Welcome to the Adventure Lab!

Have fun. Do good.

The "Adventure Lab" is an idea incubator and collaborative resource hub for women over 40 who are hungry to create epic adventures, even on a shoestring budget. With a focus on asset-building and mentoring, we deal with the whole person in a way that is inclusive, regardless of financial means, and that creates opportunities for women at risk both in our local communities, and in developing nations.

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Find an Adventure Create an Adventure Scouting Parties Adventure Divas


What assets do we have? What do we want?

Each of us is equipped with a unique set of assets. With each new adventure, we may find we are called on to meet it with something we feel we don’t have quite enough of yet.

The assets that we’re going to focus on here at the Adventure Lab are based on our internal toolkit. They are “a way of being” combined with “character” and “know-how”. Consider these intrinsic assets as a sort of bank account that we can make deposits into to invest in future adventures, and withdrawals from when we launch them. They have tremendous worth. These assets are our “super powers”!

Looking for a couple of words to get you started? Why not grab a few from our Asset Building “Tag Cloud” right down there ↓↓↓

abundance  acceptance  adaptability  agility  altruism  appetite  appreciation  authenticity  awe  benevolence  boldness  capacity  character  charisma  compassion  competence  composure  confidence  connectedness  contentedness  courage  creativity  credibility  curiosity  daring  determination  devotion  dignity  effectiveness  efficiency  empathy  empowerment  energy  enthusiasm  entrepreneurial spirit  fearlessness  fellowship  focus  freedom  friendship  frugality  fulfillment  fun  generosity  gentleness  gratitude  happiness  harmony  health  heart  honour  hope  humility  humour  hunger  idealism  imagination  innovation  instinct  integrity  intuition  joie de vivre  joy  kindness  knowledge  leadership  levity  liveliness  magic  mastery  mindfulness  moxy  openmindedness  organization  passion  patience  peace  perseverance  perspective  philanthropy  pioneering spirit  playfulness  potential  power  pragmatism  precision  preparedness  presence  pride  purpose  reflection  relevance  resilience  resourcefulness  respect  reverence  sass  self esteem  self-awareness  self-worth  simplicity  sisterhood  soul  spark  spirit  spirituality  spontaneity  steadfastness  stewardship  stillness  strength  tenacity  tenderness  thoughtfulness  thrift  trust  trustworthiness  truth  uniqueness  vulnerability  wanderlust  wholeheartedness  wisdom  wit  wonder  worldliness  worthy  zen  zest 

 
They are some of the assets that we might like to claim for ourselves.

Why are some words bigger than others? That means there are more resources available for them right now. As we grow, it will also be an easy way to see where there are common community interests.

Join us over at the kitchen table to let us know what else you might like to see tucked into this list, and, more importantly, to talk about the assets YOU want to work on next!

Click here to learn more about asset building.

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Elbows On ...

Our “Kitchen Tables” are the digital spaces where we put our elbows firmly on and chat up a storm with sister Adventure Divas about some of the innovative ways we find to conjure up inspired adventures, including some of our favourite “Budget Buddies”. Here are just a few of the things we’ve been chatting about …

