Adventure: Out of New Mexico

I love Out of Africa. Great movie. My favorite part you ask? The short flying scene where Robert Redford lands to pick up Meryl Streep and she asks “When did you learn to fly?” He answers, “Yesterday.” The subsequent flying scenes are insanely beautiful. You could say the same for the flying scenes in Never Cry Wolf. Carrol Ballard.

This little hornet buzzed over our house the other morning and I had to go take a look. I would like to learn to fly a plane like this but I can’t imagine that happening anytime soon. Damnit I’ve got to learn to sail first. There is only so much time in the quarantined day.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in bush planes. Even had a close call or two. And had some truly hilarious moments. Planes overloaded with cases of beer, taking off when we weren’t supposed to and near collisions with wildlife. But that’s part of the adventure. I once exited a bush plane so completely soaked in sweat I left an imprint on the seat. Ya, I was a bit nervous. Especially after the pilot said, “Man, I really hope we land before that storm gets here.”

I think my life over the past decade has been FAR too safe. Far too minimal in terms of adventure. This doesn’t mean I need to travel far and wide. This just means I need to have a good rethink. To perhaps follow that path that isn’t so well worn. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of lazy. Streaming services, take out food, watching bank accounts and thinking about savings, retirements, and all the BS that comes with structured living in a first-world country. The intelligent among us either never fall into this trap or they find a way to get out. And they live.

11 Comments on “Adventure: Out of New Mexico”

  1. “It’s easy to fall into a pattern of lazy. Streaming services, take out food, watching bank accounts and thinking about savings, retirements, and all the BS that comes with structured living in a first-world country. The intelligent among us either never fall into this trap or they find a way to get out. And they live. ”

    This post pinged into my inbox right as I was having a think about exactly this. How I would answer the question “if there were no barriers, what would you do with your life?” On consequences. Why we all seem so sure we’re gifted with prophesy, when none of us can accurately predict what would happen tomorrow if we actually dared stick our heads out there. Being scared to live.

    Crikey Dan. Whatever you’re smoking, there’s some ESP enhancing sh*t in there!

    1. Charlene said what I was thinking, so I’ll be lazy and just say yea, as above. Maybe not as immediate an ESP connection, but I ponder these things a lot. I live in Seattle, not sure how much longer. Have not learned to sail, have not gone kayaking. What am I even doing here?

      1. Scott,
        Look, it’s healthy. Now you know. And when the opportunity presents itself, post virus, you remember back to these moments and you ACT. And oh, I’ll probably be there in the van running a rented sailboat aground. Plenty to do.

        1. I will definitely be there for that documentary photo opportunity. I’ll print a book. “And here’s when I think Dan realized he was in trouble. Here’s Dan yelling “oh $h!t!”. “And that’s when the ducks panicked and flew out of his path.”

          1. Scott,
            I’ve already done this once in my life. Granted, small boat, with my brother and there may have been beer involved.

    2. C,
      You are working for an NGO in Kurdistan producing wonderful work. I’m not worried about you. But to your point, one of the most difficult questions to answer is “What do you want?” Most of my life I could have told you within seconds. Now, not entirely sure. I blame reading. At the moment working my way through “Hero,” about T.E. Lawrence. It’s dense on dense but it’s also haunting me. Gertrude Bell was there too, and she is equally as remarkable. I told Amy “The world isn’t building these people anymore.” So what are we building?

  2. I think you’ve mentioned it before but that scene in Romancing the Stone where Michael Douglas is just wandering along the mountain road (in Columbia?) and finds that abandoned airplane and the map scene of the airplane flying to Nepal in Raiders of the Lost Arc are always levelers for me. If I feel stuck in a first world rut I try and recall them.

    I hate flying nowadays (probably even more so in the current situation) but airplanes do play a big part in keeping the wanderlust/adventurer among us dreaming.

    1. Sean,

      In the early 1900’s, T.E. Lawrence decided he wanted to go to Syria. He walked. From Oxford. My goal is to avoid air travel as much as possible but I’ve also been thinking about this for a long while. Van, bike and boat. I think that will be me adventure-filled for rest of my days.

  3. This is a very relevant post, and this was on my mind as I made the long haul in a moving truck from TX to CA. With certainty out the window in the world today, what would my life look like if I just dropped it all? Could I? Would I? As I sit among the crap I hauled out here, I have to ask myself why and for what? There is no normal to go back too. I’m asking myself if I am smart enough to get out.

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