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Exploring Life $0-20: You have to be in a box to think outside of it

By Rhes Low

It is an odd and scary thing to attempt a feat you feel you are inadequate to pursue. However, during my short existence, I’ve found if something doesn’t scare you it’s likely not worth pursuing. You must overcome your fears by mustering a bit of sweat and blood to splatter about, regardless of foreseen consequences, and press on.

Of course, most of my personal “courageous exploration”, of recent, has been backpacking through the jungles of Google or Instagram. This is primarily the reason I’ve chosen to jump into unfamiliar water and write a weekly column.

There are certain talents God has blessed me with, none of which I’ll be using as I relate these excursions. That scares me.  The inadequate writing ability, the honesty I must relate, the sweat equity, the time I don’t have, the scrutiny of others – and yet I must press on. I’m scared because I must overcome the complacency that has stemmed from my reliance on a steady diet of screen intelligence and financial restrictions. But I must press on.

My wife, my kids, friends, strangers, we all ask questions and explore the answers online rather than through experience. Reasons may range from financial to simple exhaustion. But of all the excuses, the biggest, by far, is the social satisfaction we feel from looking in the direction of our hands rather than “stepping out the door.”

I recently read an article on Englishman Henry Worsley, a 21st–century Polar explorer. Henry’s idol was Sir Ernest Shackleton, an early 20th-century Polar explorer largely overshadowed by more successful Arctic figures of his time but is now revered for his leadership skills in the midst of the direst of circumstances.

As I read about these two brave, flawed men and their multiple excursions into a bleak, unforgiving environment, I confirmed the suspicions I had about myself. I rely on my financial state and social media escape to determine and guide me through, well, everything.

You see, Worsley and Shackleton ate life. They put themselves to the test to find out how much gumption God had actually bestowed upon them.

I no longer want to be locked inside. Whether it be finances, fear, or social medias glorious validation of how great my life is – I will no longer be stopped. Therefore, I lay down the gauntlet for myself to explore. I will explore the brilliant and simple, the country and the city, the “high end” and “low end”. I’ll explore the world!! Well, at least the small part that belongs to you and I. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll find out a little about how much gumption is inside of me.

Each week, with only $0 – $20 dollars, I’ll traverse this forgiving and beautiful landscape we call home and hopefully catch a glimpse of what I am made of… or, I’ll simply find a bunch of cool, inexpensive stuff to tell you guys about.

Rhes Low lives in Oxford with wife and kids.