Childhood Magic
You don't have to be Alexander to have a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Sometimes, you just have to get out of bed, and that's enough. So when you have one of those days, what to do? I've found that one of the most powerful reset buttons is the "willing suspension of disbelief" that comes wrapped up in a children's tale on the silver screen. Here's why ...
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Have fun.  Do good.  (...and be sure to do your homework first ;)
There are lots of ways to have unconventional adventures, and some of my favourites are the ones that allow you to have fun while doing good. CBC (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) shares some wonderful (and essential) tips for ensuring that social justice adventures are both safe and meaningful. Good intentions don't always lead to good outcomes. This list is a terrific launchpad to cover your bases before traveling abroad to help ...
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Tomorrow is 90. Today's the day to do it! (...or as Lorraine says:  time to grab life by the balls!)
Every now and then someone points me in the direction of an "Adventure Diva" that's is just so full of sass that I end up with tears rolling down my cheeks for hours after from laughing so hard. 90-something New Yorker, Lorraine, is one of those sassy divas. She has a channel called "Ask My Neighbor Lorraine" on YouTube. She invites people to ask her questions, and she answers personally, full of hilarious irreverence, colourful epithets and all. I wish I had this woman over the backyard fence. I'd invite her in for coffee every, single day ... 😀 This is one of her tamer responses. Her parting words tell you all you need to know: "Don't forget: tomorrow is 90. Today's the day to ...
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Where's the Beef? (and how a really bad movie can be a really great tool for checking in with yourself)
I'm always on the look-out for good Adventure Diva movies, and when I stumbled across "I'll See You in My Dreams" on Netflix, I thought I'd found one. I was wrong. The premise was a woman named Carol confronting her age, and realizing her life had become predictable and mundane. With a husband who had been dead for twenty-years, and a handful of friends pushing her to get out there and date again (while simultaneously pushing for her to move to a retirement community), Carol is reluctant to change, until a set of chance encounters turns that on it's head. So far, so good. Clinging to the familiar and fear of the unknown, even if things have gotten stale, is relatable enough, and I was ...
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Sue Braiden, Rochelle Zohn, Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca
Twelve years ago I was attacked on a subway platform in Boston as more than twenty people stood by and watched. No one intervened. When I finally broke free from my attacker, and was running for the stairs, I fell. My hand was broken. I was crying, begging for help, but no one stopped. One by one, people disembarked the train, stepping over me, some on me, without ever looking back. When I finally reached street level, telling subway officials in the toll booths what had happened, they simply pointed me to a bank of 4 pay phones. 3 of them were broken. No matter what I did, or who I asked, I could not get help. May 17th has been in my calendar since ...
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Sue Braiden -- making peace with aging.
Today I am incredibly aware of the way age is invading my body -- the crows feet around my eyes, the smile lines at the corners of my mouth, the loosening of my skin around my neck and jowls, the wrinkles on my hands, the Botticelli curves -- and I'm oddly at peace with it. When did this happen? This learning to be cool with being in my 50s? It scared the hell out of me for so long, and yet when I look in the mirror I see every story that I've lived written all over my face, and I love it. When did we buy into the script that getting older -- looking older -- is less? I'm tossing it out. It's crap ...
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David Bowie on Authenticity. What have YOU done that took you out of your comfort zone?
David Bowie has some gorgeous wisdom about pushing out of your comfort zone. In fact, I took his advice to heart and pushed way outside of my own. (Click through and I'll tell you a little bit about that, and then I'm going to bust out my magic wand.) So, Adventure Divas, what have YOU done that took you past your comfort zone? How did it turn out? Was it the kind of "Aha! moment" that makes you want to do it again? If you haven't gone there yet, would you like to? What is it that calls to your soul and scares the hell out of you, all at the same time? Let's talk! I've set a place for you over at the digital ...
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"It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." - Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mt. Everest.
"It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." - Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mt. Everest ...
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What does an Adventure Diva conquering fear look like? Kristina Paltén on a 1,144-mile journey of trust.
What does an Adventure Diva conquering fear look like? Kristina Paltén on a 1,144-mile journey of trust. The Swedish ultra-runner began her run through Iran on August 29th 2015. She was to become the first woman ever to cross Iran by foot. Take a peek at the trailer for "Alone through Iran - 1144 miles of trust," a documentary about Kristina Paltén, a lone Swedish woman, who wanted to challenge her own and others prejudices against Islam by running across Iran. "I will tell people about the incredible kindness I have met." -- Kristina Paltén ...
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Alex and Eva -- Looking for Adam
