Nothing says adventure like sitting at your computer and reading about the awesome accomplishments of others. If you’re looking to revel in your lack of activity, consider a few champions. If nothing else, they may inspire you to go do something.
There’s nothing casual about being the first person to walk around the world, but David Kunst put up with a lot. David set off on his journey from his home in Minnesota with his brother, John. After making it to Afghanistan with only minor setbacks, both John and David were shot because a reporter had incorrectly wrote that they were carrying large sums of UNICEF cash. After recovering and grieving for 4 months, David then continued his journey, completing his walk around the world in 1974, four years after he left. He had gone through 21 pairs of shoes and 4 mules, but managed to pick up a wife.
At 50 years old, Glen Heggstad was already black belt in karate, ju jitsu, judo and kung fu; plenty of adrenaline inducing accomplishments for most people, but for him it wasn’t enough. He decided to ride his motorcycle from his home in California to the southern tip of South America. When he reached Colombia, Heggstad was taken hostage by guerilla forces and held ransom for 33 days. He survived daily beatings, constant marches through the jungle and other tortures. At one point, he jammed his motorcycle keys up his nose to induce bleeding in an attempt to convince his captors that he was dying. When he was turned over to Red Cross, Heggstad didn’t go home. He got back on his bike and finished the trip.
When most 24 year olds are wondering what they should do with their social sciences degree, Sarah Outen was becoming the first woman and youngest person to row across the Indian Ocean. And, while that is impressive, it turned out to be nothing more than a warm-up. Now, Outen is more than halfway finished with her completely human powered circum-navigation including kayaking, rowing and cycling. At press time, she is preparing to restart her journey after being interrupted by Tropical Storm Mawar on her journey from Japan to Canada.
Building tree forts, holding hands with girls, learning to shave. These are all normal activities for a 13 year old boy, unless you’re Jordan Romero. While his friends are busy searching for puberty, Romero was busy summiting Mt. Everest, setting the record for the youngest person to ever reach the top of the world.
The Appalachian Trail is one of the most respected badges of honor for any hiker in the world. Stretching 2,178 miles from America’s northeast to the southeast, it is an ultimate test of mental and physical endurance. For 81 year old Lee Barry, it was simply a walk. In 2004, Barry became the oldest person to ever thru-hike the AT, meaning he hiked the entire trail from start to finish in one season.