2023 was a big year with big successes and big failures. This year saw an incredible new job in a town that we thought would be disappointing, but ended up being our favorite yet! We also had decent travels, temporarily stopped caving, saved up money, and hit the gym hard. 2024 will be bigger!
-Continue and increase online outreach
-keep this website updated
-produce Youtube videos of adventures
-Keep the future planned, but focus on living in the moment, and not passing up the moment to plan for the future
-Philosophy: life is too short to worry and be unhappy. Be happy and positive in every situation
Update January 2024:
Did well with these! Worked hard on this website, with increased visits. Spent a LOT of time making Youtube videos, but with only one successful, racking up over 450K views! Undecided if it was really worth the time and effort. Stayed positive, fun, high-energy, despite the many difficulties of the year. Lived in the moment, while in downtime planned for a huge 2024!
-Main goal: Major cave expedition. Other goals: fun caving, one canyon exploration, big packrafting trip. Focus on bettering existing skills instead of freshly starting to learn new skills. Also - trying cycling, in any form, again.
Update January 2024
We met all these goals. The caving expedition was a huge disappointment - the team, not selected by me, was more interested in drunken debauchery than mapping or connecting with the local community. It was also the expedition's leader first time leading, and he made some critical errors, like not buying enough food, which he then blamed on us. As a result, we swore never again to do a caving expedition with cavers we don't already know, and to never allow alcohol on any expedition we're leading.
Additionally, we 'discovered' possibly the finest canyon I'll ever see - Baharuco Canyon in the Dominican Republic. It had been descended once before, but at night, and it seemed likely we were the first to see some sections of this surreal place.
As well, we had a major packrafting expedition in the Northwest Territories, with mixed thoughts. Bad weather and record-setting forest fires meant we missed meeting up with half our group, and took a bit of a consolation river instead, which was good, but not world-class, in my opinion.
Finally, we did try cycling again, for the first time in nearly a decade: mountain biking the Maah Daah Hey Trail in North Dakota (which was awesome, despite severe thunderstorms) and cycle touring a circumnavigation of the Grand Tetons. We'll probably do more mountain biking, but maybe not cycle touring. I've worn that one out, I feel.
Adventure has dominated our lives for many years, and the adrenaline, failure, egos, drama and excitement exact a high price on one's mentality. We're not done with adventure, but plan to scale it back a little in 2024, and not worry about fear, fights and failures, and just enjoy our precious moments in incredible places. I have a feeling, however, that 2025 will yield a return to crazy adventures, however!
-Family visit. Call home weekly. Spend as much time with wife as possible
Update January 2024
Met, although now I feel that only one visit to see family in an entire year is a bit lacking. Well, 2024 will be A LOT better.
-Main goal: keep healthy! Health has been at a maximal level for years, and I have no intention of letting it slide.
Also, get better educated in bodybuilding.
Update: January 2024
Definitely stayed healthy. I cut out nearly all processed meats, and my joints have almost no aching whatsoever compared to before. Low point was throwing out my lower back, and spending three days unable to walk or sleep much, with sitting down painful. It was from gently re-racking an 80lb dumbbell, of all things. My lower back seems weaker than it used to be, but I'm also gymming more than I used to. Nevertheless, it only ever aches for a few days post-workout, then it's fine.
Second low point was issues with my right knee under heavy loads while backpacking. It became painful and less functional while climbing Mount Baker, and then again when hiking out of Scapegoat Cave. Both were arduous treks with 50-60 lbs backpacks. The solution? Ibuprofen. Took the pain away immediately!
Finally, I did take an online certification course in bodybuilding, to be a coach. While I don't want to be a coach, I do want the knowledge to improve my weightlifting practice. What I learned, mostly, is that I need to be spending more time in the gym, lifting heavier, eating even more, and training even harder. I don't think that's gonna happen - there's too many other things in life!
-Main Goal: Stick with ER travel nursing. Like it or not, the current high pay rates probably won't last forever, and it's wise to take advantage of them while possible. Work extra, and probably prioritize overtime over other pursuits. More money earned and invested now means more freedom in the future.
Update January 2024:
Definitely met this goal, staying 10 months in a single position, working plenty of overtime. This contract at Fort Belknap turned out to be the best one I've worked, for a variety of reasons, and we plan to return in late 2024 and continue working Fort Belknap.
-Main Goal: Finish epic Caribbean trip, and get back to somewhere warm in the winter
Minimal flights. Cheap travel (hitchhiking! camping!) Celebrate birthdays abroad, on a beach or somewhere awesome. Pack light, enjoy every moment!
Update January 2022:
We got to Martinique, Guadeloupe, the Dominican Republic (again) and the Cayman Islands. Two great birthdays in the Caymans and central Mexico. Epic trip to the remote Northwest Territories. Then... nothing. Winter in Montana, awaiting Suhei's citizenship, unable to leave. Bittersweet thoughts, as the temp dips to -41F and there's nothing to do, and we could be on a beach, but still, we're earning money... Regardless, epic travels planned for 2024!