Our Everyday Adventures

We are not adventurers by choice but by fate – Van Gogh

Climb for Water – Kilimanjaro 2011

Did you know, nearly a Billion people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water?  Clean drinking water organizations and causes have been growing rapidly over the past few years as people become educated about conditions in the developing world.  Perhaps it’s because it’s been in the forefront of my mind during that time, but it seems like I can hardly blink before discovering another organization promoting clean drinking water.  Like all charities, I look hard at these organizations, making sure their hearts are in the right place.  One of the highest caliber organizations I’ve discovered has been Water for People.  If you don’t know about Water for People, go check out their page.

The Climb for Water team has committed to raising $1 for Water for People for every foot they climb on their Kilimanjaro expedition this August.  Raising nearly $20,000 will be enough to give hundreds of people clean water for many years through the use of water filtration, well drilling and rain capture devices.  The life changing effects clean water will bring are incalculable.

Check out the Water for People organization, and please visit the Climb for Water team’s web-site to make a secure donation of any amount.  Having fundraised several thousands of dollars for worthy causes, I know firsthand that every $1 makes a huge difference, and everyone can afford at least a $5 donation.  For more team info and regular updates visit their Facebook page here.

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How to Have an Adventure – 10 Tips on Planning Your Next Getaway

Post by: Jake

“We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!” ~Bilbo Baggins

1.) Make Adventuring a Priority. The biggest reason people don’t go have adventures is because they don’t make it a priority in their life. We all have busy lives, and it’s nearly impossible to “all of a sudden” have a free week, and funds to go travel. That is of course, unless you’ve made that a priority in your life. My wife and I would much rather spend some of our hard earned extra money on traveling to have an adventure then say… on a new flat screen T.V. or a nicer car, ect… There’s very few extracurricular priorities in our life that come above adventuring. We will gladly sacrifice other creature comforts if it means we get to experience life passionately through traveling and adventuring. For as long as we’ve known each other we’ve understood what traveling does for our souls, and we’ve made it a priority.

2.) Plan Ahead. Over the past several years I’ve found that periods of my life that have been a bit sedative have been a result of simply not planning to have an adventure. I hear friends say all the time… “We’ll go when we can afford it.” or “We’ve just been so busy the past few months, we haven’t had time to have fun.” By planning ahead, you set a date and therefore a goal. If the trip will cost a lot of money, you can plan for that and start saving. If the trip will require a lot of time off, plan for that, and start cutting out the 1/2 days off work, or the days off to go golfing or fishing, skiing, ect… Making a plan will make your adventure happen.

3.) Set Goals. I’ve always hated the forced goal setting exercises we all do in the group classes that no one likes, but setting goals is extremely important. Don’t just set one goal, like “I want to visit New Zealand”, set your final goal, then several incremental goals along the way. I want to travel to New Zealand. It’ll take 2-weeks of vacation time, and I’d like to do it comfortably so I’ll budget $3,000. How long will it take me to save up 2-weeks of vacation time and $3,000? Let’s say 18 months… Now, break that into smaller more manageable parts. Over the next 6 months, I’ll need to have saved about 3 and 1/3 days off, and $1,000 which equates to about $166 per month that I need to save? Is that goal attainable? Re-adjust if necessary.

4.) Sacrifice. This is certainly the hardest part of planning for your next adventure. After you have your goals set, and you know what it will take to achieve those goals, you’ll probably need to make some sacrifices to make those goals happen. The hardest sacrifice for me is saving up time off from work. It’s tough to balance taking a 1/2 day or day off for a quick short adventure to nearby locations with adventures that require more time off; but, if I have a goal in mind I can try harder to adjust my work schedule to take advantage of some work flexibility like working 4-10′s or working over 1 weekend to get a longer weekend the next week.

