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Editor's Letters

Aug 14, 2014

Editors Letter. Issue 6. Autumn 2014.

“Adventure is not outside man, it is within”

WRITTEN BY

Apoorva Prasad

You can subscribe to the Outdoor Journal here.

What’s left to explore?

A spider the size of my palm hung on a web entirely larger than me, stringing together the trees on either side of this rocky rivulet. I stopped for a moment, one foot in the rushing stream and the other balanced on a slippery rock, as I carefully held my DSLR. How should I take the next step without disturbing the spiders?

The jungle, along the side of Chattisgarh’s Indravati river, was incredibly dense. Nobody had come along this way for several years at least, according to our local guide. We were attempting to hike down the river below the massive Chitrakoot falls, and then up a tributary towards a hidden waterfall. I wasn’t exactly sure what we’d gotten ourselves into when I said, “Oh, a 5K jungle walk? We should be done in an hour”. In the 21st century, one wonders, what’s left to explore? The internet bombards us with images of the planet’s every nook and cranny; and explorers from the centuries past have just about done it all. Right?

Wrong. The last centuries focused on national conquests. Today, we know we are puny humans, simply seeking solace in true wilderness as a desperate escape from Cavafy’s City. When you climb a new rock face that has seen no previous attempts, every ledge you stand on has never before seen footprints (P.72). The alpine flowers you smell and caress while on belay, have never been seen or touched by humans before. When you speed through the sky simply by pulling on flaps of nylon attached to your body (P.50), or cycle across long plains last travelled by the Mongol hordes (P.78)…

This is escape. This is exploration. From Himachal to Chattisgarh, Indonesia to Norway, from air to sea, at The Outdoor Journal we’re exploring India and the world for truly new adventures, while also remembering the classics. We urge you to do the same, in a true 21st century spirit.

And remember: “Adventure is not outside man, it is within” — George Eliot.

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Editor's Letters

Aug 14, 2018

Welcome to the new OutdoorJournal.com

A reflection of our new team and iterative process of regular updates to our design, editorial content, business model and much more.

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WRITTEN BY

Apoorva Prasad

In order to achieve our long-term goals, we’ve had to learn some hard lessons, undertake pivots and become more of a tech startup than “just a magazine”. I’ve personally had to go from being “just a journalist” to being the CEO of a tech startup, raise outside funding and relearn software development, nearly 20 years after I quit engineering school in Maryland to climb in the Himalayas, travel and become a storyteller.

You’ll start to see a brand new look to our website and other properties, as well as be able to undertake trips on The Outdoor Voyage (www.outdoorvoyage.com), which we’re also launching via trip pages on The Outdoor Journal itself.

Call us what you will, but The Outdoor Journal & Voyage stands for one thing: to educate, inspire and enable all peoples to enjoy, experience and protect wilderness.

This is also an acknowledgement of the reality that the media industry as we knew it for the last hundred years is essentially dead, that nearly all advertising dollars are scooped up by Facebook and Google today, not independent media businesses like ours; as well as the fact that our readers have constantly asked us who the best travel companies are, globally, and how they could book with them. Our business model is henceforth evolving into a hybrid travel + media model, where a sales commission from a scalable travel booking business is what (we hope) will fund our honest, authentic and independent editorial journalism. Importantly, our marketplace side seeks to promote ethical travel and sustainable development in local communities globally – a mission that received a boost when Booking.com awarded us their second-highest startup grant award last December. Some links you follow may earn us a commission, and we will continue to have some sponsored content or advertising on our channels, but we will always strive to be transparent and explicit about what’s honest, genuine journalism, and what’s not – a rarity in most travel and outdoor media.

We’ve remained a family & friends-funded startup, but sometimes we pitch ourselves to investors calling it a future “Wirecutter for adventure travel” and other times, a potential “NatGeo + Expedia for Adventure”. Call us what you will, but The Outdoor Journal & Voyage stands for one thing: to educate, inspire and enable all peoples to enjoy and experience wilderness. That is our purpose, and we will continue to build and grow towards goals that help us achieve it.

It’s been a long journey, and I invite you to retrace my steps by reading all of the previous Editor’s Letters, which can be found under The Journal.

Finally, should you wish to support our journalism, and everything we stand for, please subscribe to our print magazine here.

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