The news truly took my breath away.
A friend I have had since college is gone. For good. Never to be replaced.
This dear friend taught me to dream, look beyond my doorstep, and crawl out of my shell. My friend showed me a portion of what I wanted my life to look like, revealed my craving to experience God's creation a little closer-up.
National Geographic Adventure, what on earth will I do without you? Your pictures of oceans and mountains and trails beckoned me. I chopped every issue apart. What will I hang on the inside of my cupboards? I have so many empty pages in my Dream Book! You told me what to do Next Weekend. I even want to hike in Oklahoma because of you.
Devil's Lake, WI
WHO ELSE would publish a picture of a waterfall so amazing, that I had to dump my stuff in my car and drive to Vermont alone and FIND that waterfall and take the same picture of it myself?
It is because of you that I can turn the pages of a magazine, and upon seeing a breathtaking picture, I can say, "Hey, I've been there!" or even, "Hey, I LIVED there!" or "I so biked that trail!" or "I stood in that canyon!"
Pagosa Springs, CO
Thanks to you, my Alero has taken me across the country and back more times than I can count...because I looked at your pictures and read your articles and realized that the open road is for someone just like me, who just wants to try it out...see something new...try a different life on for size.
Seriously, you kept me sane when I was sleep-deprived and heartbroken. I could reach for my stack of chopped-up magazines or hunker down with my dream book and imagine myself someplace else for a little bit, instead of sitting alone on my couch surrounded by tear-and-mascara-stained pillows.
Lake Tahoe, NV
How will I know now the best coffee shop in Kanab, Utah? The best place to put in my kayak in the Baja? The best treehouse "hotel" in Oregon? Huh? How?
National Geographic, how could you do this to me?! HOW COULD YOU?!?! You dare rip from my hands the one thing that kept me sane in the cold, bleak Michigan winter? You snuff the life out of my wanderlusting dreams?? You strip my mailbox of the very essence of its existence?
And then you offer me - *ugh* - National Geographic TRAVELER as a penance?
Oh, no. Nonononononono. Traveler will NEVER do. You simply cannot replace a beat-up mud-crusted Jeep loaded down with skis, surfboards, or mountain bikes with tanned bods dressed in flowing white linen pants holding pink cocktails at a Sandals-like resort in Boom-shaka-laka. It simply will NOT do. I want to know where I can road-trip next weekend, NOT where I can get Club Med membership. I'm so insulted.
Kailua Kona, HI
I've courted Outside mag before, but they became a little too hard-core, too elitist, too much frippery. Backpacker isn't too bad, but oddly, backpacking isn't really my thing. Adventure held it all for me: travel for the Everyman, the unsophisticated, the person like me who just needed a little nudge out the door. It was accessible. Feasible.
So long, National Geographic Adventure. You characterized my twenties and held so many possibilities for my thirties. I wish our parting hadn't been so abrupt and cold. I will always, always hold fond memories of you and the possibilities you poured into my mind. You exhorted me to Dream it, Plan it, Do it...and in your honor, I will.