to Happiness

Dante's Peak at Griffith Park in LA
Dante’s Peak at Griffith Park in LA

I was born on April 1, 1977, in Paramount California but was raised in different cities in The San Gabriel Valley. I grew up in the 80s and I still love all things 80s! The music, the movies, the TV shows and playing outdoors until the sunset. Those were the days! Growing up I moved a lot. I disliked that so much but I really didn’t have a choice. My Mom was a single mom and when we had to move for whatever reason, I had to go. Changing schools was very hard. Luckily I was always blessed with great friends in each of those cities and I still talk to most of them to this day. I have lived in El Monte, Pomona, Baldwin Park, Covina and in 2012 my husband Luis & I became first-time homeowners. I don’t really call a particular city my hometown but I still reside in the San Gabriel Valley so that will always be my home.

With my hubby, Luis at the top of Moro Rock in  Sequoia National Park
With my hubby, Luis at the top of Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park

I live in Altadena, California. We are an unincorporated suburb in the middle of Pasadena and La Cañada Flintridge famous for our bountiful hiking trails. I am 39 years old. I am a Preschool Teacher. I am really proud of all my nieces and nephews! They bring me so much joy and I really enjoy watching them grow up and accomplish their hearts desires! I am a proud Auntie!

Beach hike in Rancho Palos Verdes
Beach hike in Rancho Palos Verdes

I am currently one hike away from completing the #52HikeChallenge, “The 52 Hike Challenge is a global, movement to inspire and encourage individuals to step outside their comfort zone in order to achieve the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits that are gained from getting outdoors.” –52HikeChallenge website

This challenged has opened up a whole new world for me. My love for hiking has grown so much, I value my time in nature exploring the trails and enjoy each of the views like it was the first time I was seeing them, it has helped me get out of my comfort zone and venture out to new hiking trails and has made me overcome my fear of heights slowly but surely and it has helped me not be so fearful of the unknown. I’ve been on solo hikes, which I thought I would never do. I also joined two hiking groups and I’ve made some great friends and have bonded with my co-workers outside of work.

I am very passionate about hiking, volunteering and lending a helping hand whenever I can. I love joining my friends on new hiking adventures any chance I get. I volunteer as a Tutor at a local elementary school walking distance from my house twice a week, if my family or friends need help with anything I’m usually the one they call.

I am turning 40 next year and will be entering a new chapter in my life and I am looking forward to it. I do not dread getting older. For my last year in my 30s, I wanted to seek out adventure, stare at my fear of heights right in the eye and just be at peace with myself. I used to worry about so many things (textbook worry wart) and decided that I didn’t want to take that with me into my next chapter. I accepted the #52HikeChallenge and never looked back. Hiking became my therapy. My fear of heights has diminished a lot and I find myself sleeping better at night and not worrying about all those pointless what if questions that used to keep me up at night. You are never too old or young to try something new and out of your comfort zone. You never know how it can change your life. I never imagined myself driving the distances I do to go hiking a new trail or going on night hikes for that matter. You never know what you are missing out on until you give it a try. Trying new things can be scary but do it anyway! It just might be what you need to get out there and enjoy the view.

Growing up I was so adventurous! I was a TomBoy and loved playing KickBall, Baseball, riding my bike, roller skating with the neighborhood kids and had no fear. Then as I got older there was tons of homework and fewer adventures. College, work, being tired, life, in general, takes over. By getting back outdoors and experiencing new hiking adventures I have become less afraid and my childhood sense of adventure has returned.

 Night hike with my friend, Zenia. I have been on the most  hikes with her and inspired her to put on her hiking boots and enjoy the trails.
Night hike with my friend, Zenia. I have been on the most hikes with her and inspired her to put on her hiking boots and enjoy the trails.

You catch her on Social Media here:

Instagram: @angieavelar77
SnapChat: Angie Lariz

If you could cure one disease in the world what it be? Why?

I would cure Cancer because this disease has taken too many of my family and friends loved ones.

What advice would you give the teenage you?

The advice I would give myself as a teenager would be to study harder, go away to college and not to worry, it will always work out!

What is your favorite City?

My favorite city is Los Angeles. I love how multicultural it is and how the restaurants in the community reflect that. There is always something happening there and it is home to my favorite baseball club, The Dodgers.

Do you have a favorite animal?

I love turtles. Ever since I was a little girl I have been fascinated by them and how long they have been around.

Do you think humans should be concerned about the planet?

Yes I do believe humans should be very concerned about the planet. Global warming is real no matter what some politicians claim.

Do you prefer to vacation with the locals or all-inclusive resort?

I prefer to vacation with the locals. Last November my husband & I went to Costa Rica and our favorite part was getting to know the locals and learning about the Pura Vida lifestyle from them and not tour guides.

What has the greatest loss in your life been?

Losing my brother Hector has been the greatest loss of my life. I miss him every day and sometimes I wish I could hear his voice one last time.

Which teacher had the biggest impact on you? Why?

Mrs. Nancy Sassaman at Ganesha High School in Pomona had the biggest impact on me. She was the type of teacher to tell you the truth about the real world. She was my Senior year English teacher and her funny, caring and a bit Sassy. She did not sugar coat anything. If she had bad news, she would tell us. I was unsure about going to college at the time because I wanted to take time off to find myself. She laughed, told me I wasn’t lost and made me fill out 3 college applications. She said unless I was backpacking through Europe, I was going to start college in the Fall of 1995! Thanks for her encouragement and for seeing my potential I went to college. Thank you, Mrs. Sassaman, for always believing in me and encouraging me to follow my dreams. I will never forget your kindness!

LA Trail Hikers at Switzer Falls
LA Trail Hikers at Switzer Falls

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