On taking big risks, embarking on new adventures, and getting out there

So there is this guy I’ve known since high school. Handsome kid, hardworking college graduate pursuing a career as an investment banking analyst. I’m always flattered to see comments and ‘likes’ from him as I document all my adventures, but he recently surprised me with the biggest compliment I have ever received.

Yesterday morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see a declaration from him in my news feed. It read:

“Holy crap! I just told my boss that I’m quitting my job to go travel the world. I’m either insane or just made the best decision of my life…I’m gonna say the latter! Wow, It’s all happening.”

Naturally, I jumped to congratulate him on his bold decision. I told him the truth: He had just made the best decision of his life. His response?

He told me that I was a part of his inspiration to quit his job and head out on a journey of worldly adventures. 

That, folks, is what this is all about. Maybe it’s the obscenely early morning and the lack of coffee flowing through my body at the moment, but I’m admittedly a bit misty-eyed to think that I contributed even the tiniest fraction of motivation for him to take such a daring leap into the world. Inspiring others to embrace life as an adventure is the reason I document my trips, spend endless unpaid hours writing, and take photos of every glorious little moment that enchants my life. And apparently, it worked.

Readers, consider this a call to arms. I dare you to leave your comfort zones, ditch the doldrums you’ve resigned yourself to, and get out into the world. Evan is choosing a truly courageous journey to experience destinations far beyond our country’s borders, but any adventure will do.

Can’t quit your job? Take a sabbatical. Take a long weekend – hell, just take the afternoon off. Drive outside of city limits, head towards the mountains, and get some dirt on your boots. Life is calling, and you can either sit around and let it pass you by – or you can take advantage of the adventure that awaits you. Go. Be bold. Take big risks, they tend to reap big rewards.

Seriously, you can do this.

Evan, congratulations again on following your intuition and seeking a journey that will ultimately change your life forever. I wish you all the best of luck and fortune during your travels – and can’t wait for you to unveil your own travel blog so I can keep up with all your worldly adventures. I am beyond honored to have been even the slightest inspiration for your decision to get out into the world. Cheers, buddy!

Introducing “Simply Adventure” – Reinventing the art of adventure in 2013

In May 2011, Niko and I embarked on a five-week trip across the country to climb, explore, and gain a new perspective on living. My leg of the journey began along the Atlantic coast in Miami, and together we traveled across mountains, prairies, and forests until reaching the Pacific ocean. After over a month spent living out of my parent’s Pilot, waking up with the rising sun, and spending afternoons splayed out in the sunshine of boulder fields – we returned home entirely changed.

It was quickly realized that we needed more.

We spent the next six months apart, with Niko studying in Tallahassee while I voyaged out on a seven-week solo trip and moved out to Denver for the fall and winter seasons. Upon reuniting, we decided our lives were better spent together – but that togetherness had a purpose.

We were built for a life of adventure.

And so, the plans began to form for a yearlong trip across the entire length America. At first, we dubbed it “The 2013 Trip,” but this epic journey deserved a more proper name – and thus, Simply Adventure was born. 

What are we doing?

We’re two perfectly regular people, proving that adventure is within anyone’s reach – all you have to do is choose a trail and follow it. We’re selling everything we own, buying a used van and building a home on wheels, simplifying our needs, and traveling America to discover everything that the land of the free has to offer. Our strongest passion is climbing, and through our journey we plan to support and advocate for local climbing communities and organizations. We also want to revive a love for living locally, focusing on local eateries and farmers markets.

Why are we doing this?

The common thread in all of our passions? The land.  We’re going to spread an appreciation for the unrivaled nature that sprawls across our country, and we hope to inspire others to embrace the values of land stewardship, conservation, and taking full advantage of what the outdoors has to offer. Whether it’s working to ensure access to a climbing crag in Tennessee, or supporting local farmers in California, we want to give back to communities who love the land.

We also want to demonstrate that what we’re doing isn’t some special journey reserved for a handful of folks daring enough to break free. Simply Adventure is a journey for EVERYONE. This experience is accessible to anyone – and we want you to come along for the ride. We hope to inspire you to forge you own path, dream about your own epic trips, and hit the road towards your adventure.

Where are we going?

Frankly, we want to go everywhere. Our map is still evolving, but we have a rough idea of our seasonal destinations. The adventure begins in January 2013, with a few months of climbing around the southern states to avoid the brutal winter up north. Once spring has sprung, we’ll begin meandering towards the mid-west and Pacific coast. Summertime will be spent in the northwestern region, and across the northernmost states. As the heat resides and the colors of autumn begin to blossom, we’ll follow fall along the northeast, and back down to our beloved southeast. The trip will conclude with a circuit around our favorite southern climbing areas.

For Katie, this trip will be the cherry on top of a lifetime of American travel. With only a handful of state lines left to be crossed, Katie will fulfill her goal of visiting all 50 states by summertime. And Niko? Well, he’s always up for exploring new territory.

So, how can you get involved?

Without you, our trip is meaningless. Simply Adventure is about inspiring, challenging, motivating, and educating others. We want to bring you along during our adventures, and we want to provide everyone with the opportunity to take part in the journey. By sharing our experiences, providing valuable tools and resources, helping local communities, and spreading the good tidings of adventure, we hope to create a new breed of explorers. We want you to adventure.

You can keep up with us through social media, personal contact, the blog, and even joining us during the trip. We’ll be documenting the trip as we go, via The Morning Fresh, and will be collecting material for a series of books, including photography books and a guide for creating your own epic adventure. (Stay tuned for an upcoming Kickstarter to help us fund the dream!)

Check out all the ways to stay in touch with Simply Adventure and The Morning Fresh:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SimplyAdventure
Twitter: http://twitter.com/SimplyAdventure
Instagram: http://statigr.am/themorningfresh
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/themorningfresh/
Yelp: http://simplyadventure.yelp.com

The journey has just begun – and we invite you to travel with us during every step of the way. Updates shall begin flowing, plans will solidify, the dream will inevitably grow, and Simply Adventure will soon come to full fruition. Will you join us for the adventure?