Experiences of a Lifetime

Snapshots from a few ‘Experiences of a Lifetime’ I’ve already had, as determined by others.

 

Here I find myself about to embark on what many people would describe as an ‘experience of a lifetime.’

And, true, canoeing 700-miles down a wild, western river is an experience. Perhaps an experience of a lifetime for many.

But by my estimates, in my one lifetime, I’ve already had at least five ‘experiences of a lifetime’ as determined by other folks. Most of those experiences have been trips I’ve taken. Some of them have even been paying jobs.

There is a typical conversation I’ll have with strangers who ask what I’m up to. This conversation goes like this:

 

Stranger: “What kind of trip are you doing?”

Me: “I’m canoeing the length of the Green River, through Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah. It’ll be about 700 miles and take 35 days.”

Stranger: “Wow…that sounds like an experience of a lifetime.”

 

When people learn about another person’s epic trip, it does seem to warrant a response of an appropriate scale. But often confounded about relevant things to say, these people will frequently fall back upon the old ‘experiences of a lifetime’ cliché. They mean well in saying it, though, as a way to be simultaneously wowed and encouraging.

 But every time I get the old ‘experience of a lifetime’ line, I think privately to myself ‘but I don’t want this to the experience of my lifetime!’ After all, I just want this trip to be an experience, not the experience.

When I think about past trips that I have been on, it would be disappointing for me to look forward and to know that I have already had my singular experience of a lifetime. And, if I’ve already had my one experience, then what more do I have to look forward to in life? None of my future endeavors could ever be as good. All I would be able to do is look back at my experience of a lifetime instead of looking forward to more adventures to come.

Fortunately enough, I have found it possible to have more than one ‘experience of a lifetime.’ And I’ve even got more in the works. Why do we so often limit ourselves to the thinking that we can only have a few adventures in life? Why not be able to make it a lifestyle? Why not collect ‘experiences of a lifetime?’

So that’s what I’m up to right now. Making a few experiences of a lifetime for myself…first by canoeing the Green River in September and October, and then by working as a dogsled musher in northern Minnesota afterward in the winter (and although mushing will be a way to pay the bills, people would still often consider that an ‘experience of a lifetime’ as well).

So I’m happy to have you join along on one of my (hopefully many) experiences of a lifetime, a scenic adventure paddle down the magnificent Green River. And I’m happy to live vicariously through your experiences of a lifetime too. Who says you can only have just one? And by sharing our adventures, we can experience so many more journeys—some in person, some vicariously.

I will (ideally) post pictures and updates of the journey as I progress along the river. But, as you know, digital technology and wilderness are often not found in the same place.

Bon Voyage!

 

DSCN2295

All packed and ready to go on another adventure where the road ends. Might even come back with some more stickers to showcase on the ‘experiences of a lifetime’ hatchback.

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Posted on September 15, 2018, in Life, Travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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