Tag-Archive for » Explore «

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 | Author:

A quick story: I was out disk golfing (courtesy of my Jo’s 26 before 26 list I’m now a regular disk golfer). We came up to a pin and there was something in the pin.

“What is that?” I asked my friend Brian who was closer to it.

“It’s a crabapple.”

As I came closer I inspected it. “Ohh. That’s what a crabapple looks like. I’ve never seen one before.”

“You’ve never tasted one?” he asked seeming incredulous.

“No,” I said, surprised. “They’re edible? What do they taste like?”

“I don’t know… They’re pretty good.”

I retrieved my disk and we walked toward the next hole in silence for a minute until he looked at me with a smirk on his face. “They’re not edible, just so you know. Don’t go eat one.”

“What!? It’s good you told me!”

“I know. I realized, you’d bake a crabapple pie one day and I’d be like, “why on earth would you do that?” and you’d say, “I don’t know. I didn’t know what they tasted like so I put it on my Jo’s 26 before 26 list. I’m trying to get the most out of life.” “

“Yeah. I would do that,” I conceded, content.

I may be somewhat gullible. But at least I do try to get the most out of life. Hopefully I won’t die eating crabapple pie. But if I do, it’d be alright. There are worse ways to go.

And with that, I give you this years new goals:

Jo’s 27 before 27 List:

  1. Play a disk golf game w/ 4 holes at par
  2. Buy a house
  3. Walk a marathon distance
  4. Be able to do 3 pull ups
  5. Make 30 pitches for articles to be published
  6. Smoke a cigar
  7. Leave the country again (so far age 24 is the only age since I was 17 during which I haven’t left the country.)
  8. Go to a new state
  9. Go to a professional football game
  10. Learn to play tennis
  11. Run through or picnic in a field of sunflowers
  12. Do Lumosity for 30 days
  13. Take a pottery class
  14. Ride a camel or elephant
  15. Watch all of Seinfeld
  16. Finish watching Lost
  17. Watch the Matrix Trilogy
  18. Read another Steinbeck book
  19. Read Harry Potter Book 1
  20. Read 3 memoirs
  21. Read Catch 22
  22. Go on a backpacking trip
  23. Do “morning minutes” every day for 21 days (where you write for 10 minutes straight first thing upon waking)
  24. Try fruitcake
  25. Complete level 1 of Rosetta Stone for Italian
  26. Try Gin
  27. Learn to play poker

If you’d like to support the Story Project (to cover travel expenses, costs of Stories for those who can’t afford it, etc.) you can do so below or contact me at storyofjoblog@gmail.com if you’d like to send a check. Thank you for your support! 

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Jo O’Hanlon is an adventurer and storyteller. She tries to be honest about the ugly and hard parts of life, and the beautiful parts too. This blog is one of the places she shares her thoughts and stories.

Other places are

instagram: @jrolicious         twitter: @jrohanlon        storyofjoblog@gmail.com

Thursday, May 01st, 2014 | Author:

If you would like to have an adventure, this is for you.

10 steps for Adventure(ing like a responsible adult) :

1. Decide to have an adventure.

2. Invite someone to join you — you can adventure by yourself, but it’s better to have an adventure partner lest you need help climbing up a snow embankment, need someone to grab the broken windshield wiper before it flies away, or someone to walk you to the drug store after you accidentally eat peanuts (this is probably only necessary for those allergic to peanuts).

doing so on social media is encouraged. It allows others to jump in too, if that’s your desire. If you         struggle with control, or really want an exclusive adventure, save posting about it until it’s happening, or after it’s over.

3. Go somewhere. You don’t even have to decide ahead of time. It could be adventuring into a new part of your town (or the surrounding land if you want to get naturey), or it could be the other side of the world.

4. Know how much time you have until you HAVE to be back. Then decide along the way where to go in between. Flexibility is key to adventure.

5. Know how much money you have to spend. If you know you have only $10, my advice is to know what priorities you have: if food isn’t one of them, but entrance to a national park is, then eat from the McDonald’s menu so that you can afford the latter. Be a grown up when it comes to money management, even on adventures. And know when it’s worth it to bend the budget for the sake of an experience/memory.

6. Talk to people. People you know. People you don’t know. Ask people for their suggestions (what’s your favorite drink here? Where do YOU like to get donuts in Portland? What’s your favorite graphic novel, man who is standing in the graphic novel section of Powell’s and looks like he belongs there?)

7. Practice the art of wandering and exploration. This applies in cities and outdoors. Remember what it was like to be a kid, eyes wide with wonder at the world unfolding around you, always excited and curious to know what lay behind the next bend? Practice letting yourself do that again.

8. Take a camera. But don’t spend too much time taking pictures. Make sure you see the beautiful views with your eyes, not just your lens finder.

9. Do some leg work ahead of time if you are going to a place where you know nothing about, but know that there are specific things the place it known for. (Look at possible routes. Look for famous places. ask around for people who have been there. Check your tires before you leave — I would suggest realizing you need a new tire prior to the day before the trip… but that’s still better than realizing you need one when it blows out on the highway. These are hypothetical examples, of course.). But then be willing to let your itinerary go if need be.

