Tim Cahill is an American adventurer and traveler writer. He is best known for being the founding editor of Outside magazine.
Cahill was born in Wisconsin in 1944. As a young man, he was a competitive swimmer, earning a full scholarship to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He later earned an M.A. in creative writing from San Fransisco State University.
In 1987 Cahill set a world record by driving the entire length of the American continents—from the southern tip of Argentina to the northernmost point of Alaska—in twenty-three days. This trip served as the source material for his acclaimed book Road Fever.
This week’s travel quote—“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than in miles”—is taken from Road Fever. As Cahill recounts, it was the people he met along the way from Argentina to Alaska—rather than the distance he covered—that made the trip worthwhile.
I agree. The number of miles covered on a trip measures your physical journey, not your emotional one. It tells you nothing about the people you’ve encountered, the thoughts you’ve had, and the moments you've shared.
Thinking back on past adventures, it’s the friends I made that stick out. Memories of lonesome highways fade but the embrace at the end of the night from a newly-found companion lingers. We are, after all, social beings by nature; we were meant to share our experiences with others. Reaching the top of a mountain after a long hike is more rewarding when there’s someone with which to celebrate.
Obviously, there are times on the road where you’ll want to be alone. That’s normal. But the currency with which we measure the worth of our journeys comes in human form. So go forth, see the world, and make some new friends. You won’t regret it.
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