Sunday, January 6, 2013

"Sunshine Sunday" Criteria

Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia.  By Chris Burkard for Surfer Magazine.

Today is "Sunshine Sunday" in the UK, the day when travel agents and tour operators prepare for around two million Brits to look for the light at the end of the wintery tunnel and book their summer holidays.  Maybe you're planning 2013's movements today also, and looking forward to the waves yet to come?
Trips, projects, expeditions, adventures - call them what you will (although if we're being picky, you can't plan adventures, they're what happens when a trip or expedition goes wrong), many of us populate our daydreams with these and while away the boredom of long, lonely drives or any other mind-numbing downtime planning and scheming.
This year I'm setting myself some criteria for the projects on my to-do list.  Each trip, if at all possible, has to fall into one of the following two categories:

  • An ordinary trip done in an interesting way.
  • An interesting trip done in an ordinary way.
It's that simple.  If it's a trip that's close to home or the sort of thing that's common fodder then I'm going to endeavour to do it in an interesting way, and if it's more of an expedition or exploratory trip then I'll probably have to undertake it by the (most likely stock-standard) ways and means available to me.   

These days, you'll be lucky to find something, anything, that somebody else hasn't done already - but that's no reason not to do it.

The six-wheeled truck used to explore the Kamchatka Peninsula.  Photo by Chris Burkard.

Over the past few months I've taken a lot of inspiration from the trips that these images are taken from.  The January issues of Surfer magazine and Surf Europe feature a trip to the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia, a trip that was well documented through various social networking outlets by Chris Burkard and Foster Huntington who had portable solar panels with them to charge their cameras and laptops.   They scored good, fun, cold surf where nobody really expected it, exploring the region in a six-wheeled former Soviet military truck and a helicopter.  There's a great video available to view (it can't be embedded on this blog) through Surfer magazine, here.

Kamchatka campfire.  Photo by Chris Burkard.

Around the same time as the Kamchatka trip, Californian pro-surfer Dan Malloy was cycling the length of California with two friends, carrying all of their camping and surfing gear in panniers and on bike trailers.  They travelled slowly, stopping off to surf, visit friends and work stints on organic farms along the coast.  It just so happens, as luck would have it, that Dan's two companions comprised a professional photographer and a videographer.  

Slow is Fast.  Photo by Dan Malloy.

Dan Malloy running out for a surf, the Slow is Fast bicycle trip, California.  Photo by Chris Burkard.

Feeling inspired?  There are so many ways that you can go, do, and experience places and faces these days if you put your mind to it.  Maybe it'll be a staycation with a twist, a micro-adventure in your own backyard.  Or perhaps it'll be a trip which you spend more time researching, planning and preparing for than you actually spend doing it.  Either way, it'll make for a memorable one.  One that you can talk about over a drink in the pub when the days are short this time next year.  An experience that might just set the tone, or the wheels in motion, for the next.

Scott G Toepfer takes brilliant photographs of people having too much fun riding around on motorbikes.  Check out It's Better In The Wind.


  1. I agree with you on the making the trip interesting- even one that is close to home. It's all about the attitude and the change of perspective.

    How do you separate the time you spend traveling for your own devices, versus the trips you make for your professional life?


  2. Hi Bruce,
    Thanks for the comment and it's good to know that there are others out there doing trips in their backyards and doing their best to make them into micro-adventures.
    To answer your question, there isn't really a great deal of separation, the line is incredibly blurry! I'm a compulsive camera carrier and so I often turn my personal trips into work in one way or another, and any trips that are dominated by work are often still really interesting and enjoyable on a personal level. It's a very situation to be in I suppose!