I’ve just started reading Essentialism by Greg McKeown.
This image arrives early in the book and is reenforced throughout.
Our Energy, Time and Attention are limited resources. We can chose to spread them wide and shallow or go narrow and deep on a small number of things.
Essentialism is built around the latter.
Doing Less, Better.
That’s how long I drove around Moab, UT with a car full of kids looking for a campsite last Friday night.
3 excruciatingly long hours.
You see, in Moab most camp sites are first come, first serve. There’s no reservation system. And for those that do take reservations your online options often end with a phone call to a government voicemail box from which your cries for help rarely return.
Give it a try yourself. Go ahead and google for camping options in Moab, or any national or state park. You’ll likely find what we’ve found every time we’ve tried to plan an adventure with our family: a portal to websites designed in the mid nineties with little helpful information and even less modern functionality for researching and booking a campsite.
And that’s a shame.
We’re in the midst of a generational shift in how people plan and share their travel experiences. The market for planning and sharing adventures and travel has never been more active, despite what Google search results may reflect.
We see an emergent tribe of explorers growing in ranks by the day. A generation hungry for adventures and experiences not provided by their parent’s Courtyard Marriott.
It’s that shift that our latest investment, Hipcamp, aims to address.
Today on HipCamp.com you can discover and book campsites all around the state of California. But, that’s just the beginning. There are so many other opportunities in this travel and adventure marketplace that we hope to explore.
We’re excited to be working with Alyssa, Eric and the rest of the Hipcampers to help them build what we believe will be a deeply impactful service.
It’s never too late…
December 26th 2013, this Kickstarter campaign limped towards a looming deadline to reach their goald of $125,000. They failed and that campaign was never funded.
Fast forward 8 months.
The same product, with the same name, by the same inventor, with an eerily similar promotional video has become the most successful project in Kickstarter history.
So what changed?
Did people suddenly want a cooler/blender/flashlight/picnic basket/bottle opener/iphone charger/boombox/cuttingboard? Did running the campaign in summer change people’s perceived need for the product v. running it in the depths of winter? Does bright orange sell better than matte black?
Honestly, I have no idea.
But, I do know what didn’t change?
Ryan Gepper’s belief in his vision for the Coolest Cooler.
He never gave up, even in the face of a very public failure.
And that’s pretty Cool.
Last week I slept in my own bed for seven days straight.
That’s the first time I’ve done so in months.
Over that time there was lots of planned and unplanned, work and fun, related travel.
And as much as I’d like to think nothing slipped through the cracks, I know some did.
Despite closing rounds for old companies and leading rounds for new ones, I’m sure there were opportunities to help the old and meet the new that were missed without the structure of a daily routine.
I have a love/hate relationship with routine.
On one hand, I love being at a place in life professionally and personally that affords me so many possibilities for how to manage my time, energy and location.
At the same time, the promise of connectedness doesn’t often deliver the immediacy and accessibility it whispers to us before setting out. The road often turns distractions into obligations and obligations into distractions. The lack of routine dedicated time for dedicated tasks cloud what would otherwise be clear commitments.
There’s something familiar, even comfortable, with routine. Go to the office at this time, sit in this chair, stand at this desk, block out time to meet, to think, to write, to reply. Dinner is at 5:30. Start putting kids to bed at 7:30. A nice cadence starts to develop. The next day it starts again.
It begins to get predictably comfortable.
And that’s the rub for me.
Routine. Rote time, rote schedule repeated daily just starts be numbing after a time. For me that limit is about 2 weeks. And then I need to start moving again.
What my recent spate of movement taught me is that despite shifting time zones, schedules and locales, I need more structure during my travels. If not a full routine, as least a set of daily constants, call them portable rituals, that I can incorporate into each day regardless of where it takes me.
I see friends who are really good at this- be it daily posting of links or songs, meditating, yoga, walking, reading, inbox clearing. I imagine those rituals provide a reliable touchstone for day.
As for me, I think my portable rituals would involve some form of exercise, some spiritual introspection (silent prayer or scripture study), conscious family interaction and some form of creativity.
I don’t know how many portable rituals are realistic or practical to maintain at once. But I have 2 weeks before I hit the road again, and I plan to do so armed with a few rituals that I can hold as constants until I can slip back into my routines when I return.
Experiencing this feeling all too acutely.