A year ago, me and a few of my friends had that moment, and out of that late night conversation came a bold idea for adventure: a 35-day road trip across the western United States. We planned out the trip for 10 months. Drawing routes, saving for lenses we couldn't afford, and nervously watching national gas prices rise and fall. We were ready for this adventure. The night before our trip was filled with visions of glorious mountain ascents, treacherous backcountry excursions, and the amazing food and culture we were bout to experience. Essentially, our vision for what this trip was going to look like was a series of beautifully lit and perfectly timed Instagram shots.
After 35 days on the road, I can say that is not what our adventure looked like. While there was no shortage of incredible hikes, picturesque backcountry sites, and amazing experiences, there was a lot that happened that we did not expect. Car troubles, frustrated plans, lost passports, and full campsites were a daily challenge, and many times these things kept us from doing the things we had planned to do. Our “adventure,” it seemed, was being defined more and more by what was going wrong than what was going right. People were coming up to us after our trip and instead of saying “looks like you had a great time,” they were apologizing to us for all the bad things that happened.
Honestly, I was a little disappointed. I wanted our trip to be defined by adventure, not by all of these unfortunate accidents. Thats when it hit me. Maybe adventure isn’t what I thought it was. Maybe adventure isn't about the amazing places you go, but what you have to go through to get there.