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eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
How I Make a Living as an Adventurer on 01/22/2012 15:29:40 MST Print View

http://andrewskurka.com/2012/how-i-make-a-living-as-an-adventurer/

Q: What is just as effective as making money? A: Not spending money.

I live on little. When I first became a full-time adventurer, my finances dictated that I do. Now, I’m stuck firmly in my frugal ways. I only buy what I need, usually only when it’s on sale. I rent month-to-month so I can avoid paying rent when I’m gone for extended periods. All of my possessions can be transported in my Pontiac Vibe (with roof rack and box). And I have intentionally avoided costly “grown up” responsibilities like mortgages, a spouse, kids, and pets.

Because I don’t need much to be comfortable and happy, I don’t need to earn much either.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: How I Make a Living as an Adventurer on 01/22/2012 15:45:41 MST Print View

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=57952&skip_to_post=493309#493309

spelt the enigmatic
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: How I Make a Living as an Adventurer on 01/22/2012 17:47:58 MST Print View

I think Eric was talking more about the consumerism aspect than that thread about the Trailspace bashers. And I have to disagree on semantics. Not spending isn't as good as making, b/c beyond a certain point, not spending money isn't going to cut it. But from a more philosophical POV, a person with the capacity to make more and spend more but who instead downshifts is probably going to find life a lot simpler after the adjustment period.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: How I Make a Living as an Adventurer on 01/22/2012 17:58:48 MST Print View

my link was to someone posting the link over a week ago

spelt the enigmatic
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Re: Re: How I Make a Living as an Adventurer on 01/22/2012 18:54:14 MST Print View

Yes, on a thread about Skurka's book, and without comment. My thought was that Eric re-posted it separately to highlight the bolded bits for discussion. Sorry if I was unclear.

Tor Magnus Castberg
(logrus)

Locale: Norway
Obsessive? on 01/23/2012 04:50:05 MST Print View

"And I have intentionally avoided costly “grown up” responsibilities like mortgages, a spouse, kids, and pets."

Am I the only one who thinks this is a bit sad?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Obsessive? on 01/23/2012 06:20:10 MST Print View

It may only be seen as sad from those who have most/all of those "responsibilities". It is a freedom some may not understand. He is only about 30 years old and can take on any of them when he grows up..lol.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Obsessive? on 01/23/2012 06:23:00 MST Print View

He does the things he does for only himself. Whatever floats his boat. Not for charity or to raise awareness about a subject. Just for himself. We'll see how the next chapter in his life goes.

Edited by kthompson on 01/23/2012 06:24:36 MST.

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Northern Europe
Re: Re: Obsessive? on 01/23/2012 06:25:51 MST Print View

My guess is that we'll see a different period in Skurka's life later in which he becomes more John Muir-like and adopts a cause or two linked to his outdoor activity (something he has said in his speaking opportunities). I'm excited to see what he does with his life and love how he lives.

Edited by evanrussia on 01/23/2012 07:16:44 MST.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - M

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Obsessive? on 01/23/2012 06:57:38 MST Print View

"It may only be seen as sad from those who have most/all of those "responsibilities". It is a freedom some may not understand. He is only about 30 years old and can take on any of them when he grows up..lol."

You can also turn that around to say only those who do not have those responsibilities would see them as something to avoid.

All of us have been without those responsibilities at some point in our lives. It certainly comes with a lot of freedom and is a lot of fun. Now that I have all of those responsibilities there are certainly times I wish I had that freedom back. To be able to drop everything and hike for months on end sounds terrific!

But, something tells me when I am 80 yrs old & looking back on my life, I will have wished that I spent more time with my burdensome wife & kids and not wish to have seen a few more mountains. Each person is different - this is only me.

Ryan

. ..
(dgowler)
Re: Obsessive? on 01/23/2012 06:57:59 MST Print View

Why is that sad? Is a wife, 2.4 children, hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to the bank, and a dog the only route to happiness?

Tor Magnus Castberg
(logrus)

Locale: Norway
Re: Re: Obsessive? on 01/23/2012 08:16:01 MST Print View

"Is a wife, 2.4 children, hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to the bank, and a dog the only route to happiness?"

I should hope not. They way it was worded however, made it seem like it was something to be avoided, like something bad. I think that taking on responsibilities is something that defines us and makes us grow. It sounds like escapism, like Peter Pan, never wanting to grow up?

Tor Magnus Castberg
(logrus)

Locale: Norway
Re: Re: Re: Obsessive? on 01/23/2012 08:20:12 MST Print View

"But, something tells me when I am 80 yrs old & looking back on my life, I will have wished that I spent more time with my burdensome wife & kids and not wish to have seen a few more mountains. Each person is different - this is only me."

I think this is maybe what made it feel sad to me.

spelt the enigmatic
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Obsessive? on 01/23/2012 08:40:28 MST Print View

I should hope not. They way it was worded however, made it seem like it was something to be avoided, like something bad. I think that taking on responsibilities is something that defines us and makes us grow. It sounds like escapism, like Peter Pan, never wanting to grow up?

