Adventure, Adventure Prep, The Great Adventure

Day One of A Life of Adventure

Well guys, the trigger has been pulled. Last night was Day Zero: I gathered with dozens of friends for a send-off party at a rented theater, lovingly dubbed the Rogue Priest Deployment Party. There I publicly renewed my dedication to the heroic deity Lugh and the life I seek to lead in emulation of the ancient heroes.

After toasts, hugs and a lot of pangs (nostalgia, wist, worry, hope), I slipped a ring on my finger as a symbol of that dedication – and disappeared into thin air.

If all went according to plan, I biked nearly three hours in the dark to get outside of the Twin Cities, reached a secluded glen where I made my camp for the night, and maybe even caught a few hours’ sleep despite the overwhelming excitement of what I’m doing.

I say if all went according to plan because this blog post was written two days in advance. As you read this Thursday morning, I’m packing up my camp, chewing on some nuts and raisins, and loading my bike into my car which I cleverly parked nearby days before.

And I’m going to Milwaukee.

Why did I start off my trip with a bike ride and sleeping under the stars? In some ways, it’s a symbolic act. It’ll be up to nine months before I start the actual hike to Brazil, but I wanted Day Zero to start out the way I envision the actual trip to be: powered by my own muscles.

On another level it’s a very visceral reminder of what I’m doing. It’s a preview of what life will be like on the road. Eventually I’ll be hiking or biking each day and camping out or relying on strangers each night. In Walk Like a God I talk about how every adventure contains a period so hard, so bleak, so hopeless that you want to run home screaming and quit. My adventure will have those periods, I know. By starting the very first step with something difficult as hell – even if it is symbolic – I feel like I’m preparing myself that much more for the hardest times ahead.

So now it’s Day One. The glamour and love and cheering of the Deployment Party is over, and it’s just me and the mosquitoes. And a whole lot of quiet time to myself.

As I load up my car to continue to Milwaukee, will I regret what I’ve done?

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20 thoughts on “Day One of A Life of Adventure

  1. Pingback: Polytheist priest sets out on ‘Heroic Path’ « PNC-Minnesota Bureau

  2. Beth (aka the camera girl) says:

    Will you regret what you’ve done? I think not. Don’t forget: the “really great life” that you talked to me about last night isn’t going anywhere, Drew. The people who love you and the career success you’ve built don’t have an expiration date. Not to minimize the change you’re making, but if you someday decide that you’ve had your fill of the road, we’ll be here. As will all the new friends you will make along your way. But you’d be miserable if you didn’t do this. It’s gonna be bleak sometimes, but that’s true of any path you choose. Don’t forget that if the grass sometimes seems greener on the Minneapolis side of the fence; you can cross on back over anytime, and we’ll welcome you with open arms.

  3. Pingback: The Wild Hunt » Pagan Community Notes: Drew Jacob, Abraxas, Fifth Sacred Thing, and More!

  4. Nothing more to say that I haven’t said already. Good luck, my friend. :-)

    >and it’s just me and the mosquitoes. And a whole lot of quiet time to myself.

    And Eddie Murphy as a talking donkey.

  5. Ashley says:

    Do you know Spanish? That would be the thing I would be most worried about if I didn’t. I lived in Argentina for half a year and studied Spanish for 5 years, and even then it was extremely difficult at times to get around. I just hope you are not a person that feels they can just go to a land without knowing anything about it or its people. I would not expect them to help you if you are not willing to respect them and at least learn the basics.

    • Hi Ashley! Thanks for your comment. I totally agree. After I finish here in Milwaukee, my next “pre trip” is living in Mexico City where I will stay with a friend who is a translator, take classes, and immerse myself. Spanish is only one of the languages I want to learn (Mayan and Portuguese being high on the list of others) but it is the first one I’ll need.

      I want to push myself to the point of fluency, because a culture’s soul is in its language. Only by being able to speak fluently will I be able to get past “foreigner” status and make truly enduring relationships…

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