Some of my earliest childhood memories are of the summers spent with my father camping with his troop of Boy Scouts in upstate New York. At camp every day was a new adventure filled with the smells of wood fires, pine trees, the earthy scent of forest floor, and catfish being fried in a skillet. I learned many skills at camp such as catching and cleaning a catfish, how to paddle a canoe, as well as learning to swim. I view the outdoors as a big classroom where we learn about ourselves and the world around us. We discover how to live, and how to survive and in the process learn about who we are and what we are capable of. All the lessons my father taught me about the outdoors remain as indispensable today as they were then. I plan to pass these skills on to my grandchildren when they are ready.
I recall feeling that my world made sense to me while at camp. We worked on the basics skills like chopping firewood so we could cook our food and stay warm at night. We fished so we would have a variety of things to eat for dinner, and we slept out under the stars so we could observe the starry night sky and wonder about the vast universe and all its beauty. At home, I did not see my day to day routines as being quite a meaningful. The food never tasted as good, and the sky was never as clear. So began my love affair with the Great Outdoors.
In retrospect; I guess it is not so surprising that I now own an Adventure Travel company. I love helping people create unforgettable outdoors experiences of their own. I had never planned to be an Adventure Travel professional. I just always remained receptive to opportunities as they came my way to travel and to spend time in nature. Being in nature brought me closer to that feeling I had as a child, the feeling that I was connected to everything around me and where everything made perfect sense.
So why do we crave adventure in our lives? I know that for me, the feeling of seeing a mountain vista for the first time, or connecting with a lively salmon and feeling its strength, makes me feel more alive. Perhaps it is not death we fear, but rather the fear of not living life to its fullest. When I return home from an adventure, be it scuba diving in Panama, or hiking up a glacier in Alaska, I see myself differently. I notice my eyes are clearer and wider, and my skin looks healthy. But most of all I feel connected…I feel at peace.