By Jake Norton
Blood dripped from my nose and chin, a metallic, gamey taste slithering down my throat. The goat’s throat, in contrast, was filleted open like a leather purse, specks of fine Kenyan dust settling on the crimson pool held open by Samburu warriors. “You like it?” queried Bernard, a Samburu from nearby Kiltanany village. “Please, have some more.” “I’m good, thanks,” I countered, my weak smile barely concealing the retches coming from down below.
When I travel, I really have only one rule to lead me: Embrace it. Dive into the place full-bore; engage with the people; speak the language; learn about people’s customs, worldviews, beliefs, loves, hates and fears. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Don’t be afraid to help when you can, and to ask for it when you need it. And yes, even drink a little goat’s blood from time to time.
We came to Kenya for a simple reason, on the surface: to climb Mount Kenya and document the water issues faced by all those who live downstream from its rapidly receding glaciers. But the trip was always about much more than climbing a peak—it was an opportunity to learn and to share, to engage and explore, laugh and cry. Adventure travel is about making the unknown…known. It’s about seeking out those things that are foreign to us and doing our best to understand them. Adventure travel is, at its most fundamental, profound, and important level, transformative.
Read Jake Norton’s full essay in the Eddie Bauer Spring Outfitter Book at
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