Craving New Experiences

December 16, 2023 at 4:13 p.m.
Roger and Linda Urbaniak
Roger and Linda Urbaniak Roger Urbaniak,

Several years ago, I felt my life was in a rut. I had my work, and one major hobby—duplicate bridge. When my first wife, Susan, died unexpectedly some 25-plus years ago, I was forced to sit down and evaluate my own life.
Someone once passionately expressed to me that they wished to make sure they really lived before they died. As I ruminated about their goal, the prospect of a personal lifestyle change began developing.  

Fortune smiled upon me when I met, dated, and eventually married my current wife, Linda. We quickly discovered that we had much in common, including actively pursuing new adventures.

Our first major activity together was to acquire a VW Eurovan Camper and set out to experience America. Rather than wait until we retired, our driving vacations were planned to allow one-two-weeks of well-thought-out vacations that kept costs low and targeted sights that promised to be interesting. Journaling our trips helped us to remember them better and to identify things we were seeing that others might find interesting. Our goals were to see and do as much as we could while we still had the energy. Being able to later read back accounts of our trips promised a way to recapture these adventures, experiencing them from a new perspective. The promise has been fulfilled. We have a deeper realization of how much this activity expanded our enjoyment of life.  

New opportunities arose, ways for us to develop new skills. We remodeled our home, taught classes on foraging for wild edibles, planted and maintained a garden (mostly Linda’s project), and both began to submit writing for publication. Linda shared her knowledge about gardens and gardening, while I focused on promoting outdoor interests. We encouraged each other to pursue our own individual interests too. Linda enjoyed painting, poetry, and knitting. Fishing, foraging, pickleball, tennis, kayaking, and a variety of salmon related activities became my focus. 

We purchased rental property near Yakima and learned how to effectively manage it ourselves. Observing the economic hardship that tenants dealt with when challenges such as their cars breaking down provided invaluable understanding on the lives of the many who live on limited income.
Another area of involvement developed while trying to improve the safety of our coastal communities. My years of deep-sea fishing out of Westport lead me to become acquainted with the critical need for these areas to have affordable tsunami shelters. Check out more information on my website: Although it is unlikely that I will develop a tsunami shelter myself now, it is my hope that some of my ideas may help someone break the logjam preventing their construction.

Sharing my passion of the outdoors helped me to develop a new website This site provides basic information required to explore new outdoor activities armed with the knowledge needed to achieve success.

Trying new things and having most of them work became infectious. Learning not to fear failure by realizing that most mistakes can be fixed was a gift. Trying something new far outweighed the effort needed to fix the occasional problem that might arise. The knowledge and skill acquired in just trying something new can now be used over and over to improve results of future efforts.

Having been gifted with curiosity and energy to is likely why I do what I do. When I look back on the variety of experiences I enjoy, it helps me feel satisfied with my approach to living.

Most of all, looking forward to trying something new helps keep me feeling young.

Roger Urbaniak writes about the Great Outdoors and other topics from his home on Mercer Island. “Rogers Outdoor Channel” is the place to learn about the adventures of Northwest Outdoor Enthusiast Roger Urbaniak along with his lovely wife Linda and trusty pooch Sparky. Visit for more information or email Roger at 

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