Pull the Pin

July 29, 2019

Had a very eye and mind opening experience the other weekend. I know I have talked about my master plan to leave the corporate world a number of times in my journals, but it keeps coming back to the same hangups. Materialistic goods. Damn societal norms say I should have “security” and all this stuff. New this, new that, must get this, and so on. For what? So I have to buy a house and fill it with all this shit. Job security? Financial security? Again, for what? To buy more and more shit, to watch it just sit in a bank account, to have when I “retire”, to save for a rainy day, or to pass along to my children (if I have any). I don’t care about all that and I know my life can change in the blink of an eye. Hell I’ve flirted with death a number of times now.

Alright back to the eye and mind opening experience. The other weekend, I met two gentlemen on a kayaking trip. One was shot in the back and became paraplized from the waist down, 40 ish years ago. The other, suffered a stroke 2 years ago, putting him in a wheelchair. He has been fortunate enough to push past and got out of the wheelchair, but his left side of his body in rough shape. In both cases, this was something that happened without notice to both of them. The result was the same, life altering. Yeah it makes daily life a little more of a “struggle”, but does it really? It became their new norm and something they decided to not slow them down, which it definitely has not. They just keep doing what they love in life. They still chase their goals and dreams, while helping as many other people as they can along the way.

Everything changed in their circumstances, I mean how would it not. But after long talks with both of them, we can all agree on one thing, the great outdoors is where it is at. It speaks to us all and we all need it far more than we take it for granted. I learned all about this on my 90 day backpacking trip with NOLS and reconfirmed it with my Minnesota State Park Project. When I am constantly outdoors, I feel my body and mind is most happy and firing on all cylinders. I just feel at home. Yeah, a relaxing lazy day indoors from time to time is awesome, but is only needed sparingly. So I need more nature time! Time to be free out seeing and exploring new areas around our planet. Experiencing all aspects of life and everything this journey has to offer. I’ve talked about coaster (people that just coast through life) and I can’t stand that kind of “living”. I need a drive, project, challenge, or tasks happening all the time. Something to get me excited to get out of bed and taking on the world. Plus, Once you stop moving you start dying. So the time is coming. The time to pull the fucking pin and see what happens.

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This means, I am giving my work an ultimatum May/June 2020. Allow me to work fully remote or I am putting in my two weeks notice. That simple. I am going to take on the TransAm Trail, 11,000+ miles of off-road trails East to West Coast. YUP! I have talked about it a number of times and plan to do it last year, but financially just didn’t pan out. I also wanted to see what SUPing with Rozyboom would do for a season. Yeah, I got some people out, but only a handful of times. I know, I could put more effort into it promoting and all that, but I am not the type to shove stuff down people's throats. Not a crowd worker or one that want to hangout at the “party lakes” to get more people. That has never been my jam. I did run a few ads on Facebook and Instagram, which I got a ton of likes, but that is it. I toss up my business card on any bulletin board I come across, got promoted in two different articles I wrote and were published, and talk about the biz with people all the time. Again, nothing really came from all of that. So I’m sitting here with thousands invested into the biz with and no significant result. Yeah I know businesses can take years to get off the ground, but I don’t want to stay in one spot for that long. If I was staying in MN I would totally keep plugging away, but I am not. This whole business venture did allow me learn a ton about myself and direction I am going to take my life. Big takeaway, I learned how I’m more of a content gather from my adventures. Obtain gear from XYZ company, beat the living daylights out of it, and share my findings. Providing detailed information to the company on what I liked, disliked, and potential improvement ideas. Pretty much like a product tester, which is something I really love and enjoy doing. I believe that is my nitch, along with documenting people’s (and my own) passions and adventures. Telling a story through photography will always be a HUGE part of my life.

Taking a picture of taking a picture

Currently in the works. I have been slimming down all of my gear, selling what I can to crush my debt. Made a detailed packing list and figuring out what other gear I need to get and replace. Focusing on getting myself setup for when spring 2020 rolls around. I’ll be ready to hit the TransAm Trails with my lovely Lana (Jeep), Jade (Motorcycle), Nala (my OG paddleboard), few other SUPs, and a bunch of other gear that all can fit inside my Jeep. Transitioning my life into one giant adventure, just going with the flow to see where the adventure takes me. Yes, I am going to be following the 11,000 ish miles of TransAm Trail maps I have, but going to branch off for plenty of side adventures. Targeting alpine lakes, rivers, and other must paddles I find along the way. Plus, peaks to tag and/or ski, overlook and landscape must sees, and spending more time seeing and experiencing other people's passions. I want to see, learn, and try what your jam is. What fuels your passions, your drive, or what you striving towards. I want to document ya doing what you love. All the while, living out of my Jeep or wherever I end up. Testing gear, taking photos, paddling, skiing, and just actually living life is what I SHOULD be doing. I am not going to overplan any of it, let’s call it a technical wing. Somewhat of a plan but still winging it. Just see where the adventure takes me. If I get a gig in XYZ state, country, or season go for it, instead of pushing it off like I have been for years. Have had some really sweet opportunities thrown my way, but financially they never worked and I am tired of pushing them off. Don’t worry mom, I do have different backup plans if shit goes south, but I shouldn’t have to rely on those, even if I do they are still pretty awesome and I might do them regardless.

So I have my hand on the pin, slowly pulling it out, but waiting a bit more before I give it a wank. Need a little time to pay stuff off, finish my left sleeve coverup (tattoo), and selling my stuff. That does mean, I am going to be slimming a lot of what I do down a bunch. Really tighten up that budget and put my money towards getting free over XYZ event or whatever. Yeah still doing a few things here and there, but no more expensive dinner nights and stuff like that. Thankfully, I am set up super well to be able to do all of this, which has been years in the making. Taking $120+K in debt down to zero in a few years is insane! But that is why I live at home hahaha, given my roommates are pretty cool too, and have kept my job. I still have a few adventures lined up this year and next spring. Keeping them cheap or I already paid for the main parts, like BWCA trips, river trips, 10 year season pass to one of my favorite ski resorts (annual friend trips), and a few others. Still going to have fun with my friends and family while I’m currently in MN. Then, May/June 2020 comes around and BOOM! I am out of here. It is time. I need to make this happen and I AM going to make it happen. Yeah, still make it back to MN here and there, but it all depends where I end up and what I end up doing. That is the fun part about pulling the pin, so many unknowns.

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