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Humans are so weird.
Sometimes I wonder why I think about the concept so much. We are bizarre creatures. We idolize ourselves far too much, yet we are so self-conscious. Ask any random person on the street if they love others more than themselves, and I guarantee they will answer “yes.” Yet, why do we lead our lives so selfishly? Working to sustain ourselves, working to put ourselves ahead of others in aspects that truly are not important.
I speak in generalities. I believe in a fine balance. Meaning, as many spiteful, selfish, cowardly people humans as there are on this globe, there are equally as many selfless, courageous beings. As many lazy, indifferent people as their are, there are equally as many people aching to feel alive with every ounce of their being. I don’t think there’s even an explanation for it, I think we just react to and within one another in such a particular way, that we end up forming almost a mirror within ourselves.
I suppose what it comes down to (at least for me) is perspective. Not ignorance, no. We as a society must recognize both sides of humans, for without the other half, they are each nothing. It is the perspective that sets us apart from others, and we must constantly remind ourselves that no one will ever see your perspective as you do, as you will never see theirs.
Or does it even matter? What does life in itself come down to, anyways? Does it come down to your final moments? I envision it does. Your last few breaths of sure certainty that this is the end, and facing yourself with that omnipresent question: how was it? And knowing full-well which answer you’ll choose, and whether or not you’ll be happy with it. What if you are? What if you aren’t?
Everyone will be different.
And that is the simple and beautiful truth about humans, and understanding the fact that they will never be understood.
I’m not a perfect person. I, too, am sitting on the computer today, preaching to the internet about how to not do what I’m doing. My favorite thing to tell people lately is that if you don’t like something, change it. So, if you’re having a bad day, bad week, or want to try something different with your life, here’s a couple tips to help you dive in:
1.) Though perhaps not the most adrenaline-pumping activity one can enact in, reading is a good place to start. Read whatever: something to make you laugh, research a religion, a fictional novel, whatever it may be. Allow yourself to see things from someone else’s perspective. ‘
2.) As my favorite Pixar movie states: “Adventure is out there!” It’s never a bad day to see and learn something new. Go somewhere once a week you’ve never gone before: a new trail, a museum, that old library, or even a new country. The world truly is enormous, with different cultures and climates. I don’t think I know of a single person who has been bitten by the travel bug who is satisfied only with the places they’ve gone. Go somewhere new, and you never know, you might just fall in love with it.
Go out of your comfort zone
3.) Name three things, right now, that you are afraid of doing. Why are you afraid of doing them? Do you really, truly want to be laying on your death bed thinking about all the things you never did? I sure as hell don’t. I truly hate to be a cliche but the only thing stopping you from doing things is you. Get out there!
4.) Sometimes the best motivator is going out for a jog, or a hike, or a bike ride. It kind of gives you an “unstoppable” feeling (or, if you’re like me, you need to work up to it because you feel like you also might die).
So go on, add some things of your own as well. There are certainly more than four ways to feel alive in this world, and who’s to say you can’t start doing them all today?
Ultimately, this blog isn’t a huge portfolio or compilation of gloriously beautiful adventure photos that I’ve taken. Hell, if anything, this blog is helping me to inspire myself to take gloriously beautiful adventure photos.
This blog is not a step-by-step journal on how you should live your life. If you really, truly love sitting on your couch eating zebra cakes and watching yet another episode of Hell’s Kitchen, then by all means, please enjoy your life doing so. People take great pleasure in doing the most random things, and I think that’s beautiful. I greatly enjoy doing things that scare me, whether that means rock climbing or trying a new food or telling somebody my honest opinion. That’s not to say that you should live your life the same way.
I sat down at the small table, caressing my coffee cup as if it were hooked up to an IV that was saving my own life. My best friend sat opposite me, doing the same. It was a deceitfully beautiful day outside, with bright blue skies and a glaring sun. Yet, it was so frigidly cold that those who favor outdoor winter sports were sporting their snowboarding and skiing jackets simply to go about their day.
“So,” I said, after successfully burning my tongue out of my eagerness for my daily cup of heaven, “when are we going on that road trip? I’ve already started looking around, and there are a few national parks we can choose from. We definitely want to do a lot of hiking and camping, and maybe some rock climbing thrown in. I want fabulous pictures from wherever we go. It’s a priority. So what do you think?”
She shifted in her seat, her eyelids heavy with laziness. “Look, I don’t know dude. I know I said that I’d go, but I’m really not up for hiking.”
“Well how do you know how you’ll feel when we leave? I’m not asking you to hike today,” I said, knowing full well that she was throwing her adventurous drive into reverse and once again, backing out on our plans.
“I don’t know, I just wish I could be adventurous.”