10. Enjoy yourself. Even in the mishaps. That’s part of the adventure. And make sure you laugh a lot along the way.

If you are super adventurous and flexible, have no schedule commitments you have to be back for, and have unending funds, follow steps 1, 3, & 10.

That’s how to have an awesome adventure. So go have one. And tell me about yours when you go!

Sharing the adventure stories with each other helps to keep our sense of adventure alive, even when we’re doing the important work of everyday life.

If you missed it, you can read my latest travel adventures from my roadtrip to Portland last week (and see photos of some of the awesomeness we found along the way!).

Joanna O’Hanlon is an adventurer and storyteller. She tries to be honest about the ugly and hard parts of life, and the beautiful parts too. This blog is one of the places she shares her thoughts and stories.

Other places are

instagram: @jrolicious         twitter: @jrohanlon


Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 | Author:

” I feel like it’s time for you to come here so we can have an adventure.”

I posted that on my friend Lizz’s facebook wall a couple months ago, completely serious, but not knowing where it would lead. My wanderlust was just acting up, and I missed Lizz. So I said so.

Side note: To be transparent, I try to persuade people into adventures much more often than they’re able to happen. Lizz has gotten good about saying no when she needs to. But she’s also getting better at being prepared to say yes!  This makes me happy. End side note.

Quickly, a mutual friend of ours (we met him and his family when we studied abroad at EuNC in Switzerland) chimed in (I love facebook’s option to comment on most anything these days). “You guys should come to Portland!” He suggested. And then he let us know that another married couple that we knew from EuNC who still live there were going to be coming to his church in April to speak.

Lizz texted me quickly about dates, time off work, logistics. and then her tickets were booked.

Last Thursday she flew to Sacramento, and then we left after I got off work the next day and we drove to Portland (9.5 hours, piece of cake). We were off on our adventure!

We actually ended up seeing/reuniting with several people along the way: The Veach’s (whom we stayed with, and got to meet the newest member of their family, beautiful baby Anna). The Glendennings (Martin and Cezi, who were definitely not a romantic item the last time I saw them 5 years ago in Switzerland). Lizz’s second cousin, who we got to enjoy the deliciousness of Salt and Straw ice cream with. Adrienne, a mutual friend from college who has lived on another continent and moved back since we’d last seen her — also who we didn’t know lived in Portland, but she saw our pictures and reached to meet up with us. And we got to see my good friend and brother Nathan in his life in Eugene (and he let us take over his room. His mama raised him right!).

This weekend we did a lot: We drove, stopped for sight-seeing, hiked around the mountains and waterfalls, ate at the food carts, experienced the wonderment of Salt and Straw ice cream, ate too many donuts at blue star donuts, drank a nauseating amount of chocolate at Cacao — which we were happy to do — spent hours browsing Powell’s bookstore and drinking coffee while reading, got to visit our friends’ church, got to see the lookout point of Eugene, and got to gaze at the beauty of Crater Lake (after struggling to climb up the snowing embankment to get to the view).

This weekend we shared a lot of stories: We got to spend hours sharing painful stories about our lives since we’d last seen each other. We got to hear giddy stories of how our friends got together as a couple. We got to hear the stories of churches planted, lives moved, seasons lived. We got to share in funny stories about pregnancy. And about life after college. We got to be together: around the table, over coffee, over breakfast, on the floor of the living room, in the seats of cars, sitting in plaza squares, and in tiny spaces with delicious food and a colorful crowd of people pressing in all around us.

This weekend we got to adventure: The adventure of driving through the snow right after Lizz talked about how she can’t drive in the snow.  And then the adventure of the windshield wiper breaking off mid-downpour on the highway. (We pulled over and got it to re-attach, thankfully!) The beauty of the river gorge and the forested paths. The beauty of the aisles and aisles of books. The wonder of a whole block of carts offering all different foods. The snowy road up to a gorgeous lake when our GPS stopped working soon after Lizz said “I can’t even imagine road tripping with just a paper map, without GPS. I mean, I probably could do it, but I never have.” The adventure of stopping at the view point of Mount Shasta with no one around except a motorcycle. “Where do you think the motorcycle owner is?” asked Lizz. “Peeing.. or poopin,” I said quietly. “Ha! Peeing or pooping,” she repeated laughing. Then he emerged from the bushes and looked down as he walked to his bike and left without looking at the mountain.

The beauty of our weekend was that it felt like we did a lot, and had a lot of time with the people we were with, and it never felt rushed. And the reason why, is because that’s how you have an adventure. You go out of your norm. You decide it’s going to be an adventure.  And then whatever happens next, is one.

If you would like to have an adventure, check back for my post tomorrow:

10 Steps to Adventure(ing like a responsible adult)













Joanna O’Hanlon is an adventurer and storyteller. She tries to be honest about the ugly and hard parts of life, and the beautiful parts too. This blog is one of the places she shares her thoughts and stories.

Other places are

instagram: @jrolicious         twitter: @jrohanlon