Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

13 Years of Journals

Posted from Culver City, California at 9:21 am, October 31st, 2015

This journal started slightly more than 13 years ago as a way to relay my adventures back to friends while I spent three months traveling through Alaska and Northern Canada. When that trip ended I wasn’t quite sure whether or not to continue writing, but decided to keep going and see how things went. Over the years the journal has been a useful way for me to record travel adventures, share photos, and capture random thoughts that seemed like they might be worth revisiting in a few years’ time.

In today’s world where social media is the primary tool for keeping friends informed of life’s events, an online journal is less useful for recording daily adventures and instead seems like a bit of a platform for egotism – it’s somewhat presumptuous to ramble on several times a month as if what I was writing had any special merit. That said, these entries have merit to me. While I’ve posted things that made me cringe a bit at the thought that they were out there for the world to see, I’m still glad to have posted them. There is no doubt that some of my ramblings cause people to roll their eyes, but writing them helps me think through issues more completely, and trying to convey things clearly for public consumption forces me to examine those issues in ways that I might not otherwise have done.

I’ve got no idea how long I’ll keep this journal going, or if at some point I’ll perhaps drop the three-entries-a-month goal and just use it to document travels. For now, however, I’m glad to have a way to share adventures and to record thoughts that can then be revisited in the future. And for those times when life isn’t exciting and there aren’t adventures to share, it still seems like a worthwhile mental exercise to pick a random topic of interest and then think it through, trying to put thoughts into words in my own fumbling way.

Denali from Reflection Pond

My favorite picture taken during the trip that was the reason for this journal’s creation. Photo from a really good day taken at Reflection Pond in Denali National Park.

6 responses to “13 Years of Journals”

  1. Yes, and who knows there might be people who read mountaininterval.org, get inspired to travel and quit their jobs to do so!

    1. If I had anything to do with inspiring you to travel, you have far surpassed me and charted new waters. You’ve been out there for what – more than a year, right? My three month odyssey last year felt epic, so I can only imagine what one+ years would be like.

  2. That image is how I originally found your blog. I am somewhat obsessed with Alaska and was searching for a photo of Denali to use as my screen saver. I started reading your blog and found it thoughtful and entertaining, and the travel photos amazing – I especially loved your photos from your recent African trip. And Parag is right – you are inspiring! I have attended the Pageant of the Masters twice now, and it’s something I never would have heard of or done without reading about it on your blog. And seeing some of your travels has made me want to visit places I never would have considered before. So thank you, and keep up the good work!

    1. You have Audrey to thank for Pageant of the Masters, but it’s nice to know that a few people – besides my mom, who is a saint and would read every word even if I was documenting my experiences while bedridden in a coma – enjoy reading along. We’re off on another (short) trip in January, so with luck there may be a few pictures of tropical fishes to liven things up around here.

  3. I hope you keep this going, Ryan. Your thoughts mean much to me. I also LOVE it when you keep us informed during your travels. You write in such a way that it makes your travels come alive for me.

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