What if there was a school for those of us who love nature and the outdoors and want to take the next step in adventure? A school designed to teach us new sports. A university that pushed you to live more adventurously—that provided easy solutions to overcoming your fears and the problems that are preventing you from taking bigger adventures.
(PS, pin that image up there and save it for later!)
Whether you want to take your first camping or backpacking trip, to taking bigger adventure road trips or road trips abroad, to trying new outdoor sports like kayaking, SUPing, hiking, or trying even more adventurous sports like surfing, climbing, mountain biking, or canyoneering. Well, that day has arrived.
Welcome to Adventure Bigger University!
But first, let me ask you something…
How often do you take a risk and fail?
For me, it feels like a regular occurrence.
You see, when I designed Carve Your Path a few years back, it was the result of me being very frustrated and overwhelmed and honestly, really jealous of what I saw other people being able to do.
I had opened a business at 20 years old and started having kids at 22. No complaints because I loved my job and I loved that I could do it with my kids. But then the inevitable happens, and I did what so many people seem to frown upon…I changed.
I wanted more.
Do you want more too? Click here to get started with our free course, Adventure Bigger 101.
By the time my my fourth baby was born, I was itching for the outdoors. I needed adventure. I needed diversity in my days. But mostly, I needed a new challenge.
Being pregnant and having babies was a HUGE challenge, but I wasn’t going to live the rest of my life trapped in that bubble of thinking that being a mom was enough. I needed my own self fulfillment, my own development, my own failures, my own successes, basically my own individual challenge. So by the time my fifth baby was done breastfeeding I started actively chasing more.
I picked up a surfboard and taught myself to surf. Then, I bought a Groupon for outdoor rock climbing, when I had never even gone indoor climbing, and instantly fell in love with the sport.
Well fast forward a few years later and now I’ve traveled to 26 countries with my five kids in search of trails to hike, waves to surf, and rock walls to summit. My sports and the connection I share with my kids has become the focus of my days.
But it’s not really about just playing (like my dad teases me for), it’s really that my sports, raising kids, and travel are how I choose to learn and grow as a person and that is my true purpose.
To constantly improve my knowledge, my skills, and my capabilities through experiences.
But guess what?
I fail all the time.
Seriously, you have no idea how much I screw up. And I’m really happy about it because I look at who I was five or ten years ago and I feel so much satisfaction in how much I’ve grown as a person.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always a W-I-N. I look back and think a lot about the things I’ve had to give up along the way or things I used to do better, but I can easily dismiss this negative thinking because I know I intentionally gave them up for a greater sense of purpose.
How about you?
- Do you look back and think of what you used to be good at?
- Do you feel like you are changing for the better?
- Do you feel like the things you’ve had to let go of were necessary in order to get on the path you were meant to be on?
- Do you look at the path you are on and think, This is where I needed to get to so that years from now I won’t have to wonder what if?
Whether you already feel like that or want to feel like that, ABU is created to help you grow even more. Click here to head over to the school and get started with our free course, Adventure Bigger 101.
Ok, back to that risk I wanted to tell you about.
Gabi, my 17 year old daughter, and I plan all our trips and when we planned our Pacific Island trip to Hawaii, New Zealand, and Bali, we really didn’t think the whole thing through very well. We jumped so fast on booking tickets that we spent the next nine months debating if we should even go to Bali.
As it got nearer, I became really worried that Bali was going to feel like a trip we took to Nicaragua a few years back. I like going to off-the-beaten-path locations in first world countries, but I quickly learned that in third world countries, I need to stick on the path well worn.
The only reason we were going to Bali was because I really wanted to surf Medewi. To save money, we ended up renting a house in Medewi for a whole month. Big mistake.
As soon as we arrived I knew I would be reliving our Nicaragua trip, except this time it was even longer. And I knew I just wanted to turn around and fly home. Except that I couldn’t. We were out of money except for the $50 a day we had budgeted for food for the month.
Related blog (written by Gabi): Should I Go to Bali: A Lesson in Takiing Risks, Harship, and Appreciation
I tried to reframe my thinking, to have a more positive mindset, to find the silver lining, but every morning I woke up thinking How am I going to endure being here for an entire month? How can I get through the day as fast as possible? How can I focus on the silver lining?
Normally, I jump out of bed so excited to start my day, but here, it was so hot, it took twenty minutes to paddle to the surf in order to not cut up our feet, there were no grocery stores so we had to eat out every night and I hated how they fried all the meat. I felt like such a failure for bringing my family here and asking them to endure the lack of comforts. Seriously, the water and electricity went out every day for the first week! At least when we vagabond in our RV in the States I make sure we have food and water.
After a week I couldn’t take it any longer. I did something even more irresponsible. I rented a car from a guy who took my cash and shook hands. No paperwork. No insurance.
I didn’t really think much of it at the time. And I really didn’t care that we’d have to rack up the credit card debt to rent Airbnb’s for the next few weeks. I just wanted to get out of Medewi and go somewhere with more infrastructure. I wanted a house where the rooms were connected. I wanted food options—like a grocery store. I just wanted an escape.
We headed to Canggu—the most hipster place you can get in this third world country.
