Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 23 - 10 Adventures Before I Die (Or Get Too Decrepit)

I rowed for a couple of hours this morning, and took a real drenching –
from waves over the side of the boat and from a passing rain squall.
Normally this would have been very welcome – some nice fresh rain to
cool me down. But wet conditions make skin much more fragile, and my
drenching did me no favors, given my current delicate condition.

So I went exploring in my first aid kit (see photo) and found a bag
nestled amongst all the medical terminologies, labeled simply "For The
Bum". It contained a veritable treasure trove of ointments and salves.
Thanks, Dr Aenor!

To while away the long, long hours while I heal, I decided to compile
some lists. Lots more in my notebook, but here is the first. Since the
Daily Telegraph named me as one of "Britain's Top 20 Adventurers" a few
weeks ago, I've been pondering a lot on the nature of adventure and
adventuring, with some philosophical thoughts that I'll share some other
time. But for now, here are 10 adventures I'd like to have before I die.

In no particular order:

1. North Pole (geographic, not magnetic) – so I can say, "I always
knew the whole world revolved around me"
2. South Pole – ditto, but upside down
3. London to Beijing by train via Moscow
4. Beijing to London by Land Rover via any country ending in "stan"
5. 3 months in a Buddhist monastery, somewhere in the Far East
6. Alaska/Yukon, maybe along the old Gold Rush route
7. Four Corners States (Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah) to get
to know the culture of the Navajo and Hopi tribes
8. Visit every place named in the Johnny Cash song "I've Been
Everywhere" (I've actually planned this one out. It would be huge –
26,000 miles, all over North America)
9. Trekking in Patagonia (the region, not the store)
10. Trekking in Nepal

Maybe due to some misguided Protestant work ethic I can't just have an
adventure. It's not enough to say simply "Because it's there" – there
has to be a reason. I have to justify it to myself – or else it's just a
vacation. At the very least to write a blog or a book – at the most
maybe something very personal and meaningful.

I suppose that, for me, that is part of the essence of having an
adventure. It should change me in some way – expand my horizons, teach
me new things, change my outlook. It's more than an experience, it's an
evolution. And being an adventurer is not just what a person does – it's
who they are.

Having said that, you don't have to born an adventurer. I left it late
in life to start adventuring – my first proper adventure (Peru, 2003)
was when I was 35. But I've got a few years left in me yet. And a lot of
world to cover. So I'd better get a move on!

Other Stuff:

Update on Mum after her hip replacement got an email from my sister
today to say that Mum's operation went just fine. She is still groggy
from the anesthetic but otherwise in good shape.

Just the quickest of quick hellos to Anna Farmery (and the other Podcast
Sisters). Enjoy that cold glass of cider for me – ooh, why did I think
of that! Now my Crave of the Day….

And thanks to everyone else for the comments and questions. (UncDoug –
I'm posting videos every week – there are now about 20 or 30 of my
videos on YouTube. So hopefully you can find what you wanted there. To
post even a 30 second video involves half an hour of upload time and
close to $50, so I won't be able to post a video specially – sorry!)

Right, I've had enough. I can't tell you how uncomfortable it is sitting
here in this tiny cabin with a hot laptop on my knees. A muggy wind
blowing and I'm covered in a sheen of sweat. Yeurch. So I'm going to
post a quick weather report and then I'm done.

OK, now on to that weather:

Position at 2030 HST: 15 06.043N, 164 32.621W
Wind: 15-20kts ENE
Seas: 6-8ft, choppy
Weather: 50% overcast today, but still hot and humid

Weather forecast courtesy of weatherguy.com:

The easterly trade winds persist in the 20kt range with a slight
increase mid period . Seas 5-7ft.

Sky conditions: Partly cloudy and consistent cloud cover. Very
isolated rainshowers.

As coordinated with Roz, weather reports will normally be posted Mondays
and Thursdays each week.

Forecast below is for a SWerly course.
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft)
15/1800-19/0000 E-ENE 15-20 5-7
19/0000-19/1200 E-ENE 17-22 5-7
19/1200-22/0000 E-ENE 15-20 5-7


  1. I've got adventure #11 for you... Motherhood It will take you places you've never known you could go before. ;)

  2. Unlike Johnny Cash you are on your way to rowing everywhere. I hope the issues with you bum are resolved and the discomfort will ease.

  3. Just returned from a trek to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, and I'm glad to see #10 on your list. Go for it! You'll love it.

  4. Anonymous1:03 pm GMT

    Wow your own "bum bag" :)


  5. Thanks for the reminder, Roz. I actually saw this video http://is.gd/13rhe a couple weeks ago. It is exactly what I was seeking! For those who have not been there, Roz's collection of videos is at http://www.youtube.com/user/rozsavage

    Hope your travels come to my neck of the woods, then you can say you've been everywhere ... and you've got to jump in snow-melt Lake Alpine with me -- my annual birthday tradition ;-D

    For the earth,
    For humanity
    For the bum ...

  6. Hello Roz,

    I admire your full list of dreams, although, basing an itinerary on a song is one I've never heard before.

    I hope you find what you are looking for. I think the adventurer's heart is truly one in search of meaning as opposed to "big feet" walking (see commenter above).

    I wish all the best for you, x

  7. Anonymous5:56 pm GMT

    The 3 months in a bhuddist monestary sounds very interesting! I have a suggestion, there's this british adventurer lady who built her own log cabins in the Canadian alpine wilderness. I'd like to check it out someday, here is her link: http://www.nuktessli.ca/

  8. Now I have that song stuck in my head. :)

  9. I like your everywhere adventure. Sounds interesting. I suppose it depends on fast you would do it. I myself would like to hike the Appalachian Trail, bicycle all across America, see Alaska, and Austrailia.


    PS. Love your blog. Your doing great in my book.

  10. in reference to the JOhnny Cash song, I've always wanted to go everywhere in the song "Kokomo" by the Beach Boys. Not so much adventurous as a huge vacation, but I'll take it.

  11. An interesting collection of adventures. Wish you the best in completing your list. . .

  12. Your list of your top 10 adventures to complete before you die really intrigues me, so much so that it raises an immediate thought...

    Lets compare going on an 'Adventure' to a trip to the cinema to see a thought-provoking movie. If I watch a complex movie by myself, I sometime reflect on what I have seen and wonder if I have missed an aspect or interpretation that was maybe in there, but that I did not immediately see...? For this reason I find it far more rewarding to go to the cinema with someone else, with whom I am able to discuss, dissect, and bounce thoughts off of, about the experience...

    Now going back to an Adventure, the physical experience of being on an Adventure is only one aspect of the whole experience, and being able to share that series of moments with someone and use that interaction to interpret the events on a mental or metaphysical level, would seem far more rewarding to me.

    This is just a very roundabout way of asking if I can join you on an adventure or two...?

  13. Trevor Down Under6:54 am GMT

    The song you mention may have originated in Australia, so for a real adventure trying following the Australian original and then you will have an adventure. Just remember it will be a big change, no water, just dirt sand scrub and flies.

    Love your work.


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