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- Hunter S. Thompson

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Editor's Letters

Mar 14, 2017

Editors Letter. Issue 13. Spring 2017.

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” JRR Tolkien

WRITTEN BY

Apoorva Prasad

You can subscribe to the Outdoor Journal here.

Gold paints Ushba. The autumn sunset washes color on the double-headed peak of rock and ice rising above the end of the valley. Remote, wild places uplift me, and wash away the fears I live with every day. I have many… but the biggest of all is that I’m always faking it. I call myself a climber, yet pulling on easy plastic moves draws throbbing pain in my left shoulder, the one with the torn rotator cuff (yes, torn while climbing four years ago). I’ve spent months of my youth living in the mountains, yet hiking twenty kilometers in the Caucasus one day leaves me with a limp, the iliotibial band on my right knee. An expanding arc of fire between skin and bone. My business card says CEO and Editor-in-Chief, yet I have no degrees in media, journalism, technology, finance or management.

As 2016 draws to a close, it’s been four long years since I embarked upon this adventure, which I began so naively then. Every day still feels like the first day of a startup, replete with all its chaos, heartbreak, moments of joy and exhilaration, deeply tempered by ever-present, constant fear. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, of every new step taken into the unknown, and behind it all, the biggest fear — that I don’t really know what I’m doing. In a sense it’s very true.

Everything I know today and practice in running this company, I’ve taught myself. Some from books, some from raw experiences, and much from people I’ve met along the journey of life. Yet at every step of the way, serendipitous encounters (or fate, if you will) have lead me by the hand and helped me make my own hero’s journey a hundred times over, if not yet a thousand.

From discovering the Nepalese Himalayas (with my parents at the age of four) to learning to rock climb (with Mohit Oberoi at 12) to understanding how to create a global adventure startup (with Mandip Soin and Susan Hunt) in the last few years, I have always depended on the help and guidance of mentors. Today, we have a new advisor in addition to the others. Olivier Fleurot, ex-CEO of the Financial Times, is helping us understand how to drive a growing media and travel company. Today, the cloud of thoughts that had always guided my actions have been crystallized into real words, a real purpose: “To become the leading and most trusted partner to educate, inspire and enable all peoples to enjoy, experience and protect wilderness”. That’s it. If you notice, we do not call ourselves a media business or a magazine, or an events company, or a digital platform. We are all of those things, yet none of those things.

As a business, we do whatever it takes that answers the above purpose. We have a strong new leadership team that believes firmly in what we’re doing and following this path. Every decision we take must answer this: does it fit in our purpose? Today, we have explicitly stated core values and beliefs. We believe in ecocentrism, not in humankind’s domination over nature. We believe in helping peoples’ skills. We believe that authentic content inspires and educates. We believe in integrity, quality and careful reasoned thinking. We believe that following our path will lead us to achieve what we always set out to do: build a successful profitable business while saving the planet. As I leave Svaneti in a small turboprop plane, Elbrus comes into view, just twenty kilometers behind Ushba, across the border. There are more adventures to come, more experiences, more to live. This is why I do this, despite the fear, embracing the unknown, and what is to come. For me, this is the meaning of life.

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Why We Do This

Apr 22, 2019

Earth Day and Earth Week: What Can you Expect From The Outdoor Journal?

Why the world's biggest environmental movement is important to us, an introduction to the Outdoor Voyage, and a sneak peek of The Outdoor Journal's Earth Week content to come.

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WRITTEN BY

The Outdoor Journal

“To educate and inspire all people to experience, enjoy and protect wilderness.”

This is The Outdoor Journal’s mission statement, and during Earth Day and Earth week, when appropriate levels of attention are being paid to the state of our world, and its plight, we will do everything that can to harness that momentum.

The Outdoor Journal is a call to action. We believe in clean air and blue skies. We believe in unpolluted rivers and plastic-free oceans, in pristine rainforests, clean beaches, green hills and open grasslands. We believe in living sustainably, ethical lives, in respect of the planet that has always provided for us. We believe in one Earth, with no nationalities and invented borders. We believe in saving whales and sharks, tigers and orangutans, bears, bees, baobabs and blackwoods. We believe in saving forests and wilderness areas now whilst we still can.

Australian ultra-runner Samantha Gash ran across India to raise money for education in India. The Outdoor Journal partnered with her and asked our ambassador Jonty Rhodes, former South African cricketer and coach, to help highlight her cause.

As you are here, reading this, we hope that you believe in the same thing.

Over the course of the next week, we are going to publish great content so that we play our part in raising awareness. The below will turn to links when each article is published:

Introducing The Outdoor Voyage

Whilst you’re here, given you believe in our mission, we would love to introduce you to The Outdoor Voyage – our booking platform and online marketplace which only lists good operators, who care for sustainability, the environment and immersive, authentic experiences. All listed prices are agreed directly with the operator, and we promise that 86% of any money spent ends up supporting the local community that you’re visiting. Click the image below to find out more.

Cover Photo: A ‘Blue Marble’ image of the Earth taken from the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA’s most recently launched Earth-observing satellite – Suomi NPP. This composite image uses a number of swaths of the Earth’s surface taken on January 4, 2012. The NPP satellite was renamed ‘Suomi NPP’ on January 24, 2012 to honor the late Verner E. Suomi of the University of Wisconsin.
Image Credit: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring

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