I’ve had success on my mind a lot lately. With some big plans coming up, I’m still on the road, quickly sliding towards 30, and still chasing every wild idea that pops in to my head. Success has a different meaning for every culture and person, and it shows in those lifestyles. It’s morphed in to a far less than conventional meaning for me as well. Many people I grew up with are chasing the American dream, with families, jobs, kids, houses, and all the checks of that list of “success” that is defined in our culture. BUT, I’ve also watched that definition change as I travel, with some of the most successful people I know dropping the pretense that this checklist will make them happy and instead chasing their own definition of happiness.

I came to New Zealand with $4 in my bank account, hitchhiked to the town I live in now, and scrounged and scrambled to get in to the mountains to work and live here rather than go home for even three months. Three months later, I’m a few weeks out from heli-skiing a range I never thought I’d get the opportunity to ski on and staying here permanently. Many of the great friends I met along this trip are also continuing their travels, working dream jobs that are so normal out here, yet a fantasy people think of as a vacation anywhere else.
That is success. Doing what you dreamed of as a kid, moving and working hard to keep a goal alive that you weren’t sure was possible, and making it work because it’s what makes you feel alive.
Travel, skiing, climbing, photography, (the list goes on) make me feel alive. The constant adventure, the challenges of making this lifestyle maintainable, the drop in my stomach hopping on to my first skinny steep and deep chute after a year off skiing… that all reminds me that I’m doing what is important. I’m successful in making every dream I ever had as a kid come true.

Moral: Just because it’s not traditional or conventional doesn’t mean it isn’t success. So go do you… YOUR definition of happy and success. ❤


One thought on “Success…

  1. Jess,   After reading your message regarding success, the lines of one of my favorite poems come to me.  Kipling writes……………………….   If you can dream – and not make dreams your master; If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools: 

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings  And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, ‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch, if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And – which is more – you’ll be a woman my chosen one!

    Your almost convinced. 🙂 Love Ya Grandpa  

    Liked by 1 person

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