Being Creative to Find
Several years ago I was living in Santa Fe, NM, home of Outside Magazine. The
area boasts some of the best outdoor activities the United States has to offer, and
this was part of my attraction to Santa Fe. The artistic culture, natural landscape,
and beauty, offered a haven for me to feel out my strengths, and focus my life’s
While working in Santa Fe, I met my now lifetime best friend, Stephan Marquez.
Stephan and his family were equally welcoming of my friendship and it was by
observing his parents that I became intrigued with family overseas adventures.
I have travelled with this family and have learned that a large part of the family’s
lifestyle has been spent traveling. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if
every family had the good fortune to travel and be a diplomat with the support of
I vividly recall an outdoor adventure I had with Stephan and his younger brothers
about a year after we met. We hiked up Vallecitos Mountain in Taos, NM one cold
November day. Only myself and two other hikers made it to the summit. Our
excitement about reaching the top quickly turned into serious contemplation as
we looked around us and saw the sun going down. We spent the night in about 3-
4 feet of snow with freezing cold feet as my friend Stephan was fighting a diabetic
emergency. He remained calm throughout the night while I kept the fire going so
he could conserve his blood sugar. Other hikers at the bottom panicked and
called in search and rescue. The next morning they found us defrosting our
snowshoes near the top. That trip ,along with the repeated retelling of the story
seemed to gel our friendship even stronger.
I have experienced first-hand how travel seems to have facilitated success for the
Marquez family. Since then my doubts have reemerged a lot and I have been
desperately looking for a way to have a great adventure with my new wife. When
Outside Magazine published the article, Paddling The Mighty Santa Fe River, we
bought a cheap inflatable kayak and started kayaking the Dallas Creeks.
My ultimate adventure is to travel the world and gather the ever less common
stories of people who really loved in this life. Stories like the ones I heard from
my Santa Fe friends and the kind that I want more of. I hope to create a book
series of the name, Endangered Stories, writing about our fantastic voyage
around the world, meeting people and doing crazy things in rivers and on
mountains. My wife and I have started rock-climbing and are getting better. I
have been talking about this for years now and still think it is an excellent idea.
My only hope is to get a chance to prove it. Ultimately, whether it is a $10,000 or
$5 trip, the important thing is to see fun when it’s right next to you!
We were fortunate to find something we both liked and as a result we had a great day together.
Here is an article with evidence showing how finding a thing you like to do in common helps relationships.