Michael James Kovalsky
Growing up with a father who exposed me to just about every outdoor activity he could, it was natural for the great outdoors to become a passion of mine and really, a way of life. My roots started in Bridgeport, Connecticut aka the armpit of Connecticut (if you don’t know Bridgeport, it’s hard to imagine, I know). My father and I, along with a few uncles and cousins, would regularly go backpacking along the Appalachian Trail. My father, coming from a family of 8 brothers and sisters, didn’t have much growing up - I’m talking holes in your shoes during winter time and 4 children to a bed. But when it came to having fun, the Kovalsky’s went wild…and normally it was always something outdoors.
Fast forward a few years, I went to school at the University of Vermont, picked up my degree, and moved out to Los Angeles, California. A few months later, I was accepted into the U.S. Peace Corps and volunteered in Ghana, West Africa for the next two years. In between getting Malaria and carrying out community development projects in the village where I lived, I’d go hiking and biking around the nearby villages. I ended up creating a project where folks could take a hiking tour or rent a bike in additional to learning about the local culture and traditions.
Back to Los Angeles, where I live today. Best weather in the country, some of the worst air quality, but you can get to the beach or the mountains in a just few hours – now that’s what I’m talking about! I landed my current job managing grants that assist the homeless and low income neighborhoods and have been here since. Great people, good work, I love it. But there’s always that passion for the outdoors outside of work. Just about every weekend involved hiking in and around Los Angeles, where I've slowly acquired my outdoors gear and knowledge until finally I started backpacking in the wilderness, sometimes on my own. I LOVE it – makes me feel fulfilled and reminds me that there's more to life than just work and city life. There’s nothing like seeing a beautiful peak or alpine lake that you’ve worked so hard to get to. It’s not even about the accomplishment for me; it’s more about seeing nature’s untouched beauty that most people won’t see in their lifetimes. It’s like being transported back into time when there was no development, no luxuries - just beautiful scenes that look like they came right out of a painting. This is what I strive to share….with friends, family and now you.
The more we can appreciate nature, the more we can share it and protect it for future generations.
Please feel free to visit my LinkedIn profile for more information on my professional/work experience.