Empathic Adventurers

What does the world need more of?

In February 2019, I drove from Richmond to California and asked strangers along the way: what do you think the world needs more of?

WHY?

I wanted to overcome my fear of talking to strangers. I was searching for meaningful connection.

For years when I crossed a state line, I’d hit the grocery store then drive straight to the nearest woods. I camped in remote places, thinking I was getting the most out of life by avoiding people and immersing myself in the natural world.

The deep appreciation I felt for nature was absent in my connections with humans.

My goals for this project were simple:

  1. Start conversation with strangers
  2. Go past the surface level society approved topics. (How are you? Good.)
  3. Listen
  4. Write every day, with purpose

When my goals include others, the process feels joyful.

This project has turned into a novel. (Coming soon!)

This project turned into this blog, which gives us a place to learn about and connect with other adventurers.

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“It’s not about changing the world, it’s about changing your world.”

Brene Brown

Posts

The World Needs More Free Lemonade

What does the world need more of? The world needs more free lemonade. It needs random acts of kindness, more costumes and meaningful conversation with strangers. We brought it all to the desert outside of Moab, Utah. My banana business partner Country Courtney joined me in a day of invention. Together we created The Mobile…

The World Needs More Pot and Mushrooms

Ozark National Forest, Arkansas Country Courtney and I stood in the parking lot of a Love’s gas station, drinking shitty coffee, when a man with a big black truck pulled up next to us. He pointed to the canoe on top of Courtney’s car. “Where did y’all just float?” That morning we paddled eight miles…

Covid Series: The World Needs More Raw Resiliency

Guest writer: Diana San Francisco, California This time is unprecedented. We are in a constant state of grief in some ways. We are grieving our old ways of life, our time with others, and for some the biggest grieving of all, the deaths of our loved ones. Before the virus really hit here, I was…

Covid Series: The World Needs More Collaboration

Asheville, North Carolina Oh baby covid! You are shaking and rattling life as we know it. These days, it is best to pee in a bottle in your car. You can’t trust gas station restrooms- they are disease ridden! For some van life/car life people, peeing in a bottle is a typical every day occurrence….

Covid Series: The World Needs More Patience

Guest writer: Carleigh Richmond, Virginia I take care of sick people for a living. I have held hands of those that were dying. I have celebrated with those receiving another chance at life. I have seen people on their worst days and their best. But this, this I have never seen before. I am scared….

Covid Series: The World Needs More Self Sustainability

Guest writer: Jess Belmont, North Carolina Though I am not doing much these days, social distancing with my parents at their house in Belmont, NC the days are going by rapidly. I came home two weeks ago from New York. Not from New York City, but rather a small town in the Adirondacks. I did…

Covid Series: The World Needs More Community Action

Guest writer: Delaney Charlotte, North Carolina I am currently quarantined in a 5 bedroom stone cottage. The streets outside still bustle with activity as Charlotte is filled with gym going junkies with gym withdrawal. Everyone is biking, running, and walking along with all variety of pups. It’s always entertaining to people watch and see how…

Covid Series: The World Needs More Hopeful Poetry

Guest writer: Ben Bristol, England The Age of Anxiety We’re all vying for our own individual fight against dying,  While all lying awake trapped in our fear and the trying. Our attempts to ignore the statistics of fear,  As the chauvinistic-ultra-nationalism rears  It’s ugly head. Apprehensively we are led, To the twenty four hour feeds…

What Does The World Need More Of? A Covid Series

For the moment we are stopped. Still. Waiting. Uncertain. Unified. For the moment, we are able to see through the veil of separateness. We are allowing ourselves to question the ocean of humanity and wonder: what do we need in these times? What the world needs now is collaboration. We need to share our knowledge,…

Covid Series: The World Needs More Humanity

Guest writer: Ellie Radford, Virginia I am quarantined in my little two bedroom townhouse in the little town of Radford, VA. At first it was just me and my cat Ringo here, but as this situation has gotten more serious, my boyfriend who lives in the very metro area of Charlotte, NC and is now…

Covid Series: The world Needs More Affection

Guest writer: Eli Crested Butte, Colorado The corona-virus came to Crested Butte, CO quite quickly, as it did for many communities around the country and the world. One day I was working as a cat-ski guide in a beautiful backcountry location, and the next I was told that winter season was over. Though, unlike many…