Alex Lyngaas loves his mum. He loves her so much that he wants to help her find the love of her life. Over the course of a year he had been filming her, but until last May, she had no idea why. 69-year-old adventure diva Eva could be any of us: a woman in act two, living life solo, with someone who cares about us wanting more for us. Take a peek at the moment Eva discovers what her son has been up to, then c'mon back here and weigh in! What would YOU do if you were Eva? Would you embrace the unconventional adventure that someone who cared about you set you on? C'mon over and join us at the kitchen table, and share ...
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Nothing can ruin an adventure faster than a close encounter with danger. I talked about one of my own in a posting over here: Letting go of trauma to clear the way for Adventure While in Boston in 2004, I made a couple of choices that put me in harm's ...
Read More
I'm always on the look-out for good Adventure Diva movies, and when I stumbled across "I'll See You in My Dreams" on Netflix, I thought I'd found one. I was wrong. (I tell you exactly why over here ...) The premise was a woman named Carol confronting her age, and ...
Read More
Maybe you landed here after reading my own admission about what kept me from pushing out of my comfort zone ... http://estrogenarmy.com/david-bowie-on-the-comfort-zone/ What got me moving? A little wisdom from the late David Bowie. If you haven't seen the video yet, take a moment to click through now. It's full ...
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmBM20ZN010 Hey, Estrogen Army! I have a question for you: what would you do if you were Eva? Let me back up a little. Alex Lyngaas loves his mum. He loves her so much that he wants to help her find the love of her life. Over the course of ...
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Okay, ladies, I'm about to stir the pot with a little Adventure Diva debate: What do you get when you turn James Bond into a woman? In this case, 1920's fictional Aussie sleuth, Phryne Fisher, and attempts to ban her from network television. Where Bond is considered a man's man, ...
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Well, this started out to be one thing but has become two. When I go to my profile I see "Activity Profile Notifications 2 Friends 4 Groups" when I click on that I then see 2 lines like that. When I click on "Friends 4" it shows me you and ...
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Anyone with pearls of wisdom for chasing away the big black dog or at least calming him? ...
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Not every kind of adventure has to be big to be truly epic. Sometimes it's the small things we discover right in our own backyard that become the best springboards to mirth. Whether you landed here after reading the posting on "The case for micro-adventures, and getting out of your ...
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You might have landed here after reading my posting about fear and courage, where I shared a bit about one of my own favourite Adventure Divas, K'Arcy. Kay spent decades as a nurse, midwife and mother before jumping into Hollywood. Now she stars as an acrobatic assassin in the Web ...
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Fancy a leisurely journey through old country inns and the British countryside, savouring rustic cuisine, and trekking through castles? If you're Canadian, you're in luck, because this contest might let you do exactly that on someone else's dime: http://lovewall.visitbritain.com/en/1062/canada-countryside-campaign Having watched the movie "The Holiday" and being treated to the ...
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Have you seen the new NIMB ring that acts as a panic button, summoning help from local emergency response teams, ...
Oh my, oh my, oh my! Look what Santa brought 😀 So very glad to find you here, Lorrie! Lorrie ...
Hey there ladies 😃 Lorrie here, lurking and eating cookies! I just wanted to give a quick shout out to ...
I guess it's my catch-up day 🙂  I finally got around to watching this! I feel really REALLY passionate about ...
Oh.  Random side topic:  If you're looking for a new Netflix binge, I highly recommend "Derek", which I discovered completely ...
I wanted to watch at least one episode before responding - I loved it!  Thanks for the recommendation Sue.  It ...
Joan, I am so sorry to hear about your laptop! Glad you've got an iPad to cope with the basics ...
I keep coming back to this conversation in snippets, because there are so many neat things being tossed around in ...
Found some inspired and maybe even unexpected ways to get around while having adventures on a shoestring budget? Travel on the cheap doesn’t mean doing without. Sometimes the need to be resourceful leads to pretty bodacious adventures that you wouldn’t otherwise have thought about. Take a peek at some of the ways we've found to to tap into bargain transportation, and start your own conversation to help sister adventure divas discover even more.
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Found some clever ways to find cozy, captivating and downright whimsical places to stay while having adventures on a shoestring budget? Travel on the cheap doesn’t mean doing without. Sometimes the need to be resourceful leads to pretty bodacious adventures that you wouldn’t otherwise have thought about. Take a peek at some of our favourite finds, and start your own conversation to help sister adventure divas discover even more.
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Found some fantastic ways to feast while having adventures on a shoestring budget? Travel on the cheap doesn’t mean doing without. Sometimes the need to be resourceful leads to pretty bodacious adventures that you wouldn’t otherwise have thought about. Take a peek at some of our favourite finds, and start your own conversation to help sister adventure divas discover even more.
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Found some great rewards program perks you can cash in on to help you have adventures on a shoestring budget? Travel on the cheap doesn’t mean doing without. Sometimes the need to be resourceful leads to pretty bodacious adventures that you wouldn’t otherwise have thought about. Take a peek at some of our favourite finds, and start your own conversation to help sister adventure divas discover even more.
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Intrinsic assets are the Super Powers that equip us to have epic adventures!

