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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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Letting go of trauma to clear the way for Adventure

May 17, 2016 in , by Sue Braiden

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 2004.

I’m not sure why I felt the need to hang onto it. Maybe to remind myself to be more vigilant (I made some stupid, tourist mistakes). Maybe to remember to be grateful that I’m still alive (especially given the very detailed account of what my attacker told me he was about to do to me). Mostly I think it’s just because I wasn’t ready to let go.

Somehow the trauma became part of what defined me. It’s also been one of my greatest blocks to getting on with the business of Adventures.

Come put your elbows on the kitchen table, and let’s talk about the ways we can stay safer as we’re creating happy experiences and memories …

On embracing vulnerability as an asset, and banishing shame.

February 2, 2015 in by Sue Braiden

On embracing vulnerability as an asset, and banishing shame.

Seems like a heavy talking point in a space about adventures, doesn’t it? Let’s just call it “clearing the log-jam” that causes some of us to stumble right out of the gate.

ALL of us want to have adventures, but sometimes we struggle with the unspoken idea that we don’t entirely deserve them.

Seem silly? More people struggle with this than you might realize! There are a whole lot of reasons for this, and we’re going to devote an entire section on unpacking them really soon.

For now, let’s just acknowledge that “vulnerability” and “shame” can be stumbling blocks that get in the way of even starting to plot our adventures, and put them into a context that helps us find our way through.

We have all, at some point in our lives, experienced deep and profound shame. We are also likely to have caused it for someone else. This is not a kind part of human nature.

Today I found a teacher in an unlikely place. She is a person whose caricature has been allowed to stand in her place for 16 years. She became a pariah at the tender age of 22, and remains an almost universal allegory for the fall from grace. I am ashamed to admit that, like most of the public, I have been guilty of holding this young woman in a place of disdain for many years. I allowed the media circus to define both her truth and her value.

16 years later, Monica Lewinsky did something impossible: she stood up and became an advocate, and a voice of wisdom, about something that everyone of us has felt, witnessed and perpetuated.

You did it too, didn’t you? — flinched when I just said her name. I’m inviting you to invest the next 25 minutes to listen to something that will change the way you think not only about Monica Lewinsky, but about the internet, about assumptions, and about the responsibility we each bear to create safe spaces that don’t include shaming. Click on the tab to the right when you’re ready to listen to what Monica has to say.

This talk affected me in the same way that vulnerability researcher Brené Brown’s callings-out do, and I’d encourage you to take a few more minutes to listen to those too. You’ll find that I’ve shared them in a tab to the right as well.

I suspect every single one of us will find a take-away in these moments of wisdom, first, from Monica, and then from Brené. At a time when such big parts of our lives are lived online, openly, publicly, fragile-ly, taking the blinders off and thinking about the impact of that is a very good thing.

Could you survive being lost in the woods? Take Mother Nature Network’s quiz to find out …

August 28, 2014 in , by Sue Braiden

Could you survive being lost in the woods?

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?

Click the pic to take the quiz and see if you would make it in a survival situation! Then to join us at the Kitchen Table to share your own ideas about cultivating safe adventures …

Adventure diva survival: when all hell breaks loose, Cody Lundin’s got your back!

in by Sue Braiden

Cody Lundin - Author of "When All Hell Breaks Loose"

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 all kinds of jams, Cody’s original book, “98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive” is still one of the top-rated survival guides on Amazon 11 years after it’s first publication.

A couple years later he followed up with an urban survival guide, entitled “When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes”, that smacks with the same kind of common-sense (if not sometimes just a little gross, but necessarily so) advice for staying safe, and making it out with all your limbs in tact. (Kind of important for an adventure diva, no?)

The video above is an interview Cody did with “Talking Stick TV” out of Seattle, where he shared tips from the second guide. While it may be geared toward surviving an urban disaster, much of the wisdom would be mighty useful if you’re an adventure diva on a trek, and things go badly. From sanitizing water, to dealing with injuries, catching and cooking a rat (you just rolled your eyes, didn’t you?) and, well, poop, Lundin leaves no survival rock unturned, and you’ll thank him for both the laughs and the bumper crop of improvisational wisdom when it’s time to plan those wilder and woollier adventures.

Much of what makes Cody’s advice so practical is his focus on preparing you before things go wrong, and if your adventure takes you some place where you might be at risk, your safety and maybe even survival might depend on it.

While the video gets off to a slightly slow start, don’t press pause. Sit your diva butt down with a big mugga joe and settle in for a 30 minute chat that just might save your life.

Free digs while you travel? “Couch Surf” your way around the world!

August 14, 2014 in by Sue Braiden


Couchsurfing is a global community of 9 million people in more than 120,000 cities who share their life, their world, their journey.

Couchsurfing connects travelers with a global network of people willing to share in profound and meaningful ways, making travel a truly social experience.

If you’re looking for a fun way to add a little adventure to your life without the big cost you might want to turn web surfing into couch surfing.

A young man who used the Internet to book a cheap flight from Boston to Iceland for a “weekend trip” on a whim found himself desperate for a place to stay, and in turning back to the Internet wound up creating both a successful and highly rated alternative travel experience web site.

Casey Fenton ended up creating a web site that not only helped other travelers safely connect with free accommodations through a network of trusted host sites, but engage in educational exchanges that helped promote a sense of global cultural tolerance at a time when that is a real challenge.

While you’ve probably heard about “hostels” as an inexpensive way of launching a soul trek (I’ll be exploring that in another article soon), chances are you haven’t considered “exotic couches”. Today I’m going to share a bit about an interesting web site community called Couchsurfing and how it might be an inexpensive way to experience new cultures and people around the world.

What is “Couch Surfing”?

A close friend of mine really enjoyed his experiences “hostelling” across Ireland and the U.S., and said that he was considering “couch surfing”. When he told me that it was a form of alternative travel based on free accommodations in other peoples’ homes, sometimes literally on their couches, my first reaction was “you’ve got to be kidding!? That sounds dangerous!” Never one to simply leave a rabbit hole on the web unexplored, I decided to find out for myself what had made him consider this as an exciting new form of alternative travel. Here’s what I discovered …

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