ROAD SCHOOL

SUP Magazine - - Foreword - — WILL TAYLOR

When I started at SUP Mag­a­zine I thought I would write, edit, cover some events and maybe travel. Sim­ple, right? As I came to learn, be­ing an edi­tor is not so straight­for­ward. The gig en­tails con­stantly shift­ing roles be­tween be­ing a writer, travel agent, me­di­a­tor, sales­man, dig­i­tal me­dia expert, cam­era­man, event co­or­di­na­tor, ath­lete and fixer.

In short, I learned by doing (which also hap­pens to be my alma mater, Cal Poly’s, motto). That on-the-job en­vi­ron­ment meant learn­ing fast and stay­ing flex­i­ble. For­tu­nately, I’d spent much of my young life trav­el­ing. For me, the life skills learned dur­ing those ex­pe­ri­ences were as much a foun­da­tion for this job as any of my for­mal ed­u­ca­tion (although that schoolin’ def­i­nitely taught me a thing or two—get that de­gree kids!).

At 18, I’d taken a year off school and trav­eled across the Pa­cific Ocean to chase surf in Aus­tralia, New Zealand and In­done­sia. I’d just wanted to ride waves. That trip, howev- er, changed my en­tire world­view. My di­rec­tional bear­ings gained new struc­ture and I came to be­lieve that ex­pe­ri­ences are more pre­cious than things, that ad­ven­ture can be found any­where and that life should be lived, not just sur­vived.

That ex­cur­sion sent me on count­less oth­ers, many for the very pub­li­ca­tion you’re hold­ing now. Each hit those same larger notes, with each yield­ing count­less new lessons. For the sake of ex­pand­ing SUP’S bound­aries, I’ve pad­dled a frigid trip in Scotland with­out any lug­gage, chased ex­pe­di­tion pad­dlers as they cir­cum­nav­i­gated Puerto Rico and tried to keep pace with the best pad­dlers in the world in Hawaii.

That’s what this, our Travel Is­sue, is all about: doing and learn­ing, go­ing on ad­ven­tures and ex­plor­ing what the world and its wa­ters have to of­fer. Pho­tog­ra­pher and writer Ryan Salm and crew ex­plored the Arc­tic Lo­foten Archipelago in Nor­way by SUP, an ad­ven­ture that was as dan­ger­ous as it was beau­ti­ful. You can read straight from Salm’s jour­nal on p. 36. Mon­tanan Noah Couser, his wife and two other cou­ples left their home state’s moun­tains for the green cliffs of Kauai’s Nā Pali coast, where they pad­dled and camped at the feet of jagged val­leys (p. 48). Our top con­trib­u­tors and edi­tors an­swered the call for lessons from their trips, which in­clude kid­nap­pings, car crashes and, of course, over­pack­ing. You can find those tall tales on p. 58.

I used to think the lessons I learned while trav­el­ing would only ap­ply to my life on the road, that when I re­turned to the “real world” I would learn sep­a­rate ones. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Travel has the power to change who you are and how you see the world. We hope this is­sue in­spires you to get out there and ex­plore the wa­ters of the world—they will change your life.

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