On a quest for a fresh start in his career, Marc Smith has created the website 30 Day Adventures , chronicling a new adventure every day in the beautiful city of Vancouver. Followers of the blog suggest adventures that Marc can do. Right now, he is two-thirds of the way through his month long adventure.
In a recent tweet (follow Marc’s adventures at #30DayAdventures) Marc said, “I’m trying to figure out how to make this my career, it’s so fun”.
We asked Marc how he is enjoying his adventure so far.
Marc Smith and Nathan Fong
What got you started on the idea of dropping all other responsibilities in your busy professional life, and launching 30 Day Adventures?
I felt stuck, and I felt that I was in the same spot, doing the same work, getting the same results, achieving the same, same, same. I knew I needed to do something different. I posted on Facebook that ‘I was having a day of being stuck’ and I needed something different to do. I had over 25 responses in under 2 hours – all of them I’d never done before, and it sparked the idea in my head that I’ve lived in Vancouver for 23 years and I had still not achieved the true Vancouver experience because there were so many things I hadn’t done yet. The next thing I know I created a website, launched 30 Day Adventures, and the floodgates of ideas just opened up. People just jumped on the ship, and away it went.
What have you learned about yourself so far?
I have relearned there is nothing I can’t do. I have relearned that I really like who I am. I’ve learned that I’m actually capable of things that I didn’t think I was capable of. I didn’t think I was a photographer, and in fact I’ve said many times, that I’m not a photographer. I think I’ve taken some pretty spectacular shots in the last 20 days. I think being a good photographer is sometimes being at the right place at the right time with the right lighting. I’ve insisted that I’m not a good writer and I still don’t think I’m a great writer, but I think I’m an adequate conversationalist in text form. I’ve learned that at 43 years old, life is not even close to being over. It is actually just beginning for me.
What do you love about what you’re doing right now?
I love the fact that people have gotten excited about this. I love the ideas that people have thrown my way. I’ve loved just the randomness of people contacting me, telling me that this has actually helped them realize that they were stuck and unhappy and they didn’t know it. This has actually inspired them to do something about it. On a personal note, I think one of the most rewarding things about this for me has been the personal emails I’ve been getting from my Mom, telling me how much she’s enjoying reading and living this adventure with me and how proud she is, so that’s been a pretty cool thing.
What has been the highlight adventure so far?
It’s the one that’s going to happen tomorrow. The adventure tomorrow is more exciting than the adventures I’ve done. Everything I’ve done has been great, but who knows what tomorrow brings. Who knows…
Could you see yourself translating one of your adventures into a new career?
I think they’re all translatable. Everything I’ve ever done is relevant to everything I will ever do. There is nothing in my life or my work history that I don’t use in my life and my work today. All of these adventures are translatable. If I never build another website again, chance are I will manage a team that does oversee a website, I now have better insight as to what works and what doesn’t work. There are some things that you learn and some things that you do on a regular basis which resonate more than on other things and you can know them, but actually experiencing that first hand is very powerful.
What do you hope to gain at the end of your 30 Day Adventure?
I hope to gain a renewed sense of purpose. I’ve lost that. The economy, the business, the negative attitude of not myself, but so many other people, just the general malaise that’s hung over the economy in Canada in general has really taken the joy out of creating for me. I’m more energized than I’ve been in a very long time. I’m really looking forward to taking this energy and doing something with it. And doing something positive and really taking the community that’s become deeper engaged with me and the new folks that have joined and seeing what I can do with it. Seeing what we can create together.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What I don’t want to be now. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with money. And so if you look back at my journal that was kept from kindergarten until grade 8, the line was ‘what does Marc want to be when he grows up’ – It was always, ‘Marc wants to be a millionaire’. The answer today, what I want to be when I grow up – I want to be a person that loved, respected and liked. The rest of it comes.
photo: Dawn Chubai