There is no one way to be a "grown-up." Problem is, most people still believe a marriage, kids, and a mortgage somehow means they've "arrived" in adulthood, when actually we can all think of people who have these things but who are irresponsible and emotionally immature. What's worse, many people seem end up in this conventional life arrangement with little self-awareness of where their life is going. The Artic 1000 took a type of mental maturity most of us here will never achieve. If Skurka consciously chooses that route of self-development instead of the more common and socially expected one, that's not Peter Pan syndrome. It's just a different path.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Make a Living as an Adventurer- share it on 01/23/2012 08:40:57 MST Print View

Really, the key to being an adventurer is is being a writer or possibly a really good photographer. You can go around and do all the adventures you like but if you don't have anything to show for it, like ability to share your experience it will remain private.
all the adventurers we all know and love we know through their writings. In cases like adventure racers we know them through other peoples writings. Its not enough to just do them you need a skill to promote and share them.
Im sure there are people around the world that have seen and done unbelievable things but have no inclination to write about it and so they will remain unknown and forgotten by history. Moral of the story: get a degree in journalism or english lit if you want to be an adventurer.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Obsessive? on 01/23/2012 08:50:14 MST Print View

I'm sure you're not the only one who thinks it a bit sad. I don't, though. I avoided having children, and am not sorry for having done so. I won't be regretting it when I'm older. It was the right decision for me. And while I have a mortgage, I wish I had avoided that as well. Home ownership just isn't all it's cracked up to be - it can be a big drain on your time unless you're going to pay someone else to do all the things that come with home ownership. If I buy another home, it's going to be a tiny one, I can tell you that.

While I'd like to have a partner again (marriage means nothing to me, I don't find it necessary, though I'd do it if she wanted me to), I have interpersonal relationships. I do think some interpersonal relationships are important. Pets. Ah. I loves me my puppy. But when she's gone I'll go pet-less for a bit while I'm roaming around deciding what to do next with my life. While I don't think it's sad Andy has avoided them, I don't think I want to live the rest of my life without any. Of the four listed things above, I'm drawn to pets (a dog, specifically) the most. I'm sure some would find that sad as well.

Edited by idester on 01/23/2012 08:52:52 MST.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: How I Make a Living as an Adventurer on 01/23/2012 08:58:06 MST Print View

His is a simple way if you enjoy long-distance backpacking (or minimalistic travel) as your sole adventure. There are other sports like bicycling, snowsports, etc... requiring equipment (and a place to store it) that can provide adults and kids a sense of adventure as well, especially if velocity is involved.

People are also allowed to change their minds (hopefully after their responsibilities have been discharged).

Edited by hknewman on 01/23/2012 09:02:20 MST.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Good for Andrew on 01/23/2012 09:46:43 MST Print View

This "debate" really boils down to responsibilities vs freedom. Having been immersed in the former for over 20 years and tasted a temporary bite of the latter on my thru hike I can completely understand the appeal that the freedom allows especially for younger folks. But it seems that Andrew is taking a different approach than many "semi-professional" thru hikers. He is trying to turn his freedom into a way of life. Imagine if he is able to make a "modest" living, allowing him to have a wife, kids, mortgage etc. and still embark upon his adventures. He would be the envy of most of us.

Finally, I want to touch on a couple of posts that commented that Andrew should be doing his adventures for a greater good, for a charity. I have been torn on these "let's hike for charity" adventures. What is wrong with doing it for you? I suspect that if you poke a little deeper into individual motives behind these charity hikes you would find some less than noble motives like: "It will help me finish" or "I wouldn't feel so selfish". And Andrew is touching others in a more profound way than it appears. I know that in my case he showed me "how" I could achieve a dream. And I'm sure that many others have been impacted as well.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Good for Andrew on 01/23/2012 10:36:43 MST Print View

Many very smart people say you should never marry in your 20's. Maybe Andrew is right on course ; ).

Many of the "charity" hikes are just using the charity line to pay for their trips. Sorry to say that, but bet it is true.

Edited by jshann on 01/23/2012 10:38:31 MST.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Freedom vs Responsibility on 01/23/2012 11:10:28 MST Print View

Though my modest adventures aren't nearly on the scale of Andrew's, I feel I had a good run in my 20s to early-mid 30s.

Around 35 (I'll be 38 this coming year), something clicked where having a significant other in my life, working a little more of a career vs. a job, etc seemed like a good fit for me.

So, now I am in the mode where I hope to get to the point (fairly soon; as within three to five years) where I can take off for 6-8 weeks at a time as opposed to 4-6 MONTHS at a time.

Before, I'd be in the mode of "Work hard for two years, live frugally, save money, quit. Go hiking".

Now, I'm the mode of "save money, live modestly, build up my skill set, quit working full time and go hiking".

I have no regrets of how I lived my life in previous years. It was the best fit for me through the formative years of my adult life.

Now that I am engaged, working a so-called 'professional' job [1] and so on, I don't feel any more grown up, just doing something that feels right for this point in my life. I do not necessarily want to live a fully nomadic and light lifestyle.

Not to say I don't do things I love. Good luck getting hold of me on a weekend. And my horded vacation time is usually spent in the backcountry. (But, as mentioned, that should change in the future.

Truly living an adult life is living the life YOU want to live and being responsible, self-sufficient and content while living it.

I see too many people living an adult life of mortgages, kids and a job who are miserable. Is that adult? OTOH, living in Boulder, I see many people who mock the life I just described but will happily cash the trust fund checks from their parents.

Neither is an adult life.

The person who loves their children, enjoys their home and cherishes their week long backpacking trip is living an adult life.

And the 50 yr old river guide who never married, lives a modest lifestyle that affords a life she loves? Well, she is living an adult life too.

So, let's put away the labels.

Let's all hope we live the life we want to lead.

That, my friends, is truly the adult life.


[1] I really do loathe that term, but people know what you mean when you say that. My Dad, a recently retired sheet metal worker, was a heck of a lot more professional than some of the whiny 'professional' bozos I know who show up late, slack off their work and have a huge sense of entitlement. But I digress. :D

....

Something related I wrote a few years back. Really need to update it for my current life!
Post Trail Adjustment

Edited by PaulMags on 01/23/2012 11:13:58 MST.