One of our major goals as we've been developing this little project has been to find, partner with, and promote businesses and nonprofits that we like: to flex our massive international economic muscle to get money to the places we think it should go.
The primary outlet for that is through the Navigator's Network that we're building, where a main focus is helping locals with valuable knowledge monetize it in a way that will be helpful for adventure travelers. It's our little attempt to help out locals both here and abroad by providing a platform and a point of connection.
That's why this week, we were particularly stoked that this week's podcast features Neon and Fidget from Her Odyssey, who share that goal, and are walking the entire length of the Americas (with a bike ride thrown in occasionally), connecting with locals, promoting economic development, writing guides, and generally doing mindblowing things. You'll likely hear more about them here in the future, but for now check 'em out!
In a different vein, but no less cool, we're also excited to be featured in this week's blog post from Oru Kayak, who graciously allowed us to put together a write up about our recent trip down the Hudson in their folding boats.
My first "business" as a kid was selling origami balloons with my friend Michael in elementary school, so it's maybe no surprise that I was instantly drawn to Oru's business, selling what are basically full sized, fully functional, origami boats - a product that is, as far as I can tell, a complete innovation and unique in the world. I ultimately blame the collapse of my own origami empire to lack of financial backing and advertising failures (who doesn't want to buy poorly executed origami at inflated prices from a couple of cute midwestern scamps?), but Oru overcame that as a scrappy startup with a Kickstarter a few years back. Now they're in REI and we're seeing their boats everywhere, so it's exciting that we were able to put together this little project with them. We love their products, and we feel their focus on opening up new adventure possibilities is right up our alley, so we're going to keep hassling them for more collaboration in the future as well.
Speaking of Oru, it's a beautiful day in Seattle, and I'm writing this in a bit of a rush because I'm trying to get it out to you before heading out for a paddle with our OG collaborator, Seth Wolpin of Himalayan Adventure Labs. He's an old friend, but he's also been one of our first financial sponsors, so I'd be remiss if I didn't give him a shoutout in this little partnership post. He's a real, grizzled mountain man, and a few days ago Trailrunner Magazine wrote up a post about one of his recent adventures - becoming the first finisher (with Ras Vaughan) of the 18 peak, one push "Harvey Manning Challenge" in Washington. He pays us to say this, but I'd say it even if he didn't - if you're an experienced hiker or runner who wants to visit Nepal, check out his business. He's a great guy who partners with local communities to provide rich cultural experiences alongside real, challenging adventures for people who want to go beyond what typical tours would offer.