ADVENTURER. AUTHOR. ADVOCATE. Am I?
I’ve now completed two large scale journeys, and through them I now have picked up a small ‘Adventure Resume’. Because I’m proud of what that resume represents and because of the enjoyment I get from completing my trips, I’m planning on doing more. But planning is not doing, and there’s a big difference between having an idea and actually going ahead and doing it. In the last week I’ve watched as Dave Cornthwaite and Sean Conway, (adventurers I follow and consider them inspirations) proudly announce their newest, potential world record setting, trips. One is going to set a world record by Schiller Bike along the coast of Norway (https://davecornthwaite.com/waterbike/) The other is going to set a record for the quickest crossing of Europe by normal bike (http://www.seanconway.com/). Both trips have all the adventure credentials; a personal challenge, a unique experience, incredible scenery, and potentially a world record too (just to top it off). Their trips will receive worldwide coverage to boost their already insanely popular social media sites where they can undisputably call themselves true ‘Adventurers’. Here on my own website, I’ve got a tab called “Adventurer” written in a big font, the same as Dave and Sean. Yet while they are currently taking in the views of Norway’s Coast and Spain’s Mountains, I’m writing this blog, sitting at the kitchen table in a hoody and sweatpants. Hardly adventurous. While it’s good to aspire to reach their level, it’s quite deflating to actually compare myself to them, purely because they are so much more successful at what they do. In all the measurable columns I can’t even get close; Km’s travelled, experiences had, countries visited, records held… It goes on. My resume can’t challenge theirs, so for me to call myself an ‘Adventurer’ like them makes me (and I assume others too) wonder, am I arrogant, delusional, a pretender or something else? I think about the other headings I have here on my website and wonder if I really deserve them either. I’ve raised a bit of money for charity and have begun motivational speaking to raise awareness for the causes I have supported, but does that really make me an ‘Advocate’? As for calling myself an ‘Author’ from a few blog posts and a halfwritten book.. I still feel sheepish about that. Yet as I sit here and check in on Dave and Sean’s progress, I realise that it doesn’t really matter where I am now if I'm working towards the goal. Their trips are not only a reason for me to be jealous but a perfect analogy too. While plenty has been talked about after their announcement, they are still only just beginning and the finish line for them is a long way away. The same goes for the headings on my website. The @whattomhasdunn website isn’t “in memoriam”, it’s “in progress”. My idea is “Advocacy through Adventure” and while doing the trips are a big part of that goal, there’s more to it too. Creating this website is a small but crucial step towards achieving my goal. It's not as glamorous as as pedaling past Norway or Europe, but it's a step nonetheless. For now my adventure resume is small and comparing it to others isn’t much fun, but in a few years time I hope to look back and compare my resume now to what it is then. Maybe by then I'll feel like I deserve the title of "ADVENTURER, AUTHOR, ADVOCATE", but there's plenty of work to be done to fill out the resume and to earn the titles before then. Current Adventure Resume: 6,000KM of adventure paddling. $65,000 raised for charity. 1 world first. ½ a book. 142 Likes on Facebook. 434 Followers on Instagram. A lot more work to do….