The Wetter, The Better.

How Dehydration, Hypothermia and Lightning Changed my Life

Isabella Grandic

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I held my water bottle filled with bleach with one of my hands. I was attempting to keep my raincoat over my head with the other. But it was all pointless anyway; I was wet to a new extreme.

Even after hours of hunching in a kinda-squat position, the storm wasn’t near over. But my mind reached a state of bliss. Around me, the world expelled water and electrically charged particles like diarrhea after 2 chipotle bowls. But apparently, the universe’s diarrhea is my blissfulness.

I was freezing, shivering and shaking in the middle of the Utah Canyonlands Desert. I felt delighted.

Soon, the Canyons started overfilling with water. A waterfall. I saw the water go from waterstay to waterfall! In the desert! During a drought! The sky was so darkly cloudy it looked like the world was ending. I was filled with undisputable satisfaction mixed with a healthy dose of nihilism.

I write this genuinely: everything was perfect but not falsely romanticized. I found peace within the imperfect reality. And although I was stuck half-squatting 50 ft away from the only other humans I’d seen in 12 days to avoid being killed by lightning, I was free.

In the hundreds of moments like these across 3 weeks living in Utah’s mountains, deserts, and the confusingly named Colorado river, I found satisfaction where I found disaster. This experience was the toddler to my play-doh-like existence: it transformed me into something I’m still trying to understand. And my mom thinks it’s cool.

My wilderness expedition was the most eye-opening experience of my life. And today, in this post with detailed descriptions and overdone sarcasm, I will attempt to distill it for you.

First, however, I highly suggest just ditching society for an extended period of time. Experience my reflections first hand. Just watch out for bears and such.

I secondly would like to clarify the genesis of this article title. It is actually a slogan I came up with while discussing my affinity for moist deserts with my friend Jake. A few hours later, I had a new existential crisis in a claustrophobic, concerningly cheap flight to Las Vegas on a Thursday night before midterms! To avert it, I reflected on my trip and realized that wetness was a prominent theme. Hence, the wetter, the better was born.

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Isabella Grandic

Aspiring healthcare infrastructure designer, technologist and scientist.