It's been a couple of weeks since we've posted here, in large part because we've been working NONSTOP on some big projects that we're super excited about! In just a few weeks you'll have a chance to get beta access to the first Boldly Went book - "The Dirtbag's Guide to Life: Eternal Truths for Hiker Trash, Ski Bums and Vagabonds"! That's going to be accompanied by a shorter resource we're producing called "THE BEST THINGS!", and it will also coincide with the launch of our Patreon network, which will be a new way for people who are excited about what we're doing to become a part of it. We're also preparing for our next event in Tacoma tomorrow (11/29), a big western swing through Laramie (Dec 10), Boulder (Dec. 12), and Moab (Dec. 15) for live events (tix for all here!), and a scouting trip to Veracruz state in Mexico over the holidays! Ahh!! So much excitement! I can barely breathe!
In the meantime, in the next few weeks we've got a few guest writers on our blog that we're also stoked about! This week's post is from Sara VanderWaal, one of our new BFFs, who (randomly) finished the Pacific Crest Trail on the same day as us in 2015, and is good friends with our buddy Wild Bill, but who we met for the first time at our last Seattle event. Since then she's become a huge support, and sent us this post recounting her experience at the first Boldly Went event she attended. It makes us blush, but ultimately who doesn't love a bit of unsolicited praise! File this under personal endorsements!
Have you seen the news lately? It’s hard to wrap your mind around the stories. So much violence and hate fueling the fires of division in our country. It’s the kind of fight that’s so daunting and at times makes you feel helpless, like approaching a burning home with a shot glass size of water in hopes to manage the flames.
But what if your whole town showed up? The importance of cultivating and bringing together community during these times of division is imperative to our well-being in both the singular and plural forms.
A couple of months ago, a friend that I met while hiking the PCT suggested going to a live podcast event in Seattle. As you can probably guess, it was Boldly Went. I remember walking into the bar where it was held and scanning the scene. It was a perfect Goldie Locks and the Three Bears situation; cozy but not claustrophobic, a good crowd of people, but not to where you’d be lost in the room. And unbelievable as this may seem, everyone was smiling and engaging in conversation with one another and not on their phones.
My friend and I grabbed a beer and sat down, thinking that it was going to be a solid event.
During the show, the stories were raw and honest. Some people spoke about setting and completing exceptional goals, which they doubted in the beginning. Others shared about failed attempts and lessons learned, but there were stories from every skill level ranging from new beginner to pro athlete. What blew me away was how engaged everyone was; the sponsored athlete stoked for the newbie and vice versa. It was a breath of fresh air, an inclusive and supportive environment where all of the stories and people had and will continue to have their place and value.
Something about the experience seemed significant, and after the event, I've found myself wondering why bringing a group of people together like this matters. What is so special about the outdoors, especially today?
There’s an African Proverb that reads, “to go fast, go alone. To go far, go together.” To me, Boldly Went embodies just this. Life isn’t meant to be lived alone, and what we are passionate about should be shared because it’s inspiring to others. The outdoors provides growth, feeds your passion for discovery and adventure and at the same time keeps you oh-so-humble which creates a very unique bond.
And since the event, I've been inspired to help build up the outdoor community, so I've been spending some time helping get the word out about Boldly Went and helping get events organized in Portland, Bend and my new home in Utah.
For me, it goes beyond a podcast and live event, because Boldly Went seeks to help organically cultivate relationships and connections in the community to spark that adventure. We vote that the “to go far, go together” mentality is the most impactful.
And maybe if we highlight the beauty in our communities, at a time when events in the news highlight our divisions, the world won’t be so scary.
So check out the podcast, or come check out a live event in your community and connect with those who love the outdoors.
Thanks so much Sara for the kind words! We love you too!
If you want to be like Sara, and get more involved, a great first step is to sign up for our weekly newsletter, which we promise is fun and inspiring and will keep you updated on everything important! Sign up here!