We live in an age where adrenalin adventures make the biggest headlines, even if it is nothing more than a mere sporting challenge. It continues to amaze me, that adventures like that get all this attention. A reality which is really quite silly in comparison with an Expedition or adventure including culture and people, which makes a much better read and actually furthers your knowledge about the world we live in. There´s a place for both, but in my opinion, we need to put more emphasis in highlighting adventures which actually makes a difference. And for me, a dad of two toddlers, I would like to add the Vogel Family´s 3 year adventure by bicycle from the northern most tip of North-America, Prudhoe Bay, to the southernmost tip of South-America as one historical great. I have done the trip myself, long time ago and I know how difficult it is. 3 years in comparison with a few months. Including two boys. Amazing! Fortunately Nancy has written a book about their adventure, which I will review for you, but I asked her to share some of her wisdom with you.
The three F’s of making your dream happen
“How can I do [insert my big thing here]?”
That’s a question I get asked on a fairly regular basis, and I know a thing or two about making big things happen. That is, if riding bicycles from Alaska to Argentina as a family is a big thing.
Together with my husband and children, I rode my bike 17,285 miles from where the road ends on the shores of the Arctic Ocean in Alaska to the very tip of South America. It was a journey that took us through fifteen countries in nearly three years.
So how does one go about doing their big thing? There are three main facets.
Face your fears
If your big thing is big enough, it scares the pants off you. That’s okay – do it anyway.
Funnily enough, you’ll find that as you approach the part you fear the most, the fear will dissipate and it won’t be nearly as scary as you thought it would. Just go, and deal with the fear when you get there.
Forget about failure
Don’t let failure be an option. Okay, okay, I know that you might fail, and you know that you might fail, but don’t focus on it.
Consider this: if you go, you face a 50% chance of failing. If you don’t go, you’re looking at a 100% chance of it. It simply doesn’t make sense to not attempt something because you’re afraid you might fail.
Fight furiously to make it happen
If your dream is big enough, you’ll have to fight for it. Hard. There will be some bits that are easy – we had plenty of days with beautiful springtime temperatures and with the wind at our backs. But there will also be hard times, and if you want your dream badly enough, you’ll have to fight.
Your big thing is more doable that you think. Just go. Start walking. You’ll get there if you make it happen.
After 21 years of classroom teaching, Nancy Sathre-Vogel made the decision to leave her teaching career behind to travel the world on a bicycle. Together with her husband and twin sons, she cycled 27,000 miles throughout the Americas, including traveling from Alaska to Argentina. Now she lives in Idaho, pursuing her passions of writing and beadwork. Visit her website at http://www.familyonbikes.org
I know of Nancy and her family achievements and so agree with your comments about the over-attention given to ‘firsts’, high adrenaline and ‘extreme’ adventures. While inspirational they remain beyond the reach of most folk and perpetuate the myth that ‘true’ adventure is beyond the reach of most. True adventure is available and valuable to all and lies just beyond the front door with nothing more than a pair of boots and a raincoat. The spirit of adventure matters more than the mission and challenges come in many forms – creative, cultural and social as well as physical. Here’s to more promotion of everyday folk who are living embodiments of that spirit. The world needs it!