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Old 02-07-2007, 10:49 PM   #26
daryn
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Re: On Changing your Life

i guess my memory is just better than most but i thought everyone knew adsman was living in italy doing rafting, owns a club
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:08 PM   #27
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Re: On Changing your Life

i'm making plans now for a big change: (i intend to be soon) moving from vegas to playa del carmen, mexico.

i've only been there once before, for 2 weeks, but i absolutely fell in love with the place.

any advice for me? for example KKF, i'm curious why you choose not to tell anyone what you do? i've been thinking about this, and i guess i had kind of planned on just telling people i meet down there that i play poker online. i figured it would be easiest that way, so that i wouldn't have to be secretive or try to come up with some kind of story...

but yeah, any other thoughts/advice is welcome.
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Old 02-08-2007, 12:10 AM   #28
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Re: On Changing your Life

Does escaping on a boat and being captured by pirates before getting rescued by coastal guard count as good story?
I've been wanting to write this story, but have forgotten the names of all the cities that it took place in. Gotta do some research and get all the names spelling correct first. Also quite busy at work and Chinese New Year coming up so it may be awhile.
If anyone is familiar with Thai geography, please let me know.
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:46 AM   #29
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Re: On Changing your Life

Jay: Do a thread and give my advice priority Come visit me in Amherst

KKFool: In America is not corny, it won academy awards and deserved them. Also picking up and moving somewhere is not easy, I tried and failed. Also did you write about your life or is that a lie? You like to lie a lot and talk very selectively.

" But I had a new city to explore. I did a lot of walking. I love walking in new cities." - People say this a lot and also say they like to hang out in cafe's and restaurants and watch the city life happen but I find this very boring and unsatisfying. Is anyone else with me on this?

Adsman: When you move from place to place to start a new life, do you find yourself having to deal with a lot of hassles when you move? For instance finding an apt., moving furniture or cleaning out old stuff etc. or maybe it's not a hassle to you. And how much time has it taken you to get comfortable, happy, content in your new life? To make new friends, find good things to do with your times, etc.
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:29 AM   #30
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Re: On Changing your Life

Quote:

" But I had a new city to explore. I did a lot of walking. I love walking in new cities." - People say this a lot and also say they like to hang out in cafe's and restaurants and watch the city life happen but I find this very boring and unsatisfying. Is anyone else with me on this?

I'm with you bruiser. I actually love those things, but after about 5 minutes I'm going out of my mind - are we going to *DO* something yet or just sit here?

ps. you're not in SF any more?
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:33 AM   #31
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Re: On Changing your Life

Quote:

Adsman: When you move from place to place to start a new life, do you find yourself having to deal with a lot of hassles when you move? For instance finding an apt., moving furniture or cleaning out old stuff etc. or maybe it's not a hassle to you.
Yeah, absolutely, especially the first time in Sydney. I couldn't go into detail in the post as it would have reached epic proportions, but sometimes I woke up in the morning with a list of stuff to do as long as your arm and I just couldn't move. I'd have days when I'd just stay at home freaking out in a passive way.


Quote:
And how much time has it taken you to get comfortable, happy, content in your new life? To make new friends, find good things to do with your times, etc.
It takes as long as it takes. I've never set out to for example, find new friends by such and such period. You just do your thing and by doing your thing the friends stuff tends to fall into line.

All,

For those of you who have expressed interest in writing up your story, this is the thread to do it in. Please feel free to post them up. I was stunned that there was this much interest in my story, so if you're thinking that it won't be interesting you could well be wrong.
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Old 02-08-2007, 04:38 AM   #32
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Re: On Changing your Life

Well this thread clinched it, i`m gonna stay in sydney for a month in march and april.
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Old 02-08-2007, 05:37 AM   #33
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Re: On Changing your Life

It was important to me at this stage not to take any backwards steps. So I was determined that I wouldn’t get a job in a bar. There was a large yoga school in town and I went there the next day to talk to the owner. I wanted to see if he would be interested in me running a meditation course. He was cool with the idea. On the way out I saw a notice board. There was a flyer there with details about some share house accommodation. I took the number and gave it a call. A guy with a Canadian accent told me to come down. It was a very large queenslander-style house. These are built specifically for the tropics. A square wooden box on stilts to let the floods come and go underneath. This one was old, ramshackle, falling to bits and absolutely beautiful. It had a little corner covered balcony at the back which was the hang out area. There were six bedrooms. Downstairs was the local offices for The Wilderness Society, which is the Aussie version of Greenpeace.