Covid Series: The World Needs More Love

Guest Writer: Emily Boone, North Carolina I am quarantined at my house with my two roommates.  This home is my sacred space. It has felt comforting, grounding, and humbling to spend more time amongst these walls and this little slice of the world.  It is filled with toys, plants, art tools, and the potential for…

Covid Series: The World Needs More Strong Local Communities

Guest Writers: Baer and the Lady Gainesville, Florida This outbreak has been refreshing. It has made me appreciate people more, the earth more, our food more, our home, our art. This is the most connected I’ve felt to my community in my life. Right now people care about the things that really matter…people in need,…

Covid Series: The World Needs More Connection

Guest Writer Lace Lawrence, Washington What Can Be: Collective Connection  Self-Isolation. Social Distancing. Trails Closed. Life Stopped. This is what I keep hearing. What is being pushed out by the news, social media, and every email I receive. Here in Washington, we are under a “Stay at Home Order” so I am staying home.  We…

Covid Series: The World Needs More Simplicity

Guest Writer: Emily Crane Lake, Minnesota I am quarantined in Crane Lake Minnesota. My husband, Michael, and I are supposed to be in South Carolina visiting my parents right now. COVID said otherwise. We are very lucky to be self-quarantined at Michael’s grandma’s cabin. It is very comfortable and has everything we need. Even in…

Covid Series: The World Needs More Compassionate Communities

Guest writer: Melina Cool, California On March 11th, I was on a flight from Australia to New Zealand. I had just finished my term being an au pair (live-in nanny) in Perth, Western Australia. At this point, I was on my way to be an au pair again for a different family, this time in…

Covid Series: The World Needs More Yoga

Guest Writer Josh Brooklyn, New York I’m in NYC baby. The epicenter of this whole thing. I couldn’t be in a worse spot unless I was in fucking Wuhan.  I’m kidding. Mostly. It’s really not so bad. I’m in Bushwick. Well, technically I’m in Ridgewood. Ridgewood is in Queens, Bushwick is in Brooklyn. It doesn’t…

Covid Series: The World Needs More Acceptance

Guest writer: Laura from Bedford, Virginia I think that that the world needs more acceptance.  That, and critical thinkers. I started my quarantine ten days ago as soon as I pulled into the driveway after completing my drive home from Colorado. I crawled into my bed and essentially remained there for three days until I…

Covid Series: The World Needs More Listening

Guest writer: Casey Melbourne, Australia Coming at you live from Melbourne, Australia with a good ole fashion quarantine update!  I’m currently on day 11 of not leaving my house. On March 11th I went over to New Zealand with plans to stay until the 31st. Covid-19 decided to rear its nasty head and say “nah.”…

The World Needs More Stillness

In light of the COVID-19 Society Shutdown, our world is being asked to stay still. Across the United States bars, schools, and restaurants are closed for two weeks. Sports tournaments, festivals, and community gatherings over 100+ are canceled. We are asked (told, ordered?) by our government to stay home, to avoid people, and only leave…

The World Needs More Food Waste Policy

Every Tuesday I go to Bounty and Soul in Black Mountain, North Carolina, a non-profit that provides free produce to the community, as well as wellness education. The food is excess and would be thrown away, but is instead donated by companies like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, plus local farms. This week, the volunteers…

The World Needs More Benches

What does the world needs more of? “Benches.” “Benches?” “Benches are awesome,” he nodded. He asked me to construct a bench in his honor when he dies. “Not a boring, regular wooden bench with a plaque,” he shook his head. “An epic bench, like this one,” he gestured to the bench we were sitting on….

The World Needs More Community Gardens

I drove through the yellow hills of California on a clear skied day, which is most days in the summer months. I picked up an old friend from his parent’s house. He put his suitcase in my trunk, gave his dad a hug, and got in the passenger seat. He buckled, turned to me, and…

The World Needs More Funny Fuckers

This is an ode to the funny fuckers out there, who meet my question with a serious devotion to humor. Some of my favorite one liners: “What do you think the world needs more of?” “More coffee beans and cocoa beans.” (laughter) “I’m serious. I hear the world is running out of em, and I…

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