Why I Explore
I get asked a lot of “getting started’ questions. I struggle coming up with a response to these questions because a “one size fits all” answer could never address the complexities of why people choose to pursue the adventures they do. The choices and reasons I explore the way I do, are personal and unique to me, therefore its nearly impossible to sketch a “road map” that will lead to maximum personal satisfaction for someone else, because well, its personal and unique to each individual. That being said, the more conversations I have and the more questions I am asked, the more I realize people are searching for ideas to find their own starting point so they can create their own adventures and write their own stories… so here goes…
Road trips have been a way of life for me since I was a kid (thanks to my dad) Sometimes it was a 3 week marathon trip to Montana and back but more often than not it was just a day trip, a Sunday afternoon drive to escape the daily rituals that eat up so much of our lives if we aren’t proactively seeking to break up the monotony of life. Looking back on my childhood, I have fond memories of laying down in the back of my family’s Nissan Sentra hatchback on twisty mountain roads, watching the trees and rocks blur by (makes me car sick just thinking about it now). For me, it didn’t matter what or where the destination was it was truly about the journey, about interacting with the world around me, meeting new people, seeing new things, making new memories.
As is so often the case, life got in the way of this activity as an adult…I feel like I squandered a lot of great opportunities to explore in my 20’s. Too concerned about putting “holes” in my resume and too worried about what my life would be like in the future that I neglected to live my life in the present. After nearly a decade and a half of chasing the “american dream” I realized I wasn’t chasing my dream. As I shed the “collective dream” to pursue personal satisfaction I knew exploration was something I longed for. I began to rediscover and redefine “exploration” for myself. I didn’t set out to become an “off-roader”, I just knew I wanted to get out of the city, away from the rat race. I wanted to experience amazing things, to see the places so often missed by those who let the relentless tide of “routine” erode away the best years of life. I wanted to be inspired. I wanted to travel. SO thats what I did…in the beginning it was mostly drives into the local mountains, to hiking spots, to old forgotten towns…stopping and talking to locals, finding great burger joints…basically being a tourist in my own state. But this constant movement was laying the foundation for how I would eventually approach the off-road world. A few years passed and I began to notice that there were A LOT of trail systems in California. I attempted a few of them in my ill equipped Subaru Legacy with it’s 3 inches of ground clearance ;) There was a world out there on dirt that I wanted to experience I just wasn’t sure how yet. Eventually finances lined up and a new vehicle was possible. The Tacoma was on my radar… As a teenager my dad had a 1st gen (conservatively built but capable) so I knew it could handle the trails I wanted to explore. As I began shopping for a truck, It just so happened to coincide with the release of the 3rd gen. I quickly fell in love with the quicksand color and was stoked to get to maintain my streak of manual transmission vehicles… guess it was meant to be!