Rule #40. There’s something for everybody.
Not too long ago I got an e-mail from a reader. In the message, he exclaimed, “I went camping last weekend and hated it!” He was disappointed having read about a couple of my trips and really wanted to get into camping. It didn’t turn out well. He had trouble getting a fire started, he slept uncomfortably, his tent leaked… But it wasn’t just that things went poorly; he found himself incredibly bored.
I’m grateful to have gotten this e-mail. It has presented me with an opportunity to help people who are having trouble with leaky tents and troublesome fires. I’ll address these problems in upcoming posts, and I hope that I can help people conquer the hurdles that we sometimes face as beginners in the outdoors. But today, I want to talk about the other obstacle our friend faced, which he aptly summed up by saying, “I think maybe camping just isn’t my thing.”
As much as I love camping and think that everyone can benefit from being outdoors, maybe camping isn’t his thing. I hope he’ll give it another try, and hopefully have a better experience, but if he doesn’t that’s okay. I love to camp, but that doesn’t mean that everybody does. And that’s okay. The beauty of life is that there’s something for everybody.
I think most things are worth trying once or twice. I hope to have as many experiences in life as I can, and I know that tons of them will be different. Sometimes I’ll be camping, other times I’ll couch surf. I’ll sleep in hotels and B&B’s. I’ll travel by car, by plane, on foot, or by pedal power. I’ll go over land and on the water. Maybe even under both as well.
I’m sure that I’m going to try a lot of things that I absolutely love. But I know that I’m going to try some things that I’ll end up not liking. I’ll be glad that I tried them, I may give them a second shot to make sure, but undoubtedly some activities just won’t be for me.
That’s okay. There are tons of activities and experiences in this world, and we don’t have to love them all. Just because I love to camp doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you if you don’t. Maybe kayaking is your thing. Or scuba diving. Snowboarding, skydiving, spelunking, road-tripping, hitch-hiking, cooking, skiing, running marathons, rock climbing, painting, SUP boarding, yoga, or playing guitar… There’s something out there for you, because there’s something for everybody.
So don’t get discouraged if you’ve tried one or two things and they haven’t really resonated with you. It might be worth giving them another chance to see if the second time around is a little more fun. After all, it can take a little time to warm up to something, and if it’s been awhile since you tried, don’t forget that tastes can change over time.
But even if a second chance doesn’t yield a good time, don’t worry. Keep looking and eventually you’ll find your niche. We’re all different, and different things call to each of us. We won’t all love the same things, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are plenty of things to do in this world, lots of things to try, and there’s something for everybody.
“Rules for Intrepid Living” is a weekly post giving guidelines for how we can all live a bit more of an intrepid life.