This site is for people that want to get away from the boring ass life they have been living, and do something more interesting with the years they have left. I’m mainly targeting this at the over 40 crowd, but the reality is that it is never too late to revamp your life and do something more meaningful than eating, sleeping, working 40 plus hours a week and hoping to get to go on vacation once a year for a few days. That isn’t life, that is hell.
In a nutshell, I started out in the woods of North Idaho, where I grew up completely unappreciative of the fact that I was living on 640 acres of property that my family had all to itself. Since leaving home, I’ve bounced around the PNW, never loving city life, but one goes where one must to make money.
Eventually, I moved to the Seattle area to go to school for acupuncture. That blew up when the school I was going to went bankrupt after my first year. Since then I’ve run my own businesses, done sales jobs, and for the most part lived the urban family life with a house, a wife, a kid, and some dogs. I got some adventures in and started working on Leif the Adventure Van, but I didn’t get to play and see things anywhere near as much as I wanted to.
That all came to a crashing end when my former wife decided she no longer wanted to be married. That was the best worst thing that ever happened to me. On one hand, it was a big emotional and financial upheaval. But after the dust settled I realized that I was now free-ish to do whatever I want. The only restriction I have is needing to maintain a ‘real job’ to keep the bills paid. Beyond that, I can now do fuck-all that I want.
Whatever I want is pretty much what I’ve been doing for a while now. I’m still building out Lief and the goal for him is to make him a ready to go, mobile basecamp for any adventure. given that I’m still only afforded weekends, anything within driving range is now fair game to explore.
The awakening at 50
Year-ends and birthdays for me always suck a little. I get real introspective about who I am, where I’m at, where I’m not at, and what I should have achieved by now. With the turning of a half-century, I became acutely aware that I really hate having to work and be somewhere, beholding to someone else to pay my bills. I want to go where I want and have the adventures that I want. So that is the life I’m building toward.
For income, I’ve redoubled my efforts to build an online income, with the end goal of having that become my primary source of income so I am free to do what I want, whenever I want to. Some of that is happening via content creation, like this blog or FishingPNW.com and some is through merch sales via sites like AyoTee.com. The starts are always slow, but they are building and are on track to get me where I want by the end of 2022.
Where I’m going next
That is a huge question. For now I’m based in the Seattle area for the work thing, but that still leaves me a lot of territory to explore. My current goal is to take at least one 3-day weekend a month so I have more time to go hiking, kayaking and fishing. Between now and my magical date of 12/31/2022 I’d like to hit a bunch of the lookouts in the area, as many of the suspension bridges that I can and do a through hike of the Olympic peninsula.
Road 102 to Barbados
A while back a friend of mine was sitting drinking coffee on my couch and reading her morning newsletters when she found an article on how Barbados is offering one year visas to anyone that telecommutes for their work. I’ve never been to Barbados, but after a brief conversation about how fun that would be, I said “let’s do it!”. That is how a lot of my adventures start.
There was some debate about timing, and both of us are not ready to pull up stakes and jump just yet, so we picked two years and the project got dubbed Road 102 to Barbados. Originally we were planning on two years from the date that I hatched this plan, but that date got pushed back to the very end of 2022 for a couple of reasons. It is still the main goal that I’m wildly building for.
In all honesty, before the Barbados plan was hatched, my goal was South America, primarily Punta Arenas in Chile. Why there? Because it was about as far away as I can get and not cross an ocean. I do actually still want to go to South America and do some exploring. There is so much to see there that is just amazing.
I love the concept of van-life, and if I was a 20-something and only 5’2″ I might go that way. As it is, Leif is a good van, but there is no way I could be full time in him. So once I get back from Barbados, I will likely build out a schoolie as a more long term mobile base. I’ll still need a piece of dirt to call my own and store toys, but I’d be good with being on the road a week or two out of every month in a bus, provided I lift the roof a foot.
Eaten by a Killer Whale at 65
One adventure that is still a possibility is kayaking to Japan from Seattle. Now before you say “it can’t be done” I point to the adventures of Aleksander Doba who solo paddled the Atlantic in a (big) kayak at the age of 65.
If you haven’t heard of him, Aleksander was an adventurer that really hit his stride between the ages of 65 and 71. Sadly, in writing this, I’ve just learned that he passed was on 2/22/2021 at the age of 74 at the peak of Kilimanjaro. I’m going to be honest that it brings a tear to my eye, because I can only hope to be half the dude he was, as it takes a real dude to nail your bucket list item of climbing to the top of Kilimanjaro, then sit down and go to sleep for good.
So can I spend a year kayaking to Japan? Sure, why not. The plan is to go up the Canadian coast, out along the Aleutian Islands, then back down the coast of Siberia and on to Japan. If I time it right, it should be doable and a much more interesting paddle than Aleksander’s one across the Atlantic. The plan is to stick close to shore where if things get bad, I can pull up and wait the weather out, only worrying about getting eaten by bears or Bigfoot.