Imagine this: you sit on your couch, have a nice book in your hands a cup of hot tea on the table and the fire in the woodstove is crackling. The rain is hitting the windows, and you hear how the wind is blowing around your house. You take a zip of tea and think about the adventurer; outside in a tent, cold and tired, trying to make a small dinner on a tiny stove… Now why would a person do this and even like it!?
In a series of blogposts, I’m trying to give a answer on this question. Probably it will not be the answer of all of the nomads, travelers, adventurers or outdoor people, but its my personal answer I collected trough reading numerous blogs, books, watching films, listening to interviews, talking to people about this and most important, doing this myself. I have found 4 (there must be millions more, but for me there are 4 big ones) reasons why somebody might do this and like it.
Before I started my current education (Soon I’ll be “Bachelor of Popculture”, yes!) I traveled for a year and tried to ruff it as much as possible. I slept on the street in USA, met streetkids and spend time in their freaky bus, spent a night in a self made snow cabin at -30C in North Sweden and hitchhiked from Portugal to the Netherlands. All these things don’t appeal to the majority of people but I had to do them, to get where I am now. Why did I want to do these things? And what did I learn from them? In the short run just basic stuff. I learned that if you want to sleep on the street, make sure there is some kind of cover to sleep under because you might be awoken by a rain shower. Or if you want to hitchhike, make sure that you know where you are and where your destination is, otherwise it might take 6 hours of standing with lots and lots of traffic passing by.
It was only after my first long cycling trip trough sweden that there was a feeling of real sense in it all. In retrospect, this was also my first “adventure”. There was a sense of excitement; where would I sleep and what will I encounter? A sense of challenge and victory; will I make it? And if I made it, it would be a huge achievement! And being in the middle of stunning beautiful nature; the forests of sweden. These are 3 of the 5 reasons. The other reasons for me are: Personal development and Creativity.
The 1st of February there will be a adventure for me to test if these 5 things are right. I will go from the most eastern point in the Netherlands to the most western point. These points are in the North-east and the South-west and are 450 kilometers apart. Perfect! To make it exciting for myself I will go on inline skates. Did I already mentioned I can’t skate at all? I’m learning as we speak (or read/write) and every time the skates are under my feet, there is a sense of excitement flowing over me. It started when I bought the skates. It starts small. The idea grows, and the closer the trip comes the bigger the excitement becomes. Can you remember when you were a kid and it was the night before your birthday? For sure you couldn’t sleep! Excitement all over! The same with this trip. I guess the night before departure there will be hardly any sleep, due to this excitement.
This feeling also makes me feel good and motivated. I’m working mostly behind my computer, and the sense of excitement to go on a crazy inline adventure makes it less oppressively to sit indoors all day. There is a positive vibe building up towards D-day, with a huge climax of the first step, paddle or skate-swoosh.
Then the real excitement sets it. It’s not so strong as the build up towards the first steps of the trip, but it’s a more constantly feeling that sometimes comes up strongly. Mostly at the end of the day, when you have to find a place to sleep, put up your tent or make camp. Where will the place be, where you will lay your head for (hopefully) 8 hours? Will it be a beautiful place, with a view over the mountains or a lake? Or will it be a gas station because there is running water? Then there is the “morning excitement”. You wake up (if you have found the place with a view over a lake you’re lucky!) and drink your coffee. What will happen today? What will I encounter? Who will I encounter? Will my gear or my body do what I would like it to do? All these thoughts come up while staring over the lake… This is why I do it. The excitement of the day. Being surprised by everything, because I can’t expect anything!
This excitement beats being in a cosy, warm house with a cup of tea reading a book. Even when it’s stormy, rainy or cold. I’ll be in my bivvy bag, with a small basic meal thinking about what the next day will bring. I have no clue what it will bring, but I know it will be exciting!
This is part 1 of 4, in the next part I will see how it is with the challenge & victory… Read it here.