National Geographic Adventure - Dream It. Plan It. Do It.

Readers' Trips and Photos
Web Favorites
Video: Hell + Back

Photo: Peru

Contributing Editor Kira Salak reports from the Amazon on ayahuasca, a shamanistic brew said to cure everything from depression to cancer.
Watch the video

Climbing Icebergs

Photo: Ice climber

Watch Will Gadd climbing a crumbling iceberg off Labrador's coast.
Watch the video

Your Story: Living the Dream
The first woman to circumnavigate Newfoundland (in a kayak) shares lessons from the North Atlantic.
Text and photograph by Wendy Killoran

Photo: Wendy Killoran's sea kayak

REST STOP: Killoran's kayak pulled ashore at the Change Islands in Notre Dame Bay, the midpoint of her circumnavigation, in late June 2006.

In our October cover story, What It Takes '06: Big Dreams, we profiled 11 everyday people who made their wildest adventure dreams come true. Now it's time for you to share your big feats and lessons learned in our new Your Story column.

For our second installment of Your Story, we feature a Canadian elementary school French teacher who took three and a half months to become the first woman to paddle around Newfoundland, largely alone. Just like her students, we can learn a lot from her 104 salty days at sea.

Wendy Killoran's Lessons Learned
Have you accomplished an adventure dream?

Send us your own digital photographs and story. We're interested in the unexpected lessons you learned while working toward your big goal. Originality and humor will help your chances. One reader's story will be published in the magazine each month.

Email us >>

Previously Featured Your Story:

Cycling From Alaska to Argentina
Seattle reader Gregg Bleakney and his friend Brooks Allen, who are pedaling the Americas from tip to tail to raise money for diabetes research, in a project they dubbed Ribbon of Road.

KEEP LAND ON YOUR LEFT. "I wanted to enjoy the spontaneity of my 1,680-mile [2,704-kilometer] journey, so I made few plans other than having a rough idea of the distance I needed to cover each day. I used topo maps to anticipate the landscape. I never knew precisely where I'd land until actually pulling ashore. This allowed the journey to flow naturally."

WILD BEASTS AVOID YOU. "Moose are said to outnumber humans in Newfoundland. In a kayak hugging the shore, I managed to see a total of just one moose in three and a half months. But beware: polar bears can drift ashore on floating icebergs. Luckily I saw only one, safely behind a glass case, stuffed by a taxidermist, on display in the foyer of the public library in St. Anthony."

BLOG HOME. "Go beyond keeping a journal by setting up a blog. Setting up a blog was simple, didn't cost anything, and finding both public and personal computers was fairly easy, though most of the Internet service in Newfoundland was dial-up. I used (
read Killoran's blog entries >>). Blogging made it easy for friends and family to follow my progress. In return, reading their posted responses was a great motivator when I felt exhausted or fearful."

MAKE NEW FRIENDS. "I could have shaved weeks off my time if I'd avoided the beating heart of Newfoundland, but I made a point to visit the people of Newfoundland as I stopped in out-port communities fringing the coast. I learned of the hardships the Newfoundlanders had endured from the 1992 cod moratorium and the ongoing ramifications of the collapsed fishing industry which continues to see a mass exodus of youth seeking employment on the mainland. This added incredible context to my trip."

TRUST YOUR CAPTAIN. "Paddling solo, your fate is in your own hands. One calm day, my confidence got shaky as I approached a 20-mile [32-kilometers] stretch of unbroken cliffs near Cape Anguille, so decided to pull out and walk inland on a road at Highlands. Without warning, it started to pour and I was surrounded by white light and an ear-piercing boom. I could have
easily been struck by lightning if I'd stayed on the water. I learned to let my intuition guide me."

Cover: Adventure magazine Best of Adventure 2007 Home Page >>

Adventurers of the Year >>

Lifetime Achievement: Biologist George Schaller >>

Gear Picks of the Year >>

Outdoor Sports Trends >>

Top Destinations >>

E-mail a Friend

Adventure Subscription Offer