I am obsessed with the Avicii* song, "The Nights". It has become my play-on-repeat, on the commute, on the run, changing the bed, all-day-long song. The video features Rory Kramer, a visual artist. On one of my many, many views of the song's youtube video, I jumped over to his channel too.
Kramer's channel is full of silly, fun videos about adventuring, travelling, and some visual diary topics. He's obviously big on 'living life to the full' and has a lot of videos about dreams, the nature of success and so on. I saw a lot of people complimenting his lifestyle and views. However, I also saw a lot of people on both the Avicii video and on his channel saying that really, to go on such adventures you need to be rich. That these kind of experiences are not open to everyone.
Believe me, I completely agree, they aren't. The Nights features Kramer power boating, water-skiing, shooting, catamaran sailing, on a luxurious beach holiday, para-sailing, bungee jumping, at water parks, at amusement parks, skiing/snowboarding/snow body-boarding, on water rings, jet-skiing, destroying/modifying an old car, and wake-boarding in exotic locations. All of these things can cost some serious money. So when kids are commenting on that video and on his own films, I completely agree on that aspect.
However, I'd suggest, firstly, that that isn't really what the song or Kramer's channel are about.
He said, "One day you'll leave this world behind
So live a life you will remember."...
When thunder clouds start pouring down
Light a fire they can't put out
Carve your name into those shinning stars
He said, "Go venture far beyond the shores.
Don't forsake this life of yours.
I'll guide you home no matter where you are."
The song to me is not about jamming your life full of crazy**, expensive activities in lush places abroad, the song is about making sure you fill your days with things that are worthwhile. That you do not allow yourself to stop adventuring. What do I mean by that? I mean that the main thing is not to be doing things that look good on a youtube video, its to be filling your life with the things that make you feel alive. Many of the people commenting on the videos, especially the younger people, seem to feel trapped. They talk about going from school to video games, back to school. They comment on not having the money for these adventures with a kind of impotent rage.
I can understand that kind of feeling. I have felt like that. I look at some of the people I follow and think, "Well lucky you, with your location and your sponsors". But my second point is kind of... nah... nah guys, not good enough. There are so many ways to fill your life with moments worth having, moments that don't require a thick wallet or any kind of fame. The video also features cliff jumping, road trips, biking, guitar hero, family, hiking, trail running, skateboarding, jumping on a bed, urban exploring, fireworks, reminiscing, and jumping off a jetty. None of this requires much money, a lot of it doesn't even require much time. Much of this I have done, it was great fun.
So get yourself out there- climb up a tree in the woods with a friend, then sit at the top singing stupid songs until your sides hurt from laughing and you almost fall out. Go hiking with your family. Run over the back fields or up a hill. Go wandering in the middle of the night if its safe to do that where you live (don't tell your mum I told you to do this, in fact don't tell my mum I used to do this)/ If you live in the inner city, try out parkour or go urban exploring. If you find yourself living your days in a kind of dissatisfied huff, make some goddamn changes.
Video games and TV are fine if they are adding life to your days (comedy is good for the soul and some films are important), but not if they aren't. There are some things you wont be able to change. Not everyone can have a dream job that they love for example. And I hate when privileged figures suggest that- a lot of the time paying the bills will have to come before finding your dream. But there are many, many things you can change. Surround yourself with people that when you say, "Hey, look at that", say, "Lets go check it out!". People that will run into adventures with you.
I recently went to Trakke Basecamp to check out their new collection***. Relevant because their company motto is 'Adventure Everywhere'. What they mean is that everything could be an adventure- a commute, a hike, meeting someone new and feeling the blood pump in your veins, anything. On their website they have, "It doesn't matter where you live, or what you live for. Adventure is everywhere." as their ethos. Check them out, their stuff is very cool and I loved seeing, quite literally, what their bags are made of.
|Yurt at Basecamp, their previous collection, a look at the waxed cotton Timorous Beasties collab.|
My days are filled with work, climbing or running, seeing my partner, and occasionally seeing some friends and family. That may sound pretty non-adventurous; and of course I dream of alpine mountaineering, running the Great Wall of China, and surfing in California. The thing is, firstly I know I can grasp adventure where possible- running and hiking in Loch Lomond in summer, planning on doing the vertical km when I'm in Italy, hill running when I can. Secondly, if I look a bit closer, I spend my days looking at cool science, loving people, exploring my city, and working out boulder problems. Those alone are some pretty cool adventures. So far, I have done nothing to impress the world at large. But there is a whole lot I will remember.
What are your opinions on exploring and adventure? Do you feel you adventure?
Do you find it inspiring to see people having crazy adventures? Or do you find it demoralising?
* Side note - I did not realise Avicii was so young. He's my age.
** Other side note- Kramer actually states on another video that he is very safe about activities like Cliff diving, and always tests depths etc. It doesn't have to be dangerous to be an adventure.
*** Not in any way financially affiliated with them- they were looking for people to come give opinions and I like their stuff so I went along.