You don't have to travel far to have an adventure. In fact, you can have the time of your life in your own backyard with the right people.
But sometimes it's good to set off for somewhere a little further afield. With this homegrown spirit of adventure in mind, I invited my two guy pals on a surfing/camping road trip over beers one evening.
To my surprise, when Thursday morning rolled around, they actually decided to join me.
We loaded three surfboards, two tents and a variety of cameras into one car and headed from San Diego up the Southern California coast.
What did I learn about spending 72 hours with two guys? Read on and find out...
Don't Pack Expectations
When gearing up for your adventure, leave expectations at home. Plan as little as possible – I suggest only booking the campsite and leaving the rest open.
When it comes time to embark, let go of everything you expect to happen and just go with the flow.
If there’s anything these road trips are good for, it's impulsively exploring, wearing your vacation shirt and enjoying the spontaneous ride.
Don't Try And Avoid Greasy Food
Before we jumped in the ocean with our boards or started on a new leg of our journey, what did we do? We got burritos.
The classic I’m-on-vacation-I-don’t-care-how-greasy-my-food-is-YOLO stop happened only a few hours in to the drive around 11 am - and it definitely wasn’t the last.
Embrace the greasy burritos, hamburgers and fried chicken that come with grabbing a quick bite to eat in between surfs, climbs, skate sessions or whatever it is you do.
You’ll burn it off anyway – so I told myself.
If you spend time in the outdoors, it's inevitable that you will injure yourself at some point.
On our very first day, I brushed my left ankle on a reef and cut my right heel while surfing. I hadn't even been in the ocean for ten minutes.
Malibu was indeed the endless, peeling right of my dreams. However, I had to wade out of the water, limping.
Instead of letting out a battle cry to express the pain, I womaned up, rubbed some sand in it and took a lot of deep breaths until we found a drug store and could amateurly secure both my ankles to get me through the weekend.
There Are Two Things You Can Never Have Enough Of...
Beer and firewood. Simply put, these things a fantastic night outdoors maketh.
Drinking beers by the fire turned into my favourite part of the trip. We talked and laughed for hours without having to hunt for branches or ration beverages.
It’s better to have more of both than run out before 8 p.m. and go to bed out of sheer boredom.
We made sure wood and beer were covered, so we could enjoy each other’s company into the wee morning hours.
Be Ready To Give A Female Point Of View
With enough firewood and beer, relationship talk will inevitably emerge.
Be prepared to offer the coveted girls point of view when your guy friends, bless their hearts, start theorising about women. Try not to laugh, as they may actually be bearing their souls to you.
When it’s time, you will likely have to set the record straight about a few things, including but not limited to: when farting is okay, how Valentine’s Day should be approached without being lame and how to navigate the complex female mind.
Trust me, you are more valuable than you know.
Boys are entertaining and weird, and photos just don’t capture it.
If you want to really document the essence of what makes your guy friends who they are, snap a couple 15-second videos.
You won’t regret it. The photos I took on this trip were nice, but the videos captured outright hilarity—and they make for better future blackmail.
Embrace Who You Are - And Who They Are
Have a nerdy side? Feel happy for no reason? Just loving life and want to express it with interpretive dance? Let it out, and encourage your co-pilots to do the same.
With these two fellas, I'm the awkward comic relief. I make stupid puns, I dance more than I walk and I laugh at myself constantly.
Embrace who you are, and embrace your friends the way they are too. Chances are they dig your quirkiness, so let it shine.
(Feel free to apply this to everyday life as well)