I moved in the next day. It was a strange place. There was a fruitarian living there. Fruitarians only eat fruit. He had his own fridge which was full of foul smelling fruit. He was also very thin. And a tad neurotic. He was a high school teacher as well. Takes all sorts. There was a pudgy girl who was the over-volenteering kind. And there was a Kiwi rafting guide called Josh. I’d spent most of my teenage years doing whitewater kayaking. How much different could it be? The meditation idea went out the window, I was going to become a rafting guide. I did my usual trick – I walked into the office and lied. The next day I was going down to the Tully river on a commercial trip to ‘check out the river’. To say I was in over my head is a severe understatement. There is a vast difference between kayaking for pleasure and taking customers down a dangerous river in a 14 foot long rubber raft. Night and day. Three things saved me. At the time there was a training course going on and I immediately told the office that I thought the river was a little above my abilities, so would it be ok if I tagged onto the training course? That was fine. The second thing that saved me was my willingness to admit when I didn’t know something. There’s nothing worse than maintaining that you know something when it’s obvious that you don’t. It’s an insult to the intelligence of those who know what they are doing. I’ve actually fired a would-be guide for this. I gave him a chance and told him that I knew he was winging it and that was fine but he had to come clean and admit that he had a lot to learn. He tried to maintain the charade and I told him to take a hike.

The last thing that saved me was my guitar playing. I am killer on the guitar. One night there was a party and the guides had got an impromptu band together. There were about 100 people there. I got up at one point and let rip and they wouldn’t let me stop. I later heard that the general consensus was, ‘Adam sucks balls as a rafter but man can he play a mean guitar. Got to keep him here.’

It took me 8 weeks to get commercial. I did my shotgun three times. A shotgun is a driving test in the boat. One mistake and you’re toast. The last attempt I got passed reluctantly by the head guide. ‘Don’t let me down,’ he told me. Four years later when I left for Africa he told me that I had done a good job but it had been a big risk on his part to pass me. Sometimes someone has to take a chance on you. Because it’s the tropics rafting is a year-round concern. There are 50 guides who work for the company. Cairns is backpacker heaven. If you can’t get laid in Cairns just give up. As rafting guides we had our pick of the town. It was a nice period. My mate that I had driven up with moved into the house with me. His name was Mark. He got a job in the new casino that had just opened in town and ended up running the hotel section. I formed an acid jazz-funk band called Purple Ghetto. We started out with me and a double base. Ended up being eight musicians. We were the musicians musicians band. We played very late so the other muso’s around town could stop and listen.

In this period of my life I made the best group of friends that I have ever had. There were about seven of us and we were a completely eclectic mix. There was the dude who ran the Cairns art gallery, Mark, myself, the hippy Canadian called John, Greg, an older dude who ran the local unemployment office, Steve, another musician and Milo who was a crazy rafting guide. We started organizing huge parties at our house. Mark would make up cool posters and put them up in all the hotel staff rooms. For two weeks before the parties all the guides from all three companies in town had to invite any hot girl that came onto his raft. Only girls. The biggest one we had about 300 people turned up. The girl-guy ratio was about 4-1. My band played, we had DJ’s, smoke machines, laser lights, fire twirlers, you name it. One party I got talking to this English couple, slightly older than us. I asked them how they had heard about the party. They had finished eating in a restaurant in town and they asked a cabbie to take them to a club that was happening. He told them that everyone in town was going to this party at a house up the road and took them to our place. I looked out the front of the house and there was a line of about 10 taxi’s parked out the front. That’s a sign of a good party.

