I used to work inside—usually behind a desk, sometimes at a conference table, and often in my car. As an environmental justice attorney, I always knew that what I was doing was “important,” but I lived for the weekends (the ones not spent working, anyway). Not just because I thought it was fun to adventure outside, but because being outside and interacting with nature, having deep conversations with my friends, and pushing my physical limits brought me clarity. It provided the mental and physical recharge that I needed to “fight the good fight” all week long.
Lately it feels as if our lives are continually speeding up. Everyone I know is working non-stop and stressed out to the max, a toxic recipe for burnout. Humans cannot function this way indefinitely. Eventually we crash. We need moments of calm and solace, moments to reflect and grow, moments of seeing the bigger picture and taking deep breathes. We need these moments for clarity and sanity, and because they are fun.
Realizing that it takes time to plan the perfect escape and a level of comfort in nature that not everyone has developed yet, I decided to create something to get beyond these hurdles. So I started an outdoor adventure company where your itinerary is custom-built just for you and only revealed as you open sealed instructions throughout the day, leading you from one activity to the next. I’ve found that removing expectations and the opportunity to overanalyze an upcoming event, forces a presence of mind that we rarely get to experience anymore.
Now, I am making these adventures even more accessible through a real-world Choose Your Own Adventure mobile app, which allows users to experience an adventure with virtually no advanced planning and to customize on the go as they literally choose between veiled options.
Everyday we hear about the danger of excessive stress and a sedentary lifestyle. This app provides an easy way for people to hit the mental and physical reset button by getting outside and breathing hard. It removes the stress of planning; it’s more accessible than hiring a personal guide and it provides an experience more awakening than wandering around a popular shopping area.
By exposing new adventurers to nature and providing eco-scores for each activity, based on that activity’s environmental impact, I hope to enlarge the community of eco-conscious explorers. And as each adventurer gains a new perspective of our universal ecosystem, I hope they will share the experience with their friends and family and inspire even more people to get outside together.
I’m currently in the midst of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise the funds necessary to complete the mobile app. Once the structure for the app is in place, I’ll finalize adventure sequences in multiple locations (as determined by fan interest). I plan to continue my new life as a nomad for the next few years because I test every activity and believe that continuous updates are critical for quality control.
I don’t miss working inside or taking conference calls as I speed from one meeting to the next. I don’t miss wearing uncomfortable clothes and needing to escape in order to remember what the big picture looks like. I love my new life as an adventure coach, cheerleader, enabler, and advocate, because I truly believe that everyone needs an adventure and it’s pretty awesome to be someone making that happen.