I wonder how many experiences we miss out on, how many opportunities pass us by, or how many adventures never happen simply because we don’t take the first step.
I’ve just finished reading The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. Brenda, my fellow adventurer for more than 30 years, my wife, gave me the book for Easter, and it has sparked a renewed sense of respect and appreciation for being willing to take that first step into the unknown in hopes of greater rewards.
While in their 50s, Raynor and her husband, Moth, found out that he was terminally ill and then days later lost everything—their home, life savings, and family farm—due to an unscrupulous business partner. Homeless, penniless, and facing death...what could they possibly do?
They decided to walk.
They took one step. And then another and another and eventually walked 630 miles along the South West Coast Path in England. Though they don’t know what to expect or how the walk could possibly fix their problems, the adventure turns into an incredible journey that helps them deal with grief and look ahead to the future.
A journey of 2,800 miles begins with a single step.
Over the next few years, Brenda and I plan to walk the entire England Coast Path, which is being extended to 2,800 miles following England’s complete coastline. Thankfully, we’re not doing it because we lost our livelihood but because we know the power of adventure and the central role it plays in our lives—together and separately, personally and professionally.
Three decades ago, I walked for a week on this same path before our wedding. I still remember leaving St. Ives for Land’s End and looking back at my parents waving from the car park before looking forward and feeling the wind in front of me, the crashing waves to my right, and the ascending path straight ahead. I took a step, knowing I was soon getting ready to take a leap into marriage. Both the trail and marriage were step-by-step adventures orbahora, as my Rwandan friends say.
We adventure by taking steps.
We get through challenges and hard times by continuing to put one foot in front of the other and committing to taking the next step, even if we’re not entirely sure where it will lead.
Here at Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee, we have taken many steps, and they have turned into one great adventure, so much so that being adventurous is one of our core values:
The unknown drives us and defines us. We treat work and life with open hands, in an adventurous spirit, and pursue solutions that provide depth and value. We don't settle but say "Yes" to small, incremental actions.
We had an inkling to purchase a defunct coffee washing station in Rwanda, which led to the ongoing adventure of working closely with more than 10,000 farmers to bring you a good cup of coffee. This then led to the idea of working with 200 women, who are the sole providers for their families, to see how together we could better both their lives and yours through their artisanal handicrafts and remarkable coffee. From there, the next idea was to help provide accessible healthcare to the communities we work with and, therefore, the next step was to build Health Clinics. You—our incredible community of friends, family, customers, and team members—have been side-by-side with us the entire way. We’ve recently taken another step, this time to provide direct food relief for our partner farmers in Rwanda as the global pandemic continues to take a toll on their income and supply chains. In response, you have taken steps to provide $2 a day to help. (And if you haven’t had a chance yet, there’s still time to donate and help us reach our goal of raising $25,000 by July 1. Learn more and make your donations here.)
None of this would have been possible without that first step.
Where will your next step lead to?
Toward the end of their walk, Raynor and Moth meet a young woman taking a gap year from school. She is fascinated by these two ‘old people’ walking the path. She proclaims to them, “...what you're doing is an expedition, an adventure, a trial. It's what I want. I want to know what I can do. I need something, something inside.”
Raynor replies, "Then you must do it. If you feel you have a question, you must answer it. Do it before you go home.”
I wonder what question you are currently facing? What adventures are calling to you? What single step can you take today? Right now?