George Spencer led our Costa Rica Belize Adventure during the summer of 2015. George is from Marietta, Georgia, and is currently in his senior year at UNC Chapel Hill. Read on to find out more about Wilderness Adventures changed George’s life… and how it could change yours, too! Thanks, George, for being a guest writer on our blog!
I recently watched a video that caught my eye. Its message was that the routine of our lives is what makes the time we have on this earth flash before our eyes. We wake up, go sit at a desk to learn or work, come home, watch our favorite show, and then hit our pillow, only to wake up and press repeat. I’m not going to say that this isn’t a meaningful life. People can and have achieved amazing things from within their cubicle. However, I do think this lifestyle can make us lose track of time and the world around us. We get so absorbed in our to do list that we forget there are a millions of places and billions of people we have yet to encounter. Wilderness Adventures gave me the opportunity to break my routine. A year ago, I was a Junior in college, jumping through hoops and checking boxes at school because it’s what I was told to do. I decided to shake things up and apply to lead for Wilderness Adventures because it seemed exciting and impactful. What I received was an unforgettable experience that shattered my routine and exposed me to people and places that have travelled with me even after my traveling with WA was done.
Wilderness Adventures is not comfortable, you are thrown into a new place amongst a group of strangers with a packed itinerary. You’re outside and exposed to situations you probably haven’t encountered before, especially not on your computer or iPhone screen. That’s the beauty in Wilderness Adventures; it takes you away from your normal, and it exposes you to something wild and natural. Humans have only been on this earth for a blink of its existence, yet we somehow have become absorbed in our fabricated world of screens and buildings, ignoring the magnificence that thrived before us. Wilderness Adventures helped me escape from that world for a short time and for that I will always be grateful. Whether you’re climbing a glacier in Alaska or pitching your tent in the shadows of the Tetons, your task becomes as simple as taking the next icy step or tying the last knot to hold up your rain fly. It’s in the successes and failures of these tasks that you learn you are part of a world that is expansive, brimming with diverse places and people, all with different stories. Most importantly, you return to your life with some piece of each of them, carrying lessons and memories that become your map to future adventures.
For me, going to Costa Rica and Belize allowed me to share my love for the marine world with the group I was leading. Each member of the group had the opportunity to get their Open Water or Advanced Open Water diving certifications, an experience most people never have in their lives. Our group explored and learned about parts of the underwater world on Belize reefs that many will not see due to the global decline of the health of our coral reefs. In my eyes, exposing young people to the critical issues facing those environments hopefully sparked some passion for conservation and preservation of these environments. That experience reinvigorated my work at school and gave perspective to my future career pursuits as I look forward beyond college.
My challenge to anyone reading this is to change your routine, whether that’s with a morning hike before school, taking a walk outside, or taking a trip to a place you’ve never been. It will change the way you see yourself and those around you, and you’ll begin to know what makes you passionate. Wilderness Adventures offers the most amazing community for impassioned people to achieve this clarity as a leader or participant. No matter where you are in the world with Wilderness Adventures, you are surrounded by a WA family that will morph the challenges of new places into inspiring and stimulating encounters that will forever be engrained in you. I hope your life is filled with breathtaking views, but more importantly, with people that can take you there and share them with you. Opt Outside and choose Wilderness Adventures- it will make your time back in your routine that much more meaningful.
See George below in some photos from this past summer during training and on his Costa Rica Belize Adventure.