Let's Go on an Adventure!
Let's Go on an Adventure!
From Corporate America to Patagonia, a book about transformative adventure and a guidebook for pursuing your passions.
From Corporate America to Patagonia, a book about transformative adventure and a guidebook for pursuing your passions. Read more
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~Mary Oliver
After 9 years in management consulting in Corporate America, I had come to realize that I wanted a transformation of my own. I wanted to design a flexible and unconventional life around my passions. I just didn’t know what they were exactly and certainly didn’t know how to turn what I did for fun into a paycheck.
Not wanting to just change jobs, I started with what I did know. I know how to manage change. I know I love to travel. I know that the courage to get out of my comfort zone is often rewarded in some way.
So I sold my house, my car, and most of my belongings; quit my job; and showed up in Buenos Aires, Argentina with a three night reservation and a massive backpack. Serendipity would be my compass and I would use the tools, processes and my expertise in managing change to go on a journey of self-discovery and personal transformation.
I have learned that people want to be inspired and when they are, they want to know how to do it themselves. There are two main things I am trying to achieve with this project.
1. I am writing a book about my transformative adventure from the corporate world, to a life designed around my passions. The story includes the fears and challenges, the adventures and discoveries leading up to my journey and during my time in South America.
I hope the story is inspiring and a captivating read. It may resonate if you like reading about adventures in nature and foreign countries. It may resonate if you also want to make a life change and don’t know where to start, or if you aren’t sure of what your passions are or simply don’t know how to create a life around them.
Whatever may draw you to this story, I hope to write a beautiful book like the inspiring books I like to read.
2. The second part of this project is the ‘how to’. The scary part of making a change is all of the unknowns that show up along the way. This guidebook includes questions to explore and activities to do to take you on your own conscious journey of making a change in your life, big or small. It is meant to help you take conscious steps with a purpose and then also to help you process what shows up along the way.
This guidebook, or workbook, includes the things that I learned in my professional life as an expert in managing change that I then used on myself, treating myself like a client. It includes additional questions and exercises from my studies of personal change. Change is hard and fear of the unknown is often more terrifying than staying with known discomfort or stagnation. There are tools and processes that can break it down into not so scary, even exciting bits and pieces.
I hope that with this project I can use my expertise and my personal story to inspire you to figure out where you want to go and to make it easier to get there.
This kickstarter campaign is about making this story come alive...writing and publishing this book, including photography from the adventures and also writing and publishing a guidebook that outlines questions and exercises for managing personal change. All backing will be used towards funding the remainder of the writing process, the publishing process, the rewards, kickstarter fees and taxes.
What’s happened so far?
Well, the hard part of actually leaving, a lot of wandering through South America, living in Argentina, many adventures and as many lessons, thousands of pages of journals, even more photographs, and a draft of the first 5 chapters.
My journey had eventually taken me to Colombia where I was working on the book. I went out for a walk for inspiration, not thinking it would come in the form of three guys with knives who forced me to the ground, threatened to kill me and stole my camera, shoes, cash, and the necklace from my neck. Terrifying, BUT I wasn’t physically harmed. This triggered a return to the United States for a re-grouping phase and actually has become fuel for inspiration and motivation.
Now I am out of said re-grouping phase and have returned to Argentina to finish my book in the mountains of Patagonia, while volunteering at Estancia Peuma Hue (which means the Place of Dreams!). I strongly feel the pull to finish this project in the land that is at the heart of it.
And then what...
Then I name the book and publish it, along with the guidebook. I am still researching whether to self publish or try for the traditional publishing route and will be updating all backers on this as it comes to fruition.
First Draft - I have picked up at the 6th chapter and am working on finishing the first draft of the book.
Siesta and Editing - An author I met in Mendoza told me that writing a book is like making a fine wine, and I should let it age for a month or so before going back to edit it. I keep a log of ideas, notes, my mood, etc. as I write, which I will use to edit the first draft after this “siesta”.
First Readers - I have a few first readers who will read the book and give me input on their reading experience, which I will use for my final round of edits. As they are doing this (and during the siesta), I will be researching publishing options.
Publish - I hope to publish the book in 2015, the sooner the better. I’m ready for this.
Yep! The goal was to figure out my passions and what gift I have to give, to create a new life around this and to share the story, process and tools. The adventure does not end with this book, but is rather “kickstarted” by it (cheesy pun laughter)
Other projects to come:
- A photography-specific book
- A children’s book series
- A collection of stories from adventurers; an exploration of modern day examples of the Hero’s Journey
To get a taste of my writing and photography, check out the links on my website at erinkmac.com:
“I’m here!” blog - stories of adventuring throughout South America
Inside Out blog - musings on personal transformation and adventure
Photography - a selection of my favorite photos (Canon T3i)
Project Paper Crane - joint project based on gratitude and the sharing of stories of those who have inspired me along the way
I published an article on “lifestyle design” with elephantjournal.com.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain
Risks and challenges
Publishing - The risk around publishing is financial...I am not sure yet what it will take financially to publish the book. If I decide to pursue my book with a publisher and am unsuccessful, I will self-publish.
Timing - I can assure you that I am publishing this book, period. It is my hope with a successful kickstarter campaign that I can focus more specifically and completely on writing the book for higher quality and faster completion. I can’t predict the unknowns, but I plan to publish in 2015.
Technology - my camera was stolen and that is always a possibility with my computer too, as is the chance of my computer just dying. Right now I write in private, my computer is going strong and I back-up regularly, so this should be a low risk.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)