Asset Building

Exactly what kind of "assets" are we talking about when we want to "build our capacity" to create happy, healthy, epic adventures? While extrinsic resources -- especially the "money" part of things -- can certainly ease our way into adventures of all shapes and sizes, the assets that we're going to focus on here at the lab have more to do with our internal toolkit. They are "a way of being" combined with "character" and "know-how". Consider these intrinsic assets as a sort of bank account that we can make deposits into to invest in future adventures, and withdrawals from when we launch them. They have tremendous worth. These assets are our "super powers"! Each of us is equipped with a unique set of assets. With each new adventure, we may find we are called on to meet it with something we feel we don't have quite enough of yet. C'mon in and let's talk about the assets YOU want to work on next!
Read More
Nothing can ruin an adventure faster than a close encounter with danger. I talked about one of my own in a posting over here: Letting go of trauma to clear the way for Adventure While in Boston in 2004, I made a couple of choices that put me in harm's ...
Read More
Nothing's taboo with survivalist Cody Lundin, and that's a darn good thing if you're going to arm yourself with enough knowledge to get your backside out of a scary situation when things go wrong on an adventure. Packed full of wisdom to keep you safe and get you out of ...
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You've decided to head out for a hike in a beautiful forest. You're enjoying the walk until you notice the trail has disappeared — and you're thoroughly lost. Do you know what to do next? Maybe you've landed here after taking Mother Nature Network's quiz. How did you do? Would ...
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Want to see what else we’re talking about? Click the Read More button below …

Safe Adventures

Safe Adventures

Whether you're starting small in your own backyard, or off on an epic trek across the sea, having a safety plan, and a little wisdom, can ensure your adventures are all the right kind. Put your elbows on the table and let's chat about some of the things that worry us, and what we can do to keep ourselves safe ...
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Adventure Divas

What does an Adventure Diva conquering fear look like? Kristina Paltén on a 1,144-mile journey of trust. What does an Adventure Diva conquering fear look like? Friday, May 13, 2016 - What does an Adventure Diva conquering fear look like? Kristina Paltén on a 1,144-mile journey of trust. The Swedish ultra-runner began her run through Iran on August 29th 2015. She was to become the first woman ever to cross Iran by foot. Take a peek at the trailer for "Alone through Iran - 1144 miles of trust," a documentary about Kristina Paltén, a lone Swedish woman, who wanted to challenge her own and others prejudices against Islam by running across Iran. "I will tell people about the incredible kindness I have met." -- Kristina Paltén.
Alex and Eva -- Looking for Adam One Son’s Creative Love Letter to His Adventure Diva Mum Sunday, April 3, 2016 - Alex Lyngaas loves his mum. He loves her so much that he wants to help her find the love of her life. Over the course of a year he had been filming her, but until last May, she had no idea why. 69-year-old adventure diva Eva could be any of us: a woman in act two, living life solo, with someone who cares about us wanting more for us. Take a peek at the moment Eva discovers what her son has been up to, then c'mon back here and weigh in! What would YOU do if you were Eva? Would ᘡread.moreᘠ
Holy Estrogen Army moment, Batwoman! I had goosebumps watching this. Dance instructor Carla Steenkamp Sheills & her amazing pupils. The eldest is 84. Ballet at 84! Carla Steenkamp Sheills’ Empowering Class. Wednesday, November 25, 2015 - Holy Estrogen Army moment, Batwoman! I had goosebumps watching this! Think that's a funny reaction? Watch this through to the end, and tell me when Prokofiev's "Dance of the Knights" comes on you don't get it. An empowering ballet class with dance tutor and choreographer, Carla Steenkamp Sheills, and her amazing pupils, the eldest who is 84! Always so cool to find another micro-adventure to add to the Estrogen Army treasure chest. Dance is such a great way of reclaiming a vital part of our femininity when we get older and perhaps (for some of us) no longer feel as ᘡread.moreᘠ

