So, my entry into Alastair Humphrey's micro adventure film festival is finally ready for your viewing pleasure and critique. Let me know what you think of it on here, or on youtube. You'll probably find it a little cheesy, but hopefully in an uplifting, motivational speaker kind of way, not a hacky bad comedian way. I'm happy with how it turned out for the most part, and I think it embodies the feel Alastair is going for with this contest, and with his micro adventures.
Here it is:
My next video will be about rain... inside... hopefully... Stay tuned in june to check it out.
I was at dinner with some work friends a few weeks ago to celebrate an employee's departure from the company to go to South America. Of course, given the circumstances of the get together, the conversation soon turned to travel. They all talked of their cruises and Disney vacations, and I of my months in tents and my minimally equipped, underfunded adventures, and though we spoke of opposite ends of the travel spectrum, it soon became apparent that we were all talking about the same aspects of our trips... The 'bad' experiences. Their 'bad' experiences consisted of inadequate closet and bathroom space, queen beds instead of kings, and other annoyances, while mine consisted of riding bikes through barren marshland with no water for hours on end and pitching tents in cactus patches. Each person has their own idea of bad, I suppose, but the point is clear: problems encountered while traveling make for the best stories. It makes sense. If everything goes to plan then there's no story to tell. Would you rather hear the story about the time we spent the night in the woods and then drove home in our car the next day, or the time we had to spend the night in the woods because our car broke down and then we walked out the next day? In my mind one story stands out as the obvious winner here.
So, problems make for better stories than plans that work out. So what? Well that's not such a big deal until you take it a step farther. I realized this long ago, and because of it, I tend to deal with problems much better and more calmly than most. If you have ever been around me when things start going wrong, then you'll know that as soon as they do, I crack a smile. Everyone else might be miserable, we might be lost, or out of money, but I know it's gonna be a good story.
I can't begin to count the number of times I've been sitting around with friends recounting a 'bad' experience I've had and laughing out loud with the very same people who were hating the world when we went through it, but every time I do I remind them that this is why I wasn't miserable myself. That this funny story was what I was thinking about when everything was going wrong, and that I knew we'd all be here laughing about it together in the future. So why would you ever be angry, or sad, or upset about problems that come up when you can just look forward to looking back and laugh at the situation you're facing? It'll be funny later, so just think about later now.
Micro-adventure video is almost done. Hopefully I'll have it up later on in the week. Until then enjoy this picture of Kenny psyched about our hot tub.
So, this past week was spent cooking up half baked plans to travel, to live without a traditional 9-5, and myriad other pipe dreams. For now they are just that, but I am making progress (at least in my mind) on the blog, photo, and video front. Just yesterday I finished filming for my entry into Alistair Humphreys's micro-adventure film festival. The adventure was quite micro, and mostly a mental one I suppose, but a fun one none-the-less. You'll have to wait until it's fully edited next week or so to find out exactly what it is, though. Make sure to vote for me on his website when the time comes (I'll remind you).
Here's the real video. It was really fun to make, except for the getting stung in the head part. I'm not sure why I thought I could stand next to a hive of angry bees and be safe, but I'll know better next time.
My next video will be about riding bikes, or climbing hills, I don't know yet. It'll be about something.
Life is so busy! The video of Eva with her bees is mostly done, but I won't have it up until tomorrow or sunday. It's not my best work but it certainly isn't my worst. I have to use whatever music I can find that's free to license, so I'm not always happy with the audio track, but I do with it what I can. I'm just glad to be behind a camera again. I let myself fall through the cracks on that and some other things in the recent past, but I think I'm on the right track again. It would have been nicer if I hadn't fallen off them in the first place though. Have you ever imagined what it would be like if you never stopped pursuing what you wanted in life? As a child, maybe you played a sport, maybe played an instrument, maybe you wrote stories; you had dreams that you put a lot of time in to is the point. But adulthood reared its ugly head and those dreams were probably pushed to a back burner, or off the stove entirely. I had these thoughts while looking at my young cousin a little while back. He was about four at the time and I thought to myself for the first time "Wow! He has all the opportunity in the world. No commitments to hold him down. He can go any direction he chooses and he has all the time in the world to perfect whatever his pursuit might be." Then I thought of how I had let life get in the way of some of the things I used to pursue and realized that he too probably wouldn't understand his potential until it was too late -- but wait -- then I took a step back for a minute. If I, a twenty-something wanna-be-adventurer, could see this in my little cousin, what did the forty-somethings lamenting their own direction in life think of me, and the sixty-somethings of them. Its never too late to make a change and to choose the life you want for yourself. I guess if you're a fifty-eight year old trying to break into the professional stunt unicycling circuit you might get some laughs from the younger participants, but what else are you gonna do? Not go after what you want? So, I fell off the rails for a while. Oh well. Time to play catch up i guess. Unless you're a total pessimist, or a total procrastinator, or a hundred years old (and that one's debatable), there is always potential, and I hope I can always keep that idea with me.
P.S. If any hundred year olds (or even ninety year olds), are for some reason reading this, get in touch with me, cause I bet you have some awesome stories to tell. And if anyone reading has any music tracks they would like to allow me to use in future videos, please get in touch with me as well, and I'll see what I can do with them. THANKS!
I consider myself a bit of a beer snob, so if I had to recall the best beer I ever had, the answer might surprise you a little. It was a friday about a week in to my bicycle ride to florida, and we had stopped for the night at lunch rock. We were starving. We had been living on dehydrated vegetables and army rations since we had left home, and as for beverages, a bland, artificially sweetened drink powder packed in with the army food was the most flavorful thing to cross our lips. It was around dusk and we were making ourselves comfortable, when a husband and wife with their two children happened upon our campsite, and as they approached we noticed a cooler in their hand. Immediately, our food and drink fantasies began. We ended up talking with them for several minutes about our trip, and about the area, but, as we would confess to each other later, always with the hopes of a surprise treat from that cooler in the back of our minds. Eventually the family left, having invigorated and entertained us with their stories and friendship, but also having crushed our hopes of libations and gastronomic delights. My riding companion, Bryce, had just turned to me to say "Man, I thought we were scoring a few brews or something!" when who else but one of the visitors would re-emerge from the darkened path with a gift of two Miller lites for we two weary travelers.
This story isn't about beer. It's about the allure of travel and how it can change your perception of things; about living simply; and about enjoying the small things along the way. Traveling, especially traveling very light, is the best medicine I've found for whatever troubles you. Even if its only for a day, whittling your life down to what can fit in a backpack instantly shakes off the worries of the world and makes all the the little surprises more special when they come along. I don't even like Miller Lite, but that night it was more enjoyable than any nice craft brew I might be able to come across at my house today. I'd like to always live so simply.
You may have read this story before on my old blog, but if not, you should take a look at it. There are plenty of other interesting thoughts and experiences to read about there too.
I filmed Eva setting up her honey bee hive today and got stung in the head, got a lot of good shots though. I think I'm going to designate friday as the new blog day. So, expect a new video next week and a new blog every friday (at a minimum). Have a special day.