Your Comfort Zone is Perishable

broken mirror - val in real life

In a few short days, we will say goodbye to another year. We humans have a propensity to get nostalgic, as well as hopeful, in the course of ushering in a new year. It’s natural to take the time to look at where we’ve been in the last year and where we are going in the next. As you go …

Embracing Community with Horizons Unlimited

Horizons Unlimited - Val in Real Life

When I attended my first Horizons Unlimited Travellers meeting in April of last year, I didn’t know what to expect. It ended up being a delightful feast of adventurous souls, practical knowledge, and the beginning of beautiful friendships. It was a no-brainer then, to dart off to to the Horizons Unlimited North Carolina event last October. Held at the Iron …

Working Past Fear

News flash. I’m not fearless. I’m often told I am and it makes me laugh. I think “Are you kidding me?!?” Of course I have fear. Lots of it. The well-meaning commenters see it as a compliment to tell me I am fearless. I understand the intent. Especially the extra layer of concern that is draped over the compliment for a woman …

Staying inReach with DeLorme

A while back I talked about some of my strategies for personal safety on the trail. One of the pieces of that strategy is a GPS tracking device. Whether I’m traveling by car, motorcycle, or foot, this technology is something I greatly appreciate. Especially when I’m solo. Why carry one? There are various mindsets about carrying a GPS tracker. Some …

Overland Expo East 2015

Overland Expo East 2015 - Val in Real Life

Even for adventure travelers, the conditions were somewhat daunting for this year’s Overland Expo East event in North Carolina. The rain and winds were the courtesy of Hurricane Joaquin. At our location near Asheville, we were on the outskirts of the storm but the impacts were still significant. It had many of us longing for the less-challenging conditions of Overland …

What is Adventure Travel?

Adventure Travel - Val in Real Life

I’ve been in full-tilt travel mode the last few weeks between three different events. And guess what? Much of that time has been spent riding in the rain, sleeping in a soggy tent, and finding creative ways to extract my motorcycle from mud bogs. It’s been extraordinarity difficult. And I’d do it all again. But make no mistake about the …

The New Adventures of Val…

Last week marked my 43rd birthday. And I left you hanging as to what I’ll be taking on as my travels shift towards solo. Granted, it’s not exactly a well-kept secret but I guess I should just make it official here on the blog anyway. But before I do, I think it’s pertinent to lay out how I came around …

Hell Hike and Raft: The Seven Devils – Part 1

Last time around, I talked about the beginning of the Hell Hike and Raft, what it took to prepare, and some of the logistics involved. Now we get to the good stuff, the actual adventure. The funny part about this trip for me was that prior to June of this year, I’d never set foot in the state of Idaho. …