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Why We Love The Folks We Meet On The Road

Have you ever met an "outbound" person you didn't like?

By: Leigh Maneri + Save to a List

I don't know your story, but I like you. And I say that with confidence because here you are, browsing a platform dedicated to exploration. We're both in here dreaming of what's out there and that, in my book, defines you (vaguely) as an outbound person.

I met another one of you last weekend. A friend of a friend introduced us and we got to talking travel, California, camping and the like. We were both stoked and, in the middle of a crowded bar a few drinks in, I felt a wave of sobriety wash over me. Like my body was saying bye, don't need you, booz; travel stoke has commenced. It got me thinking. Have I ever met a fellow explorer — at a bar, in the middle of the outback, at the summit of Mt. Anything — that I didn't like? And I think the answer is no

Why are outbound people so consistently awesome? Well, here's what I've got.

1. Realness

Dancing with strangers for an outlandish homemade music video | Big Sur

They know what's up. Mountains. They know what's down. Earth. Consciousness of what's real leads to awesomeness, and people out there are enveloped in fundamental reality. They observe and consider and invest energy in elements born of the earth and walk upon it with respect. The phrase down to earth captures it all. Real environments lead to real character. And not giving a f*ck about looking cool.

2. They Seek More

Seek a partner who seeks more too :)

Those who hit the road in the name of exploration seek more than the scenery they've been dealt. They want to see the colossal, the colorful, the captivating corners of the planet to understand it, and everything, just a little bit better — to gain a different perspective. Perspective is fuel for empathy and empathy is key in both serving and enjoying the company of others.

3. They've Relinquished Control

Bestie and me getting tossed in wind | Death Valley National Park

Every explorer has put themselves in the way of mother nature only to be b*tch-slapped by her beautiful hand, by way of a leaky tent, muddy trail, icy slope, unforeseen temperatures, critters or whatever. From this, calm ensues; calm in knowing we are not God. Sometimes we have no map. Sometimes we have no shelter. And there's clarity in those moments, that we have very much and need very little, aside from basic comforts and good company — which brings me to number four.

4. Come One Come All

Both friendships and wildflowers blossom in fresh mountain air.

The most thought I put into this post was what to call the outbound people. Intrepid explorers. Outdoorsmen. Adventurers. Wanderers. There's not one name that blankets them all. Appreciation and love for the great beyond is not a club, and I've not experienced an ounce of exclusivity surrounding an excursion with authentic roots. In fact, quite the contrary. I guarantee you, too, were introduced to the outbound lifestyle by another being, whether (very good) parents or (very good) friends, with the sheer goal of sharing in the joy of what's out there.

In a moment of reflection I felt the need to honor all of the like-minded, awesome outbound people with whom I've crossed paths. My life wouldn't be the same without you.

We need more awesomeness in the world. Get out there and lead the way. Pass it on.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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