I appreciate all kinds of adventures. Preferably with friends and my dog, Remi. The pictures above are from a camping trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and from a hike up to King Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland. I don’t want this page to be a list of the places I have been or the adventures I’ve had, but rather I want it to show what I take from these outdoor experiences, why I think everyone should get outside and go do something every once in a while.

Standing on top of a mountain, looking out as mist rises over a still lake, or scuba diving above a sleeping sea turtle can help show a person how small he/she is. Experiences like these help me get perspective. They allow me to realize that the world around us is bigger, grander, and deserving of more consideration than the internal. They help me to see that everything will go on after our time is over, and that’s okay. The best thing we can do is just to enjoy and appreciate our time here, to be kind to the people around and to smile and laugh and appreciate the gift of life. I think the messages and the drive coming from other sources – TV shows, advertisements, and our internal voice – provide a message that everything is about the individual. Individualized diets, individualized religion, and personalized considerations push humans toward believing that, if they aren’t omnipotent, they at least deserve the sole attention of the those around them. This causes a lot of anger, sadness, and depression as the actions of others and the processes of the world inevitably don’t focus on them. Adventures and quality time spent in the outdoors help to remind me that I am dust, and to dust I shall return. And that’s okay. In some odd way, knowledge of our impermanence helps me appreciate today.

Going on adventures brings people together. Exploring the unknown or embarking on a quest requires people to band together to accomplish what they couldn’t alone. Shared struggle, shared hardship, and shared victories help us to relate to others on a fundamental level. I have come to appreciate the strength and the scars of my friends by trying something with them, by admitting we want to face a challenge together and by attempting it. This admission leads to a sort of shared vulnerability and is a way to build honesty and truth in friendships. And a life full of genuine, open, and supportive friendships is a happy life.

So if you haven’t felt the tremor of fear on the roof of your stomach as you watch a storm roll in, felt a chill wet wind at your face while standing on the top of a mountain, grab a friend and get out and try it.