The Legend

The true defining moments of our lives tend to happen on the journey to a destination, not once we have reached the destination. We are often shaped, characterized, and defined by how we handle these “tough” times. They are what break us down to our core, expose our most sincere motivations, and teach us the true lessons that need to be learned in life. Once we achieve a goal, or arrive at a destination, we tend to be more complacent, more comfortable, and generally happy. But it’s often a vague sort of of happiness, a sort of unfulfilled happiness- yes, we have “made it”. But what does that really mean anyway?

Often times people will look back on those trying years and smile and remember them fondly, the victory in the face of adversary, the extreme limitations of money, creativity, or perception. We look back at ourselves and laugh and call these times “the best times of our lives.” These are times when our innate heroism is boldly allowed to shine.

Why is is that when we are in these moments, we cannot wait to be done with them, and when we are done we think of them fondly?

I believe it’s because we secretly crave challenge. I feel that each of us wants to throw off the veil of security, that thin blanket, and take to the world, seek our fortune, and truly live.

It’s from this ideal that the Roadless Travelers was manifested.

We three intend to simply go- to see what is, what will be, and most importantly to live in these moments of trials, and to learn to live there laughing and smiling.

The idea came to me while reading “The Dark Tower” series by Stephen King. It’s basically about one man’s quest to find the “Dark Tower”, and all the adventures, friendships, trials, hardships, and choices he makes to get there, to his end-goal. The series is beautifully written, and it made me want to strike out myself- to seek my “Dark Tower” -whatever that may be.

I decided to invite a few people along with me who I thought would enjoy the journey as well, and who would bring other perspectives and skills.

I invited several people, and Chuck and Greg are the one’s who accepted.

Chuck was one of the first people I thought of, I met him in 2004 at Adventure Links (www.adventurelinks.net) where we worked as Lead Instructors.

Now Adventure Links is a very special place, for some reason it draws some of the best of the best in Outdoor Education, the staff is amazing, the lifestyle is something between a commune and an arthouse. It was one of the best times of my life, and Chuck and I met and immediately had one of those connections (like you do when you just “know” people, or feel like you’ve know them for years already) we became fast friends and started going on exploratory missions and inventing fake sports like “Monument Bouldering” where we went to Washington DC and climbed every monument we could without getting arrested. (The FDR monument is by far the best, by the way). We also tried other things such as “Cultural Experiments”- things designed or preformed to make people smile or see something new or interesting in the monotony of daily life.

It was a grand old time, and Chuck and I both returned for a second summer. But I decided to move on after that and joined the Peace Corps in Moldova.

I met Greg in Philadelphia on Sept 9th 2005. I remember the day well, because it was my first day as of Peace Corps Volunteer. We had a 3 day training in Philadelphia after which we flew to Moldova to start our service. Greg and I both ended up in the same training village where we spent 9 weeks learning the Moldovan language, culture, and traditions to prepare us for our Peace Corps service. It was definitely one of those “times of trial” that I fondly remember now.

When I first met Greg (and he was the first person I met) I shook his hand and felt that connection, the same sort of one I had with Chuck, but this one was much stronger. I knew that there was something about this guy. We quickly became good friends, and together in Peace Corps Moldova we developed some of the most successful projects Peace Corps Moldova has seen. I initiated a mentoring program for in-coming volunteer’s so they can have a better idea of what to expect; Greg developed a business training program for youth, which teaches them the basics they need to know and introduces brand new ideas to this culture; and together we created a very successful Peace Corps camp program called “Haiducii” which drastically changed the concept of volunteer participation in summer camps (the original camp had a cost of $5,000 with 80 kids and the Haiducii program only cost $1,000 and impacted over 2,000 kids – to see the Haiducii summary video click here). At the end of our service, we shared an apartment and for 6 months we worked and trained (Kung Fu) together.

Greg met Chuck when he came to visit and we took a trip around Romania. During the trip Chuck and I got to sing karaoke together and brought the house down.

The friendship between the three of us is build upon a few simple ideas:

  • Outdoor Education has the power to positively change people lives, if it is presented correctly.
  • Truth, Justice, Love, and Honor are worth the work needed to ensure they exist.
  • Perceptions can be changed.
  • We are always learning, and the best lessons are also the hardest and one should not shy away from these.
  • The best way to lead is by example.

That is why you will find us on this journey, and that is why we are sharing it with you.

We hope to inspire you to quest for your own “Dark Tower” or chase your own dreams. We have thrown off the ties that bind, and we are outward bound, taking the road less traveled. We embark hoping to meet challenge, for without challenge one cannot expand or grow. We hope to have hard times, because they define the adventure. We wish for physical, mental, and spiritual trials, for without them we have need to excel.

We kindly invite you to do the same, or to challenge us, or to share with us your dreams.

So come, the wind is blowing, strange perfumes are in the air, and if you listen closely you can hear the road calling to you as well. It’s time to become a Roadless Traveler.