Once there’s more than one person in a room, you get a relationship. Most times that’s a beautiful thing, but sometimes it’s not. Personalities differ, life experiences and priorities vary, egos collide, and the result can be ambivalence and even conflict. The challenge is to find the commonalities, not the conflicts
So sea kayak trippers always amaze me. They start out as strangers over breakfast on day one, then find it difficult to say goodbye only a few days later.
Why is that?
I believe one big reason is finding common ground. It’s no-ones “turf” out there. Sharing an outdoor experience is definitely a big factor: helping each other tether a tent to bare rock, knowing your paddling partner is right there beside you through a gusty choppy section, seeing a bunch of smiling faces when you surface after your first wet exit, sharing a glorious Lake Superior sunset. We all face the new environment together.
But mostly I think it’s a decision. The decision to “show up”. To take what comes and be our best selves. To revel in the adventure and nature we all love – together.
P.S. BTW, I can find it hard to say goodbye too. I don’t forget any of you, but lucky for me I get to experience it all again with a new group. It’s one of the many rewarding things about being a guide and instructor.