About a year after moving to Cairns I met a way cool Canadian girl and fell in love. She stopped her round Australia trip in Cairns and moved in with me. It was a great time. Then after about five months she found out that her grandmother was dying. Back to Vancouver she went. Rafting is big in BC. I figured that I’d give it a shot, at least for a summer. I organized a visa and a job and in April 1997 I left Cairns for Vancouver.

Last edited by Yeti; 09-23-2015 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 02-08-2007, 05:54 AM   #34
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Re: On Changing your Life

I look forward to reading the next installment! I'm wondering where poker comes in...
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:48 AM   #35
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Re: On Changing your Life

cbloom i'm no longer in SF. that's the move i mentioned that failed . i wonder who else will be posting their own stories in this thread...
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:20 AM   #36
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Re: On Changing your Life

Kid,

"Also did you write about your life or is that a lie? You like to lie a lot and talk very selectively."

Has someone been slipping peyote into your mineral water? You are becoming less and less coherent.

"People say this a lot and also say they like to hang out in cafe's and restaurants and watch the city life happen but I find this very boring and unsatisfying. Is anyone else with me on this?"

No.
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:32 AM   #37
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Re: On Changing your Life

adsman,

great story. keep it coming.
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:45 AM   #38
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Re: On Changing your Life

"Has someone been slipping peyote into your mineral water? You are becoming less and less coherent. "

i don't drink mineral water, i drink straight from the bathroom sink
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:08 PM   #39
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Re: On Changing your Life

adsman,

interesting story so far,keep it up.

sorry to momentarily derail the thread,but i'm curious about your using the word "feck"

as far as i know it is an irish word (not irish language,its more hiberno-english slang i suppose),i was wondering did you pick it up from ireland,or from the tv show father ted,or is it also an australian word?
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Old 02-09-2007, 04:39 PM   #40
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Re: On Changing your Life

Quote:

sorry to momentarily derail the thread,but i'm curious about your using the word "feck"

Irish friend of mine uses it. I tend to use it as it sits well on the boards when you want to say [censored] but can't as they put a big [censored] over it.

Next installment. If this is starting to get boring someone please tell me so that I won't make a dick of myself.

I landed in Vancouver after my first international flight. I had seen so many of my friends off at airports in the past, now finally it was my turn. My girlfriend met me at the airport. We had about four or five days together in Van before I had to head up to the rafting base. On the second day I got a phone call at my girlfriend’s house. It was from another rafting company owner up in Clearwater. He had called Australia to get my number and then called me in Van. He was extremely keen for me to work for him. I had had to choose between his company and another smaller outfit and I had gone for the other one. The reason being that another guide from Cairns was going to be working there. I wanted some familiarity around me. Although I had heard some faint whisperings of the company that I was going to work for having a slightly bad reputation on how they treated their guides. But I had shrugged it off. I had also signed up to an Advanced Wilderness for Leaders first aid course with the company as well as a Rescue 3 course, all of which were requirements for me to get my BC trip leader cert. I felt committed.

I headed up there and over the next two months proceeded to do the courses and check the rivers out. The rivers were balling. There was so much spring run off that we could only run The Coquihalla, a normally simple class III run. This is the river where they shot Rambo. It was a screaming express ride. Monsters holes with monster flips. When the water started to drop a little we were able to run The Nahatlatch. We also ran huge motor powered J-rigs on the Fraser which was running at over 600,000cfs. And oh my god was it cold. I was used to rafting in the tropics in shorts. Guides here were wearing dry-suits. I had purchased some gear in Van but it wasn’t enough. I was freezing my butt off.

The company was a small family owned affair. I had been hired as the 2nd guide. Your priority in the guide list seriously effects your earning potential. Just after I arrived another local company went bust and suddenly there were a bunch of experienced guides available. The owner hired two of them and I was bumped down to 4th on the list. I got shafted and I wasn’t impressed. I was also getting sick of being treated like a [censored] by the owner. The rumors had been not only true but downplayed. We did a trip and an Aussie guide that lived in the area came in to help out. He was much older than me. We got talking on the way back and he told me that he got his money upfront before doing the trip. I told him my situation and asked him what I should do. He told me to wait until I was really needed and then demand that I be reinstated as 2nd guide.

