adventure

4 Things to Make You Feel Alive

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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:

Reading a book at the beach

Read

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. ‘

Spyglass on a Map

Explore

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.

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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!

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Exercise

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?

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Sometimes, it’s best to just jump in and burn your tongue

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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.”

“Yeah.”

“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 what?”

“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.

The future is in the eye of the beholder

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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.

Adventurers

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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:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachd1_618/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pierce-martin/

Keep on adventuring!

Categories

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There are an infinite amount of photographer “types” kicking around today. Portrait, landscape, event, sport, event, tabloid, nature, animal, wedding, travel; the list goes on.  All of these categories are forms of art in their own way, each using lighting and framing to capture their own beauty and their own perspective.

The specific category of photography I want to focus on today is that of adventure photography. This category appeals to me because of the way that I see life: it should be lived wisely and deliberately. We don’t want to make it to ninety years old and have no scars, no memories and no life lived. That’s not living the correct way.

There should be at least a few times in every person’s life where they think, “This is crazy. And I’m going to do it.” Fear of living on the edge is a very real thing, but almost nothing is as sweet as the feeling of conquering that fear.

That’s why photographing people conquering this fear is such a beautiful thing to me: using a camera to connect the world to a person who is ultimately invincible. At that point, it all becomes very simple to them; at that point, stupid little things like checking their Facebook and Instragram-ing their dog and car payments and all the little trivial things in life are the most dismal, minute concepts in the world.

To them, right then, they’re living.

They put life in perspective right then, and realize what really matters. Wouldn’t you want to?

But why photography?

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Have you ever seen a photo so brilliant and so moving, you have to stare? Like a piece of art mounted on a gallery wall. Even if you don’t know a single thing about photography or art or composition, you find yourself lost in it, find yourself making a connection in such a real way.

I’m a wedding and portrait photographer. My goal is to tell a story, to connect the people in the photograph with the rest of the world through a lens.

“There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.”—Ansel Adams, Photographer and Environmentalist

Now imagine seeing a photograph that conveys such intensity and sense of wonder, you can’t help but admire the subject. I’m talking about seeing a picture of someone doing something “crazy,” and thinking to yourself that it will never be you. Well why the hell not?

Photography inspires me. And it inspires me because it leads me to want to inspire others. It’s an art, a passion, a language of its own class.

This blog is about taking adventure and life, and preserving and transferring it into a medium of its own.

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(Taken October 2011 in Orange, MA by Michelle Bourget)

Perspective

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This is me, on my best day:

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I’m an average girl. I really am. I’ve seen the same ten movies a hundred times a piece, and I tweet more times a day than a logical thought runs through my head.

Well, here’s at least one logical question for today:

What in the hell were we put on this planet for?

Everyone will view this question differently, of course, because everybody has been raised differently.

But I’m willing to bet that everyone will say something similar:

“To make the world a better place.”

“To discover unknown places and ideas.”

“To advance our own race beyond others.”

Okay, cute. But what in god’s name are we doing to fulfill these heavy questions?

The answer is that we are doing nothing. There are a very, very, select amount of people who are following through with their life quests, and the rest of us are just riding on their coattails.

Cynical, yes, but the beauty about this is that every single one of us (cheesy as it sounds) has the ability to change this. Go outdoors. Read a book that doesn’t have the words “love,” “lust,” or “scandal” between it’s covers. Stop wasting time on petty drama. If someone is an ass hole, tell them and leave. If someone goes out of their way to do something nice, appreciate it. Appreciate good humor and give it in return.

Am I skydiving every day of my life? No. I went once. I was scared. I told the instructor to push me out of the plane. But I did it. I’m not telling people to go skydiving or bungee jumping every single day of their lives (hey, I mean if that’s your thing, power to you). But do something. Anything that makes you feel happy to be alive. Anything that makes you feel alive at all. That’s the beauty of it, is that you can do whatever you love and no one can ever tell you differently. I feel like an Instagram quote in the making but live your damn life. Inspire someone else to live their’s; and this planet will be a better place without even trying.

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Top photo credit to Jumptown Skydiving in Orange, MA.

Bottom two photos: (left) Rumney, NH August 2013 by Michelle Bourget, (right) Hadley, MA February 2012 by Michelle Bourget