Stephanie Zito, Wandering for Good
What are you afraid of? Not much after watching 82-year-old nurse-turned-action-hero, Kay D’Arcy!
Ginny Bogaert - 2013 Colorado Back Country Wilderness Adventure




Here are some of the lessons shared by sisters whose adventures took them into the spotlight …





 

Have Fun

Pep Talks & Field Notes from the Den Moms …

Do Good.

Dreams are universal. Opportunity is not. We’re working to change the story.




Here are some of the terrific things you helped make possible for our Kiva Divas!
Kiva Diva Field Report: Sandra in Haiti - November 20, 2016 Field Report: Sandra rebuilt her Haiti workshop & hired 5 people! Sunday, November 20, 2016 - It's always exciting when we receive a field report on one of the women that we have invested in through the "Adventures with the Estrogen Army" project. This one is especially cool because it comes from the entrepreneur herself! Back in October 2014 we helped an artist named Sandra rebuild her workshop in Haiti after her entire shop was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake. It's a relief that this report comes in on the heels of yet another natural disaster in Haiti, the recent hurricane, and that it finds Sandra safe and well. Yet more great news? She not only ᘡread.moreᘠ
The BeeKeepers: how African women are making history, changing culture, and rebooting their lives. The BeeKeepers: how African women are making history, changing culture and rebooting their lives. Saturday, February 21, 2015 - This morning a note landed in my inbasket from Kiva. It was a field report about something wonderful that's been happening in Kenya, where a group of women are making history. We're hearing lots about bees these days, usually because our ecosystem is drastically threatened by their looming extinction, so you can imagine my delight when this particular note about bees was about the way that an organization called "Honey Care Africa" had become a Kiva partner, and was empowering women to start new businesses to lift themselves out of poverty. The part that had me nearly standing on my ᘡread.moreᘠ
Nomagugu in Zimbabwe Because of YOU, Nomagugu in Zimbabwe was able rent rent a shop, expand her business and send her kids to school. Sunday, December 21, 2014 - Hey, sister Adventure Divas! You might know how excited we get around here about the "Do Good" part of our Mini Mission statement, so it's a happy day when we can report back on how an investment in a sister diva made a difference! Remember Nomagugu in Zimbabwe? We were able to help her give herself a hand up this past June. Nomagugu is a 35 year old widow with 3 children. She not only runs a grocery store (which our investment is helped to restock), but also makes time to volunteer as a Learning Guide, teaching students life skills, ᘡread.moreᘠ
Diva Discovery

Diva Discovery

One of the biggest goals of the "Adventures with the Estrogen Army" project is to make it easy to connect with other women who have had epic adventures, often on a shoestring budget. Do you know someone or have recently discovered someone who has an amazing story to share? Why not tuck a note in here to tell us about her? Who is she? What has she done that moved you? How can we find her? (web site, book, movie, etc.). If it's someone you know personally, why not invite her to join us here at the kitchen table? This is going to be one fun place to plant your elbows and listen to the stories of other women who have "been there, done that" and are willing to share a little insight into how they did, AND, to do the very same thing yourself! We all have something to offer, and sometimes the most life-altering moments are born in the micro-adventures we never saw coming.
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