A week later the boss and two other guides were to set out on a 10 day trip from the mouth of the Fraser River. I was definitely required to hold the fort while they were gone. I confronted the owner. We went back and forth for hours. It was the night before they were to leave. We all lived in the same area as their family – they had the house, we had the big shed. So it was a very close affair. The kids were all crying, the wife was hysterical. I was determined to hold my ground. It was the first time in my life that I stood up to a boss in a clearly defined way. We got nowhere. After hours of back and forth I told him that I was leaving the next morning. I got paid out and jumped a bus to Vancouver. I had no job, and not much money but at least I had a place to stay.

When I got to Van my girlfriend was supportive. Two days after I got there she broke down and confessed that she had slept with another guy while I had been back in Australia. The whole trip was going pear shaped. I called a mate I knew and told him to find me a job guiding. I’d work for anyone. He had a contact out on Vancouver Island. It was a sea kayaking company that ran 2-5 day trips in the islands off Nanaimo. I headed out there with my kit. The owner met me at the ferry. He told me that the punters for the next days trip were in a little campground. Was it OK if I camped out with them for the night? I said sure. He looked at me. He was in his late forties, a big bear of a guy with a soft attitude. He reached into his pocket and took out $50. ‘Take that,’ he said. ‘There’s a shop up the road that do good burgers. Tell them I sent you.’

There was a week of work but then his regular guides got back and there wasn’t anymore for me. I made a contact in the same area with another small sea kayaking company that desperately needed a guide. They took me on for the summer. It was the sweetest job that I’ve ever had. We were backed up by motorboat, so in the morning of a trip we would get up, I’d cook, and then we’d leave. The support crew would come in and take down the tents then take them on to the next island where we were stopping for the night. When we arrived there would be a cooler with cold beer ready and all the tents set up. The scenery was breath-taking. I can’t do justice to the place. It is extraordinary. If you ever get the chance to go there, go. At one point my girlfriend came out to see me. She was desperately sorry. I was enjoying my work so much that I didn’t really want to have conflict in my life. We made up.

Around the end of August the work started to dry up. I was spending more money than I was earning. One morning I woke up in Vancouver and just decided to head home. I’d had enough. My girlfriend was distraught. I called the airline company and scheduled my flight for the following day. My Canadian adventure was at an end. There was a stopover in Tokyo. I extended it to two weeks and caught up with some friends who were rafting in Japan. I blew all my remaining money partying it on in Japan. I stayed faithful to my girlfriend, although I had a hard time trying to work out why. I just figured that there was no point in doing the same thing myself. I felt that would be a fast track to relationship destruction. I arrived back in Cairns with no money at all. My credit card got eaten by a teller machine they day after I got back. They must have had a major red flag on me. I dropped by my old house. There was a room available. They’d kept it for me. I got my old job back and started the next day.

I flew my girlfriend out for Christmas. She arrived at the airport and when I went to kiss her she turned her head away. WTF?? We drove home and she admitted that she was seeing someone else. Like you couldn’t have told me over the phone and saved me paying for your ticket out?? She left after a couple of weeks and I never heard from her again. I got a letter from Milo. He was rafting in Uganda of all places. Apparently the river was insane. He sent us a video. The river was insane. The White Nile. 5 meter standing waves. 6 meter holes that just ate boats and spat them out in pieces. I was determined to go. At the end of 1998 Milo told me that I had a job. I had to be there by the end of February. I didn’t have enough time to get the money together. I decided to sell my vintage Gibson Les Paul. I figured that I could always buy another Les Paul, I would never have another chance at an experience like this. A little under two weeks before I was due to leave, 9 tourists were hacked to pieces in the Bwindi National Park in Uganda. What the hell was I getting myself in for?

Last edited by Yeti; 09-23-2015 at 01:21 AM.
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Old 02-09-2007, 04:50 PM   #41
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Re: On Changing your Life

Quote:

If anyone is familiar with Thai geography, please let me know.
I am. Lived there for 18 months.