5.) Save, Save, Save. One of the hardest things most people run into while planning out their next big adventure is how to afford it? Sure, it’s tough for most people to come up with an extra few thousand dollars to take a vacation at will, but if you make your trip a priority, set some attainable savings goals, and sacrifice to get there, you’d be surprised how far you can go. I’ve heard of many normal everyday people saving for several years to take a super expensive ($30,000+) once-in-a-lifetime trip like hunting big game in Alaska, or climbing a huge peak in a foreign country. A tip that helps us save for a vacation is to purposely save “vacation” money in a separate savings account, or a jar in your sock drawer or something similar. Be vigilant not to rob the fund when you need a little extra cash. I find if we just put the vacation money in our normal savings account, it blurs the lines and gets fizzled away. Make a goal to save a certain amount of money towards your trip each month, and if you come across some unexpected money, save it; don’t blow it.

6.) Go Big. Think outside the box, and dream big about your next adventure. Think of something on your bucket list, something that requires some planning, and most importantly, something that can get you excited. I’ve found the more I can plan and research an adventure, the more my excitement and anticipation builds up.

7.) Carpe’ Diem. Seize the Day. When you’re on your next adventure, take advantage of every single moment, every opportunity. When faced with choices of doing something or relaxing at camp, take the opportunity. There’s plenty of time to relax when you’re dead, but just think, “will you ever be back?” Maybe, maybe not. Either way, be spontaneous, you won’t regret that, but you might regret not taking the opportunity.

8.) Solo or Team Travel? Doesn’t matter, just go. I prefer to travel with company. My wife, my family, my friends, co-workers, ect… I’m a social traveler and like to travel with someone to talk to and someone to share adventures with, but that’s not saying there’s not a place for solo travel. I have several friends that prefer to travel alone, and they end up meeting some terrifically fascinating people along the way. If you have friends to travel with, cool, if not, don’t let that hold you back, go meet some people.

9.) Get Inspired. Want to have an adventure, but not sure where to go or what to do? Lonely Planet  makes some of the best travel books available. Go down to your local gear shop and start browsing through the travel section. Let your imagination run wild, and keep in mind, any adventure is possible with the right amount of planning. Not comfortable taking the leap and going without a guide service? No problem, it’s not quite as budget friendly but adventure travel companies are everywhere these days and their entire business is thinking up and planning “adventures”. Get a couple trips under your belt and pretty soon, you’ll be ready to plan and execute your own adventures.

10.) Just Do It. Don’t stress out about planning an epic adventure. The most important thing you can get from this list of advise is to just do something. Great adventures rarely come to someone who isn’t proactive enough to get off the couch. Start small, start local, and pretty soon your adventures will get bigger, grander, more elaborate, complex. And they will never cease to be a great time.

“It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.” Tolkien.


Travel is a sport

Post By: Jake

Veronica and I have tried hard over the past few years to make traveling a priority.  We’ve traveled to foreign countries together, flown across the US to spend time with friends and family, and have taken several thousand+ mile road trips.

The experiences as a whole got me thinking about my favorite sport… “Traveling”. Over the past decade I’ve dedicated the vast majority of my free time pursuing outdoor sports of all types, climbing, backpacking, alpine touring, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, road biking, and even spelunking…

Although these sports are a ton of fun, I have yet to find ONE sport that I can really sink my teeth into. No ONE sport has been able to capture my attention for more than a few seasons, and it seems as the years go by, my gear chest grows, my free time shrinks, and the overall amount of time I get to spend on each of my passions becomes almost pathetic since there are so many different pursuits.

While driving home from a recent road trip to Utah, I started thinking about “Travel” as a sport. All the key elements of “Sport” are there for me. Webster’s defines “sport” as: “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature”. Skill? Physical Prowess? Well… it seems like the more adventure traveling I do, the better I get at planning the details before the trip so that I can maximize my adventure time while on the trip. I become more skillful at picking destinations off the beaten path that can offer adventure, adrenaline, solitude, and all around enjoyment. This goes right along with the “Competitive Nature” of the definition. The more I travel, each new trip I find I need to step it up another notch, I’m competing with myself to go farther, higher, deeper, live stronger, “adventure” more.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite movie quotes from The Beach :

“For mine is a generation that circles the globe and searches for something we haven’t tried before. So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It’s probably worth it.”


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