Friday, September 11, 2009

Real Adventures: Hitchhiking & Circumnavigation


I recently watched The Hitchhiking Movie which was sent to me by director Phillip Hullquist, who along with Ryan Jeanes who make a film about their attempt to travel across the country in a week going from New York City to Los Angeles, only relying on others to get them where they needed to go.

While this film lacks some of the shimmer and finesse of some documentaries, it's fun and unpredictable, partially because when Ryan Jeanes and Phillip Hullquist set out on their journey, how can they know where they're going to go, or how they're going to get there.

In fact, they could recreate the experiment and it would have totally new characters, outcomes and situations.

Sailing Solo Around The Globe

Of all the recent news stories out there, one of the most interesting stories I've enjoyed tracking is the stories of these kids who are making and attempting to break the world record for youngest person to sail solo around the globe.

On July 16, 2009 Zac Sunderland who became the first person under the age of 18 to circumnavigate the globe, beginning in California and after spending over 13 months at sea, breaking the previous record established by David Dicks in 1996.

And while Zac became the record holder in July, his record was swept away from him by Michael Perham who also 17 completed the voyage at a younger age, having left from England.

(You want to talk about an interesting movie, how about when Sunderland, Perham, and Minoru Saito, the oldest person to circumvent the world met unplanned in Cape Town, South Africa this past February).

And now, there's the 13 year-old Dutch girl, Laura Dekker, who's goal was to leave on her journey to beat the world record earlier this month but was stopped by the Dutch courts who have retained custody of her while they investigate whether she is psychologically mature enough to take on such an adventure at a young age.

Real Adventures

It's interesting, 30 years ago I think the challenge of circumnavigating the world would have been much harder than it is today. No doubts, there is skill and determination in such a challenge. But technology has certainly made this a more attainable goal.

On the other hand, I think about The Hitchhiking Movie and how this challenge was far less dangerous, taxing, and dangerous. Yet, in someways, this quest would have been much easier 30 years ago when we might assume people might have been more willing to let a couple guys jump in their car or their eighteen-wheeler for a trip down the road. The reliance on people is so unpredictable.

It's incredible what types of challenges and adventures are out there to be conquered, these are great stories, and I think the modern quest for adventure in a world that seeks security, comfort, and ease is an exciting thing to experience and think about.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a woman (and mom!), I would never pick up a hitch hiker by myself. I would like to think that if I were a man I would consider it at times. Or at least feel more comfortable to help someone out with their flat tire. I think, especially as a woman, you almost feel crazy to even think about stopping to help someone for fear of what might happen.

I caught a bit of this movie while you were watching it, RC, and for the reasons mentioned above, I was surprised to see women stop and give these guys a ride.