Editors Letter: Failure Does Not Mean Failure

In early May, I put together a trip in the hopes of generating an easy to navigate a route that could be used for new overlanders. I did what I always do before a trip. Pulled up Google Maps with the satellite view enabled and started tracing what looked like roads. A few hours later, I had a pretty good figure eight rough outlined that we would be able to track.

Fast forward to the weekend, and we had a total of 12 rigs and about 16 people. Our meeting spot went smoothly, camp the first night went smoothly, and then Saturday morning the frustrations started. Out of the roughly 200-250 miles we were supposed to do I think we managed 50 going forward. And as much or more going backward.

Both tracks we selected to run ended in dead-ends. To me, this is immensely frustrating as the lead for the group. We have to go back and explain down the line we had to turn around. And both turn arounds were less than ideal. To me, the weekend route was a complete failure.

But failure does not mean failure as the title implies. I’ve made it clear that meeting people is more fun for me than actually doing any trail rides. Our gathered group had great times at camp, and we did manage some trails without a dead-end on Sunday. So the weekend wasn’t a complete failure.

The whole point of exploring and adventuring is to have failures. We, as human beings, learn from our mistakes and failures. It shouldn’t be something to get frustrated over but rather to embrace it as part of the experience overall. Failure makes us better at what we do. The easy route is to go with what we know, and we feel it is safe. But that’s no fun. Sure it was frustrating to hit dead-ends, but I still had a blast with everyone that was there.

I’ll take the lessons learned from this last trip and apply them going forward. Failure will mean we found something new to explore. Failure will mean we turn around and find another way. Failure won’t mean failure any more in the traditional sense.

Nick @ Michigan Overland

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