I put my coffee down on the fake wooden table. I sat there for a minute, absorbing the words she had just spoken.
“You wish you could be adventurous.”
“Why can’t you?”
“Well I don’t have time to do that stuff, or gear, and I don’t know if I could do it.”
My blood began to boil slightly. Maybe it was the Italian side of me, I don’t know.
“You can do whatever the fuck you want. You realize that, right? All those people who have hiked mountains or completed marathons, or scaled rocks or beat their personal time for cycling, they are doing what they want. And you will never hear them complain for even a second. You are the only person stopping yourself from doing what you want and from being adventurous. Everybody has lazy days, sure. But you’re part of this vast society of constantly lazy, complaining wishers. That’s almost as bad as saying “I wish I read books.” Here’s a concept: walk to the library or the book store and pick up a book and read it. Instead of tweeting about it or sitting here complaining to me how you wish you were more of something else, why don’t you just go and do it.”
She sat there, kind of just nodding absently.
“So what are you going to do about it?”
“About being more adventurous.”
“What do you mean?”
I nodded for a second. She hadn’t listened to a single word I’d said.
“Some people really can’t be saved, dude. Have a good day.”
I got up and walked out, opening the door into the glaring sun and the frigid winds. I think I’d rather deal with the harsh elements of adventure than the harsh elements of our society, anyways.
Jittery anxiety; nerves brimming to the top with the promise of the unknown. What was ahead? I’d seen the pictures; studied the language. Intellectually, I was a very prepared individual for this adventure I was about to embark on. Mentally? Not even close.
The rough handle of my luggage was a gentle reminder of my itching desire to do this. My unwavering curiosity and hope drove me forward as I glanced back down at the plane ticket: Machu Piccu, Peru, 1 Adult.
Adult? That’s a strange concept. I was still a kid. I never felt as if I’d crossed that gap to true adulthood, but I guess here I was, on my way to a mystical, seemingly unreal place that I’d cherished brochures and photographs of.
I could hear drums. What an odd choice of music to play at an airport; just drums. I felt blood rush to my cheeks and neck as I realized that it wasn’t music, it was my own heartbeat reverberating through my ears. I had never been so scared. Me! Scared! Hah. I was the master of adrenaline. I had skydived, rock climbed, bungee jumped, zip-lined, SCUBA dived, and para-sailed.
Yet here I was, hearing drums in my ears.
I inhaled, taking in the horribly familiar scent of fast food that airports offer. Is that what secluded life in the states meant? Great U S of A, land of freedom and opportunity. That seemed so ironic; everybody that I knew spent every day driving to work or school, stressing out, coming home, eating, and throwing themselves onto their bed to glare sleepily at a screen for three hours before passing out.
Where is the freedom there?
I exhaled, and practically broke out into a sprint towards my gate. This is what freedom was, and I wasn’t sure if there was ever any turning back.
It’s so cool, all of the new things people are coming out with to aid hikers. Obviously, back in the day, such things were arguably not needed, but it’s good that people come up with these things to aid hikers and allow them to enjoy their hike in a practical way.
Originally posted on Take a Long Hike:
Ever had to twist and reach to grab your water bottle? Ever had trouble slipping a canteen back into your pack without having to take the backpack off?
Hiking Tip: Use a bottle clip.
The green clip you see in the pictures fits snuggly around the necks of water or soda bottles. Look closely and you can see a thick black elastic, which keeps the container secure. I’ve hiked thousands of miles with this clip, and I love its convenience; my water hangs right from my pack belt, at my side.
In the PCT desert areas, I had four plastic water bottles clipped to my pack belt. For hikers who use a different hydration system, such as CamelBak, the clip may not be appealing, but I’ve seen even these folks carrying a spare bottle. I think most long-distance hikers go with plastic bottles to reduce pack weight. Other hikers may stick with canteens, or use wide mouth Nalgene bottles. Use whatever works for you, but the clip is light, inexpensive, easy, and convenient. That’s…
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I read a quote once that said that the most interesting people are not the ones who talk about other people, but the ones who talk about ideas.
I like to think of myself mostly as the latter, but for this post I will be the former.
Being an adventure-lover, it’s always interesting to see other adventurers. You know. People who hike, climb, bike, surf, pour their milk into their cereal bowl before their cereal; the crazy people.
Today I’d like to bring up 2manventure, two young adventurers from out of Colorado. Both Zach and Pierce contribute frequently to their blog, which I personally think is really cool, because it means they always have an adventure to update the world on. What really sucked me into their blog was their photos; these aren’t iPhone photos with a grainy filter. These photos actually require a decent amount of camera knowledge and fairly decent camera equipment. It’s really refreshing to see, in a world of Instragramers.
Check out their Flickr photostreams:
Keep on adventuring!