From the founder
FROM THE FOUNDER
Twenty years ago, the exotic wonders of my home, Costa Rica, and my memorable experiences as a third culture child growing up in this outdoors inspired me to become an adventure guide and a competitive endurance adventure athlete. In doing so, my background in environmental education and my interest in environmental conservation converged, and the inspiration to found Adventures Under the Sun was born.
As we launch a new website on our 16th anniversary, we are witnessing a shift to a time of cyberspace experiences; an era that depends on satellite connections, internet and clouds to sustain a business, and cel phones and hand-held devices to communicate who people are, where they are, what they are doing and how they are feeling. While the entire digital world has allowed us to progress at a faster rate than ever before, unfortunately we are also seeing how cyberspace has become somewhat of an escape route for many who fear the realities they would have to face without it. Today, as the world has never been more connected, it seems to me that there is a lot of disconnection to the heart of the matter - the fundamentals, our instincts, our senses, and love.
The digital world has become an elemental tool of communication and an incredible source of information to help us decide which paths to take in our lives. Yet in many ways it has robbed present and future generations the opportunity to see, feel, face and even taste the jolt of face to face, hands on experiences and encounters. Cyber bullying, political scandals, explicit photography, misinterpreted messages, a whole new textual lingo with icons to express emotions… While the digital world can create a mask to hide behind and is setting a footpath for future generations, our human senses are still so essential. Taking on life challenges requires a certain set of organic skills and talents acquired when our innate survival instincts are triggered and our deepest emotions are ignited by the ability to feel, observe, listen, sense, smell and understand. These are essential ingredients for good judgement and decision making. Time in the outdoors is an opportunity to fine-tune these life fundamentals and leave behind the stress and demands of our daily routines and the cyber chaos. Aside from being therapeutic and rewarding, the outdoors can lead us on a path where majestic connections actually happen.
Adventures Under the Sun continues to focus on our mission and goals of creating lasting experiences and educational challenges through active outdoor travel. When we see our participants’ minds open and the “I get it!” seed planted, we happily feel we have achieved our goal. It is also gratifying to know that in a small way, we are having a positive impact on this place we call home.
Because the outdoors is a special place for so many who seldom have the opportunity to explore it, we grasp this new era as an opportunity to provide the next generation with some vital skills to take and make bigger and bolder steps and decisions in a future of constant change.
Mélida L. Barbee
Founder and Director