Driving in Bali is the craziest thing I’ve ever done. The fact that I was driving on the opposite side of the road and the stick shift was on my left was the easy part. The crazy part was the thousands of scooters that pass you on both sides. Cars are constantly overcoming slower vehicles in both directions and everyone honks all the time—whether it’s to say thanks or get out of the way I’m not sure. If I wasn’t on a two lane road fighting traffic, I’d be on narrow winding roads that had insanely steep grades (I was thankful to have a manual transmission to downshift otherwise I would’ve burned out my brakes) and huge pot holes that made me thankful the I grew up riding dune buggies in the desert.
Ten days later, I could take the driving no longer…ugh! We returned to Medewi to wallow in self pity and see if we could finish out the twelve days we had left. We were bored and uncomfortable, but at least I didn’t feel like we were going to die on the road.
But after a few days I again could last no longer and we charged more money on our credit cards to return to Canggu and finish our trip in comfort. It was perfect. Those seven days made all the difference. Our family thrived. We connected. Gabi and I got epic days of surf. We met wonderful people. It was everything I strive for in my travels.
Now, if I measure this trip in the amount of money it cost us in course corrections, I failed big time. If I measured it in how comfortable and how much joy the entirety of this experience brought us. I really, really failed.
But if I measured it by how it aligned with my value of creating challenge, having memorable experiences that bind my family together, and creating persistent and adaptable kids, well then I guess it was one huge success.
Now please don’t leave! The story gets better! But if you ARE bored, just click here and head straight over to our free course, Adventure Bigger 101 and start taking action
Sure, I love easy trips. I love getting to hike, bike, and climb during the day and sit around a campfire at night enjoying a big meal with my family.
But I’ve been doing this long enough to know that easy days are few and far between. Most of our travel is hard. Most of raising kids is hard. A marriage of 21 years is hard. Life is hard.
But when you’re problem-solving something that aligns with your values and who you want to be and the path you believe you are supposed to be on, then that pain and frustration is tolerable.
In fact, it almost becomes inviting because you know that the lesson it will teach you will shape the next evolution in your self-growth and help with the next problem. Because there will be another problem. Your problems never go away.
As Mark Manson says in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#$%, “The goal to happiness is solving problems that are solvable.”
I can’t solve your problems. But I can help you create solvable problems.
Adventure is not the goal, but it is one of the many means to the goal. Adventure in itself is one big problem because true adventure is stepping outside your comfort zone and taking risks. Trying something new and often failing in hopes of achieving many small successes.
And that’s why we’re starting Adventure Bigger University.
A school for anyone who loves nature and the outdoors and wants to take the next step in adventure. In this school, we’ll teach you new sports that help you live more adventurously, how to overcome fears and problems preventing you from taking bigger adventures, and how to take your adventures to new places around the world.
From small adventures like taking your first camping or backpacking trip, to taking bigger adventure road trips, to trying new outdoor sports like kayaking, SUPing, hiking, or trying even more adventurous sports like surfing, climbing, mountain biking, or canyoneering.
Adventure means new experiences and challenges. Our goal with ABU is to take your love of the outdoors and provide you with more challenges and opportunities to create new experiences but also give you the tools you need to conquer the challenges involved in adventure so you can say, “Hell yeah I just did that!”
We created this school so you don’t have wonder, What if? anymore:
- What if I hiked 20 miles in 1 day?
- What if I learned to surf with my son or daughter?
- What if I climbed a rock face?
- What if I went on a road trip and tent camped without the comforts of an RV or hotel?
- What if I took my love for rock climbing and tried bouldering?
- What if I could capture epic pictures of my newfound adventure lifestyle?
- What if I could zen out more by learning a new water sport like kayaking?
- What if I could escape to alpine lakes and stand on new mountain peaks by backpacking for the weekend?
If you are ready too add more adventure to your life, start with our free course, Adventure Bigger 101.
Listen, Bali sucked. I sucked for not taking the time to research more. For not sticking with my instincts when I knew we should skip it. But let’s not forget the silver lining… I now know that I don’t need to go to India or pretty much anywhere in Southeast Asia. I’m not a third world traveler.
For as tough as I may seem, I need food choices and creature comforts . . . but not too many . . . have you read my blog, I‘m Not a City Girl?
That doesn’t mean I won’t be taking other risks. And I hope you won’t stop taking risks either.
Remember risk is really only a risk when it doesn’t align with your purpose, values, and skill set. When you are doing it for a reward and not for the experience itself.
It’s okay to change and it’s okay to take risks.
Most of all, it’s okay to fail.
If you aren’t taking risks, there’s a chance you’re afraid because you haven’t found something that you care enough about. The first course, Adventure Bigger 101, can give you that … awareness of what it is that you truly value.
Then after that, learn that bigger adventure with:
For me, owning a house and expensive car wasn’t as important as pushing myself physically and mentally, teaching my kids to push themselves physically and mentally, and creating memories together that form an unbreakable bond.
Sure my kids may develop different opinions and make different choices as they all grow up, but we will always be able to get together at holidays and share stories like, Remember when we rented a car in Bali and drove through the mountains and mom yelled at dad for not getting out to push the car up the hill so we wouldn’t get stuck in the potholes?