5 things to inspire you right now

by Kim on March 15, 2011 · 10 comments

You’ve heard me complain about the dreary Portland weather and the crazy-making waiting period I’ve found myself in lately.  Since I can’t pick up and go just ’cause I want to, I’ve been indulging in other people’s adventures.  Each of the five items I’ve provided below keeps me inspired and excited about what we’re all capable of.  I love them all and I hope you do too. 

Inspiration # 1- My favorite poem

This poem by Shel Silverstein is one of my favorite poems ever.  And it goes down in history as one of the only poems I’ve ever been able to memorize. 

Listen to the Mustn’ts

Listen to the MUSTN’TS child,

Listen to the DON’TS

Listen to the SHOULDN’TS


Listen to the NEVER HAVES

Then listen close to me-

Anything can happen, child,

ANYTHING can be. 

Inspiration # 2- Photos of hiking the Appalachian Trail

walkinthewoodsKevin Gallagher hiked the the 2,181 miles of the Appalachian Trail.  Each day he took 24 photos of successive steps and then edited the photos into a 4-minute video.  I read Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods in high school and I have dreamed of through-hiking the AT ever since.  One day it will happen. 

Click the link: Hiking the AT in 4 minutes (4 minutes long)

Inspiration # 3- A beautiful poem about being alone, spoken and performed. 

Seriously, you have to watch it!  Especially if you are a solo traveler or any type of person that feels uncomfortable being alone.  Or, like me, if you freaking love being alone, in which case you’ll want to dart out the door and have an adventure all by yourself. 

Click the link: How to be alone video (4.5 minutes long)

Inspiration #4- 180 Degrees South: A documentary about adventure and saving our wild places

Inspired by pioneering outdoorsman Yvon Chouinard’s freewheeling 1968 van trip to Patagonia, South America, a band of bliss-seeking surfer-mountaineers sets out — in 2007, by boat — to remake the journey in this adventure documentary. Jeff Johnson and his buddies hug the coast, stopping at the Galapagos Islands and Easter Island before arriving in Patagonia — a region that’s still breathtaking but is now besieged by environmental threats.

I pulled that description above right off the website, but I think it is only a half-good explanation of the movie.  What I really loved about it was the wisdom that the old-timers and the younger adventurers are able to convey about the benefit of wild places.  If your soul opens up in the great outdoors than this movie is for you.  You’ll be inspired to pack your bags and head for the hills and you’ll also be inspired to fight like hell to protect them.  The documentary is available on Netflix and (bonus!) also has a great soundtrack.

Click the link: 180 degrees south trailer (3 minutes long)

Inspiration #5- Read The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert

The true story of Eustace Conway, a man who has lived self-sufficiently off of the land for the past thirty years.  Eustace wears buckskins, makes fire from sticks, hunts what he eats, and has had some seriously epic adventures in his lifetime.  But he’s a very complicated man.  The story of his evolution from idealist to weary environmentalist is sad and beautiful and I guarantee that you will not get through the book with thinking to yourself,  “I want to live like Eustace Conway.”


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