Tag Archives: adventure

By land or by sea, commit to your big adventure before it’s too late

The Adventures of Three Old Geezers: The Bright Idea, by Richard Perron. Amazon CreateSpace. 129 pages. Trade paperback $15.00.

This heartwarming and entertaining book, a fictionalized memoir, is the first of two by a conflicted Naples, Florida resident. Both have the same main title. The extended title for the second book is “Up, Up, and Away.” What’s the conflict? On one page the author tells as what’s wrong with the wealthier classes who enjoy this resort town and what’s silly about those in the gated communities who foolishly think they have purchased security. Elsewhere, readers learn how much Mr. Perron truly enjoys Naples and all the delights that it has to offer. 

He presents himself as a man ready to work through his bucket list, which would mean taking some chances and breaking his routines. Curmudgeon? Maybe, but finally a perceptive and good-humored one. Richard (AKA Captain Richard) has the “bright idea” of “borrowing” a luxury sailboat from a gone-north snowbird and, with his buddies Frank and Bill, going on an adventure trip to the Caribbean. These aging gentlemen want to wake themselves up, and that’s exactly what they do. No more stagnation.

Richard has enough boat savvy, and enough self-confidence, to take the captain’s role, parceling out subordinate tasks to his buddies. He also is willing to risk getting caught by the yacht club’s security – but of course this doesn’t happen.

After gaining some understanding of the boat’s technology and figuring out what provisions they need, the three adventurers are on their way.

They enjoy the beauty of the night skies, and they face the danger of storms. But they find out, if they didn’t know it before, what Jean Paul Sartre pointed out: “Hell is other people.” Yes, they meet some of those hellish people.

First stop, a psychologically necessary one, is Key West. After all, this unconventional “party town” will help them loosen up their lifestyles. Richard notes the contrast between Key West and “the anal-retentive city of Naples.” The three adventurers visit Richard’s friend Harry, a Key West resident who shows them around. They also make a stop at nearby Stock Island where they purchase fuel and other provisions. The Key West section has wonderful, engaging scenes of relatively harmless, hedonistic pleasure. It’s a good starting point for what’s to come.

Richard Perron

Their next destination is the Turks and Caicos Islands, but they are stopped by a government vessel, either Coast Guard or DEA. Richard easily answers a few questions and receives the admonition to “have a good day and stay safe.” They have a great onboard party that night and take turns keeping watch. A near-brush with an oil tanker rattles them a bit.

Now cruising the Atlantic, they put up the sails (saving fuel) and land a huge tuna, which they turn into a feast. Then they head into the Caribbean Sea. . . .

To read the entire review, as it appears in the November 28, 2019 Bonita Springs and Venice editions of Florida Weekly, as well as the December 4 Fort Myers edition and the December 5 Naples and Charlotte County editions, click here: Florida Weekly – Three Old Geezers

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Crossing the borders of difference and indifference, fear and fulfillment

“Adventure Philanthropist: Great Adventures Volunteering Abroad,” by Erin Michelson. emComm LLC. 258 pages. Trade paper $16.95.

Not long ago, a mid-fortyish woman with a highly successful professional career in finance, decided to change her life. The change did not come without preparation: she had already traveled widely and worked with philanthropic enterprises. She had already put together a start-up network of can-do contacts for her new path. In 2010, Erin Michelson went into action, creating for herself “the opportunity to wander the globe and open up my mind and heart to worlds I never knew existed.” AP_postcard2sm

Her memoir of the two years nonstop activity through 2011 and 2012 is the substance of her highly original and exciting book. However, its arrangement is thematic rather than chronological. In organizing her activities as a vagabond explorer and philanthropic agent, Ms. Michelson explores the meanings of ten key emotions that we all share. Essentially, she lays out a process of remaking her identity through goal-setting, action, and constant learning.

The emotion-chapters are headed “Hope,” “Humility,” “Awe,” “Fear,” “Joy,” “Anger,” “Surprise,” “Pain,” “Love,” and “Gratitude.”

Her adventures focused on visiting places where essential needs are unmet, include Ethiopia, Mozambique, Laos, Nepal, Honduras, Zambia, Lebanon, Uganda, Egypt, Borneo, Zambia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bolivia, and Finnish Lapland. Believe it or not, there are another dozen do locations in Erin Michelson’s grand tour of lands were people are limited by shortages of every kinds, including shortages of respect, self-worth, and security.

In almost every case, the Adventure Philanthropist attaches herself to an enterprise that is already trying to meet needs – establishing housing and schooling for abused women and children, correcting abuses of the environment that diminish the quality of life, providing medical care in regions without sufficient health systems (or even safe drinking water), creating new local industries to improve economic opportunity, and so forth.

Michelson

Michelson

She seeks out and meets true heroes in these places, people making the often lonely and against-the-odds efforts to repair the world through selfless, determined, and courageous action.  Ms. Michelson learns, participates, and counsels. She shares useful skills in asset building, management, and marketing to provide necessary tools for these philanthropic initiatives.

Now, most importantly, she tells us about these places, problems, and people. She offers her own experience as one template for getting others involved. It’s not just the reward of giving – the do-gooder satisfaction – that is made appealing. It is also the growth in self-knowledge, the detailed learning of a range of disciplines, the resilience and endurance in the face of seemingly intractable situations. It is the truly spiritual exhilaration of risk-taking. It is the elation of positive outcomes. It is making a difference, and making it almost every day. . . .

To read this review in its entirety, as it appears in the February 12, 2014 issue of Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the February 13 Naples, Bonita Springs, Charlotte County, and Palm Beach Gardens editions, click here:Florida Weekly – Erin Michelson

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