Journeying across three continents in three weeks may seem like an impossible feat, but sometimes the most extraordinary experiences come from the unexpected.
Snowboarding in the Northeastern United States
My adventure began with a desire wanting to to snowboard with my family in the Northeastern United States. Living in New Jersey, I had the perfect opportunity to explore the slopes at Mountain Creek in Vernon, Shawnee, and Camelback in Pennsylvania.
Known for their icy conditions and narrow lanes, these slopes still offered a chance to engage in a positive, healthy and challenging sport with the family during the cold winter months.
After about a week on the trails I was pleasantly surprised to see improvement in my abilities, realizing that the limitations we carry about ourselves are often ones we can break through with perseverance.
The terrain offered unique perspectives on how insignificant our daily problems are compared to the vast natural world. Standing on the tops of mountains reminds me that you are capable of reaching new heights, and that the long journey upward gets easier the more often you go back up!
Mount Snow, Vermont
Surfing In Chennai, India
After a week of snowboarding, I was excited to visit my Dad. When my mom passed away 2 years ago, I really wanted to spend more time with my father while I still could, and have more experiences together while reassuring him that I am here to support him as he grows older. And every time I visit Chennai, I tell myself I will try something outdoors. Growing up, I recollect going to the beach in Mahabalipuram by the coast.
With my Dad, at the Southern Coast of Chennai where I spent many summers growing up
I had been hearing about the increased presence of surf schools in the area and took my Dad for an early morning sunrise and took a surf lesson, along the Bay of Bengal at Kovalam. Nestled on the East coast of India, Chennai is known for its traditional fisherman's villages and its close proximity to the ocean. This region known as Kovalam is traditionally known for the fishermen. Their villages have been bit hard by Tsunamis and the hurricanes, but continue to rebuild themselves. This region developed over time and it has taken about a decade to build it into what it is today. It all started with the increase in international presence via local consulates and tourism.
The waves were gentle, and the price was unbeatable! The experience exceeded all my expectations, and it was humbling to connect with nature and embrace the outdoor culture of Chennai with my father. It always amazes me how much exploring new places and trying new feats (like surfing) can help you bond with those around you. The presence cultivated from the experience brings you closer together and encourages you to overcome the challenge at hand while not taking ourselves too seriously. We are but small factors of a very large system around us.
Dune Boarding in Abu Dhabi
My travels took an unexpected turn when I found myself stuck in Abu Dhabi for 21 hours. However this worked to my advantage as Abu Dhabi has many incredible things to offer, including: the various landmarks, the beauty of the desert, Desert Safari tours, and you guessed it—Dune Boarding! (If you’re in the region checkout all the things to do here!)
Rather than sitting idle in the airport, I decided to explore the beauty of the Al Ain desert and try my hand at dune-boarding. It was an adrenaline-fueled adventure that allowed me to reconnect with nature in a completely different way. Abu Dhabi is a fascinating city with diverse landmarks, and the desert safari tours offer an unforgettable experience.
The Wisdom of Adventure
As I reflect on my journey, I am reminded of the beauty and diversity of our world. From the icy slopes of the Northeast to the warm waters of Chennai and the sandy dunes of Abu Dhabi, every place has its unique charm and magic.
Adventure does not discriminate against age or background, and it reminds us that we are small in the grand scheme of things. But in that smallness, there is a chance to connect with something much bigger than ourselves, something that reminds us that we are part of a larger universe, and it is up to us to make the most of it.
Whenever someone asks me why I prioritize challenging and uncertain situations or how I manage to fit it all in, I am reminded that my life is no different from anyone else’s. I make these adventures into the outdoors happen. When we recruit our capabilities in the face of challenge and uncertainty, we don’t have time to overthink—instead we are forced to tap into the intuitive knowing and capabilities we already hold under the surface.
Motion Meditation is a popular term for this, describing the benefits we get from movement that extend beyond the physical body.
As George Addair famously said, "Everything you’ve ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear." What is even more rewarding is the realization of how minuscule we are in front of the great landscapes of the world. They have earned the reputation of being the “Great Outdoors” for a reason! I will leave you with that ;)
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