KJS

edited to add quote
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Old 02-09-2007, 04:52 PM   #42
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Re: On Changing your Life

Awesome! more please!
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Old 02-09-2007, 04:56 PM   #43
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Re: On Changing your Life

Awesome adsman, keep it up. I always thought raft guiding or some other kind of tour guiding would be a really fun short term job.
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Old 02-09-2007, 04:59 PM   #44
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Re: On Changing your Life

Quote:
Awesome adsman, keep it up. I always thought raft guiding or some other kind of tour guiding would be a really fun short term job.
I thought about starting an ask me thread about becoming a guide, but I figured that the amount of people wanting to do it would be too low to sustain it.
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:22 PM   #45
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Re: On Changing your Life

Great stuff Adsman, screw rafting, you should be a writer.
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:28 PM   #46
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Re: On Changing your Life

ads: "I thought about starting an ask me thread about becoming a guide" Let's keep this thread rolling and open it up to any questions about being a guide, rafting, or whatever else you've covered in the thread. Very interesting stuff.

All: ads has set a high bar here, don't feel the need to write huge essays like that, feel free to share any experiences like this, good and bad. That means you, bruiser.
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:44 PM   #47
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Re: On Changing your Life

Quote:

I thought about starting an ask me thread about becoming a guide, but I figured that the amount of people wanting to do it would be too low to sustain it.
I'm kind of seriously interested. I always thought it would rock to work for someone like "Backroads" that does adventure tours, but I don't really have the fitness or skills at the moment. El D, if it's appropriate ads could just answer some questions here or you can move it.

How hard is to get the training? (I'm assuming most places won't hire you and train you). Is it really hard to find work? I guess a lot of times you go live in a camp near where you run the water, does that suck or is it a fun party environment?
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:17 PM   #48
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Re: On Changing your Life

Quote:

How hard is to get the training? (I'm assuming most places won't hire you and train you).
There are a few ways to start. One is to pay for a training course run by a company. However, it needs to be at least a 3 weeks long to have any usefulness. 5 day courses and the like are just a way to scam you for money. Also, just because the company runs a training course doesn't necessarily mean they're hiring. But if you stand out they might pick you up after the course is over.

Another way is to show interest by helping out. Go to the company and tell them you want to be a guide and that you're willing to work for experience time in a raft. Do your homework before you do this though.

What do companies look for in green recruits? People skills, physical aptitude, ability to work within a team, leadership skills, and how easy you are to get along with. You need to learn how to steer the raft, how rapids work, knots and rescue work, people handling skills, crew management and the like. Like anything, if you really want to do it you will.

Quote:
Is it really hard to find work?
Depends on your experience level. I can get a job anywhere I want. Normally I pick a country and then start emailing my resume. I consider a years rafting to be a minimum cut off point. That means 12 months in the boat. If you work in a seasonal river that only runs for 3 months you need to do 4 seasons. That's why it's so good to go work in a location where they raft all year round. Tully guides from Australia are well known to have very high skill levels. You get them when you raft all year on a technically difficult river.

Quote:
I guess a lot of times you go live in a camp near where you run the water, does that suck or is it a fun party environment?
I used to love it. Now I value my privacy and own space so it would suck. Depends on you. You can do some serious partying and some serious pulling. It's the perfect job for someone in their twenties. You will not believe how much tail you can get with this job. I tend to play it down as people tend to think you're full of it.
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:39 PM   #49
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Re: On Changing your Life

ads: Serious kudos bro for dealing with adversity. When you carry those heavy loads and keep moving you are a better person for it. If we were all judged by the home runs we hit or accomplishments; we would all be heroes. Instead, we all are judged by how we handle(d) adversity.

You are a testament to most who kick and scream their way to the top.

I am very anxious to here the next 7+ years.
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Old 02-09-2007, 10:28 PM   #50
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Re: On Changing your Life

Adsman,

Great story. It's worthy of an editor and maybe print if you can fill in more details.

Thanks,
Joe
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