The following content is comprised of personal opinions, and in no way reflects the opinions of the Peace Corps or the U.S. Government.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Welcome to Walking Adventures!

Walking Adventures is a new start-up blog by me, Shawn Grund. I'm a 21 year-old college student and am currently studying Communications, Mathematics, and Theatre at the University of Minnesota - Duluth. On top of my coursework, I work for Kirby Student Center Technology on campus as an A/V tech, I'm a research assistant in the Communications Department under Dr. Ryan Goei, and I also serve on the College of Liberal Arts Technology Advisory Committee.

I grew up in the south suburbs of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. Having been a product of public schooling my whole life, I made the choice to continue my education at a public university. This is a strict contrast to almost all public figures we see on a day-to-day basis. The media are filled with people from affluent families who went Ivy League, just like their parents. I feel that the public school system in the States takes more heat and criticism than it deserves. People all over the country tell our lawmakers that the schools are not working for them, that more needs to be done to guarantee the youth an education. What people need to realize is that an education is not given to you merely by attendance. You have to want to learn, you have to need to learn, you have to be motivated to learn. If you do not apply yourself in you education, what can you hope to apply yourself to? The pursuit of knowledge is considered one of the primary goals of humankind. We constantly pursue knowledge, attempting to understand, to know, or to comprehend. In all my studies in public school, I have applied myself to the fullest extent. The ultimate quest for me is NOT to get good grades and graduate college to get a good job (although that is A goal). The main goal for me is to fundamentally understand and to pursue full comprehension. My goal in life is to be living proof that public schools work, but only if the student is willing and wanting to learn.

In this blog you will find The Travels Of One Man; Me. This blog will entail all the adventures I take in life, most of which will at least incorporate my love for the outdoors.

For me, technology represents the pinnacle of human engineering and modernization, and this is one of the reasons I choose to pursue it. Some would say that backpacking and hiking represent the exact opposite. This...primitive...idea of human survival, of relying on only nature for survival. Many people connect hiking with pre-technological days, and therefor see no need for these outdoor adventures nor a use for modern technology when hiking.

This kind of thinking leads to those weekend "camping trips" where people who generally wouldn't be caught dead away from modern cities take these "roughing it" trips to see what they're made of and to 'survive' or 'outlast' nature. This thinking, however, severally misinterprets the point. We are always surviving nature, even while I sit here in my apartment. After all, what is technology if not a way to better cope with he adversity the world throws at us?

Hiking is not about the destination, surviving nature, the summit of that mountain, or reaching the other coast. Hiking is all about the 'getting there.' Its about each view you encounter, every step up the side of that mountain, and every bit of the path you walk before you reach the end. Hiking is no longer a hobby for me; Hiking is a way of life. Hiking is the fundamental idea that there are vistas and landscapes out there that beg to be viewed, mountains that beg to be climbed, valleys that beg to be crossed, and paths that beg to be conceived. From all my education, I have discerned a few things:

1) Humans are nomadic. We were meant to go where the food and water are and in fact thrive where environmental circumstances are best.

2) Human Innovation has impacted our nomadic ways, but have not eliminated them. The technologies and ideas we produce help us to make our lot better by improving our situation and bring the things we need for survival to us. Regardless, we are still nomadic beings. We still travel in search of better circumstances, and will always be trying to find a better place for our family.

For me, hiking is no different than every day living, except I get to see and do many new and amazing things. Backpacking to me is about seeing the wonders of our God-created Earth while retaining my human identity and mobility. I fully take advantage of everything I have learned that might befit me in the back country, and use any technology I can create or find in an effort to heighten my WALKING ADVENTURES.



  1. Love it.... Nice Work! I am very proud of you!


  2. Hey you,

    Totally awesome. I enjoyed reading it and it stands true to everything you believe in. :)