A Donated Dare

I need your help.  Yes, I’m talking directly to you.  Don’t even think about looking over your shoulder.  Well, unless you’ve found yourself at the center of a spy thriller or you’re a conspiracy nut (and by “nut” I mean “thoughtful individual who clearly sees all of those clandestine government plots and truly understands ‘they’re out to get you’”).  Anyway, back to the help I need.

Some Background (everyone loves a story)

Some of you are aware that I follow a blog written by a 24 year old (now, 24 ½!) who is out in Asia in the midst of a two year adventure. It’s called Backpackology.  Unfortunately, that adventure became a little too adventurous and he lost all of the tools he uses to bring his blog to life. After months of not writing, where we were pretty sure his entrails were decorating some mad hermits wall in some remote jungle (because what mad hermit would live anywhere else), he posted an update letting everyone know that he was indeed alive.  A collective sigh or relief was breathed throughout the internet and money was exchanged as the bets were called in. “I had $25 on him being alive! Hand it over, folks!”

In the update he announced he’d started a Kickstarter campaign.  If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, it’s .”..a funding platform for creative projects…”  It’s something I use to back some of my favorite projects, and you can learn more about them here: Kickstarter Basics

The great thing about Kickstarter is that once the project is funded, you can receive  rewards for your donations. In this case I pledged for a “dare”.

The Help I Need (see, cleverly titled so you’ll know this is the “ask” part of the blog)

This is where I need your ideas.  The “Dare” level gives me the “opportunity to dare [him] to do something (ANYTHING) that [he] will film and publish on [his] blog.  The stipulations are: it must be legal, it can’t take longer that one day to perform, cost more than $50, it can’t harm other or live animals and it cannot cause seriously harm to [him] or [his] belongings (though psychological harm is completely permissible so long as it’s funny).” (I’m loosely quoting since Kickstarter won’t let me cut and paste and I don’t feel like typing everything at the moment due to a profound sense of laziness.)

Now, I mostly contributed at this level to help him continue to do what he loves doing and that he is quite talented at sharing and well… because I want to continue to live vicariously through his adventures since my big trip at 24 was to mosey around New Orleans and get a hurricane glass from Pat O’Brien’s. WOO! Cheap, tall glass y’all!  (I know, I was a wild one.)  That being said though, I’d like to make an attempt at a dare, but I’m drawing a big blank.  See, I’m at an age where my dares are more along the lines of: “I dare you to go straight home and stop risking your life and worrying your family.”  I realize this technically falls under the category of “lame”, but in my defense, and why I’m now turning to you adventurous sorts (again, no need to look over your shoulder, I do mean you), everyone I asked had the exact same reaction (granted, they’re all about my age – we wave canes at one another and curse change – you know the sort). Even people I approached from around the area of the world where he’s traveling gave it some thought and stated coming home was the best adventure. (You know, I kind of thought they’d be good for some off the beaten path kind of ideas.) For the record, he’s traveling around China, Korea, Pakistan, India, Kyrgyzstan to give you some idea.  The only “near” adventure I could think of was to have him participate in the celebration of Holi, in India (or Pakistan) but that occurs at the end of this month which is before the project is officially funded (which is also right before April 1st – come to think of it that may be the most appropriate time to propose a dare).

Wikipedia Commons – Sandeep Pranavam

So, you worldly travelers, can you think of any offbeat festival to attend, any odd regional food you’d like to see tried (he did try a 1,000 year old egg… there was video proof… umm blech), any fun, ridiculous, inspiring, crazy (yet safe) thing I (and of course by “I” I mean “we”) could suggest? (I’ll definitely post the results here once he’s completed it).  Think big! Think fun! Think challenging! Think of what you’d want to do if you were 24 ½! Think of something that doesn’t sounds like, “board a plane back to the United States and become a sensible, contributing member of society so you can die in obscurity like the rest of us – tally ho and such, call your mother” because that would be stealing my idea.

Backpackology with Steve McDonald

I rarely talk about the blogs I read.  It’s not a remark on the blogs themselves, it’s more of a selfish thing.  I discover them (or they discover me) and then I start hoarding them – like that lady you once saw on that reality show – you know – that lady – the one who had all the stuff and a crazed look in her eyes.  I’m sure she had cats.   (Ok, confession: I’ve never actually seen Hoarders, so I’m kind of hoping you have and that we’re starting to bond.  I’m also hoping that you recall some lady from the show (maybe more than one – maybe she had some crazed lady relatives – who doesn’t?), with an insane look in her eyes (or eye, I won’t discriminate) and some cats so you can relate to the hoarding analogy thing.  We are relating now, right?) So you see, I’m like her or maybe them, depending on the episode, except instead of cats or sporks or Betty Boop doo-dads  I hoard blogs.  Oh dear, it seems I’ve found myself in the middle of an analogy that’s quickly going south. Eject! EJECT!

These special online finds make me feel like I’ve joined an  elite “in the know” group who are privileged enough to get to share in (live vicariously through) the author’s many adventures. Well today I’ve decided I’m making an exception, because I’m enjoying a particular blog so much that it’s not fair not to share it.  It’s called Backpackology.  It’s the travel-blog of a 24 year old out on a 2 year adventure to backpack solo across Asia.  It’s well-written, entertaining and occasionally suspenseful as his laptop needs repairs or he’s simply unable to file any updates and the next post appears with a title like “Kidnapped in Alipur“.

I highly recommend it if you’re up for a real life adventure and suggest you start your adventures with him here: Stepping Off the Edge

It’s well worth a read.