Less than a week left to go before the start of the adventure. The excitement is building and the plans are finalized. A few final tweaks and it’s just about time to get the show on the road…or water I guess I should say.
Heading into the final week before launch, the biggest question I have gotten so far is “Wow that sounds crazy, where ever did you get the idea and why would you want to do that.” For me, there is just not a simple answer to that seemingly easy to answer question.
First off, I think that travel is more addicting than any drug or habit one could develop. For the past year and a half, I have been road tripping as often as possible to explore and set my sights upon this beautiful country. So many never get the chance to fully experience that in life and I didn’t want to sit around and wait until the day I wished I had done this or that. As Red says in my favorite movie The Shawshank Redemption, “Get Busy Living, or Get Busy Dying”…So I guess I just decided to start living!
In the process of trying to roll away the miles, I have been able to check off 46 of the lower 48 states (sorry Kansas and Arkansas). In that time, one thing has become very clear…the more you see…the more you want to see! That addiction has lead to always looking for the next big adventure. It’s hard to shake that wanderlust bug once it has struck.
One item that always makes those trips with me has been my Imagine Surf Paddleboard. I have been fortunate to paddle everywhere from the Boston Harbor, The Gulf, The Lake Huron, and many much smaller remote lakes across the country. My Board has been on rivers, streams and everywhere in between. My love for paddling has truly been one of the biggest passions in my life. You can go very few places to completely escape the noise and bustle of a busy work week. For me the water is that place. To be able to paddle somewhere extremely beautiful, where it feels like you are the only person that has ever seen that place, is what keeps me going back to the water. Almost every city in America has some body of water near it to get out on and some of the most spectacular trips are the ones right on the outskirts of the very city you live in. You can be right on the edge of a downtown, and still feel a hundred miles away. That feeling is what makes me long for this adventure. The excitement of getting to experience each and every new place I have come to, is really at the root of where this idea has come from.
Yet, this trip is not only for the joy of traveling and the adventure that is sure to come, but also to strengthen my faith and the desire to truly make an impact on the lives of others. I was raised with the order of life’s priorities as; God first, Family second and everything else comes after that. So often in this daily life now, it becomes easier and easier to fall and fade from that order. Anytime you watch the news, glance through social media or listen to the upcoming presidential debate, the world is filled with so much negativity, ill-will and sadness. I want to remove myself from that. Rather than reading another post about if someone should or shouldn’t be allowed to use a bathroom, someone killing someone else, people just complaining that life is unfair or one of the other laundry list of negative topics, I want to try to help inspire others to look for the good in life and find the beauty that everyday can provide. I want others to live their dreams as much as I am chasing mine. My hope is for my trip to strengthen my priorities, and focus myself on truly doing my part to help others. That may be through a A Kid Again, a blog or social media posts, meetings along the journey or any other way I can along this route to help inspire others to make positive changes and impacts in their own lives, as much as I’m sure you all will impact me.
Coming from working as a teacher, kids have always been a big priority in my life. I knew I wanted to continue to impact the lives of children in someway along this trip. The ability to partner and work in helping to raise funds for A Kid Again with the amazing work they do for children and families in need, was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up. I am so humbled they have taken the chance to partner with just a simple teacher, wanting to follow his crazy adventure. People may think its nuts and say how hard this journey will be, but to me it is nothing like what some of these children face everyday. If I am able to help and impact their cause even just a little through raising support for them, I will call this journey a success. Yet, my goal is not only to impact the lives of those children, but to inspire others to make the most out of everyday they are given. It could be finding an adventure of their own, losing weight, being a better father, mother, sibling, friend or simply just taking a look at life and truly asking themselves what their dreams are and going after them.
There are so many other bits and pieces to why I want to try this. Its not about self gratification, or to become some big sensation. It is just about trying to experience as much of this life as I can. To prepare myself to one day sit back and say I had no regrets. I traveled, I truly experienced life and hopefully impacted the lives of others along the way.
Thanks for following along!