In the past, we have taken FRACTEL™ hats all around Australia. Whether waterfall chasing, 4WDing, camping or running - we have tested their capabilities in all conditions.
But we thought it was about time. So we jumped on the phone with Fractel and began the design iterations. Our goal was to create a custom design to remind the cap bearer, and those around, that we need to LIVE in the moment.
This hat not only has a sleek black design, but is made from 100% recycled polyester, breathable, UPF 50+ sun protection and has our custom "LIVE" embroidery on the front panel, and a hidden "#firstedition" embroidery on the inner of the cap.
We are so excited to bring you on our journey around Australia and hope that you can support us by representing the LIVE brand with one of these custom and limited edition adventure hats.
If you want one! Go check it out via the product link below 🙂
Oh - we are also hosting our first Aussie adventure, so be sure to jump on our homescreen and sign up to be notified when and where it'll take place.
Go jump on that adventure train and we will catch you soon!
An innate ability and fundamental part of human nature is the ability to store pockets of information in our brains, with the instant recollection at any point in time. Memories. This pocket of information is stored in the hippocampus for short term memories, and gradually makes it’s way over to the neocortex in order to be stored as a long-term memory. For some people, they must actively be present in the moment in order to fully store the information. Whereas, others may have the unique ability to visually remember the moments. Inevitably with age, people may struggle with this process, both storing the information and recalling it.
Often, memories can be stimulated by our five senses; sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell. These may bring up unwanted emotions, anger, grief, regret - but others bring up happiness, love or freedom. It is absolutely incredible what a memory can hold.
We are fortunate enough to live in the digital era, and the advances in technology have allowed for these memories to be captured and stored forever in the form of photos or videos. However, some may argue that being behind a lens takes away from capturing and storing the true memory in your brain, which in return, limits the brain’s ability to recall it in it’s full form.
As you may be aware, I am an avid photographer and videographer and absolutely love capturing these special moments. But, as hard as it is to resist the urge of snapping away, I do try and take the time to leave my camera by my side, and be present in the moment.
As such, today’s blog is going to be a little bit different. To expand upon our 3rd core pillar, memories, I have written a short extract below of five of my favourite moments throughout the past year. Although I did happen to capture these memories on technology, the sublime ability to associate moments with senses, accompanied by the photos and film I captured, has allowed me to fully recall, relive and recite these special memories with the greatest amount of detail.
Dazed, I woke up in my rooftop tent to the sound of Zac banging the roof of my car. “Dude, look at the sky, it’s going to be a banger sunrise” he said. I quickly checked the time on my phone, it was 5.30am. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I poke my head outside, and he was right. On the horizon, you could see these patches of red emerging between the high dark clouds, it was going to be stunning. In no time, we grabbed our cameras from the car, walked over to the grass patch looking out across the ocean beside the parking lot and started to watch the colours dance and come to life in the sky.
It was unreal. Could even call it surreal. I had never seen a sky so beautiful. So full of colour. The reds, oranges and pinks reflected upon the ocean as the sun started to rise. It was like someone had gone and painted their dream sunset.
I will never forget this sunrise, and only living in the moment could truly describe how incredible it was. You couldn’t predict such a banger.
My entire body was tingling from the icy cold water. My feet and hands were numb. Zac, Brooke, Sam S, and I had submerged ourselves in the infinity pool at the top of a flowing waterfall to push our limits and undertake a Wim Hof breathing session. We closed our eyes, started to relax. I could feel the touch of Sam's shoulder against mine. The rising and falling of his breath in unison.
In… Out… In… Out… until the holding of the breath.
In… Out… In… Out… until the holding of the breath.
In… Out… In… Out… until the holding of the breath.
Slowly, but surely, the cold bite feeling on my body started to dissipate. Maybe it was because my mind has been focusing elsewhere, on breathing, or the sound of water gushing down the waterfall. I had become lost in paradise.
We heard the last bell of the Wim Hof session, and we opened our eyes to the serenity of nature. Sitting next to my 3 close friends, we all emerge from the water in total blissfulness.
Everyone was yelling in awe as we ran to the view point.
“Oh my god!”
These were just two of the actual verbalised words in between the “whaaa’s!” and “ahhh’s!”.
This short moment of running and screaming I will never forget.
It began as we walked back to our cars after having some fun jumping into a waterfall. The group wanted to scout out a location for sunset before heading back to our campsite in Port Macquarie. However, we were pushing it for time already, the winter sunsets were early and it was already 4.30pm. This didn’t stop us from quickly jumping onto google maps and pinpointing a so-called “lookout” that was 15mins drive away.
Maps lied. 15 mins!? Hah.
The tarmac road shortly became gravel, which shortly turned into an off road 4WD track. Luckily, I had my trusty Jackaroo (Jackie) so I put her in 4WD and zipped ahead. But Leesh’s all wheel RAV-4 wasn’t as lucky. When we arrived at a steep incline, she made it halfway up and then started to slide down, even with her brakes on. Fortunately, we managed to reverse it down to a flat and everyone in Leesh’s car jumped into Jackie.
It was now nearing golden hour, and we could feel we were close. We kept climbing the track until a couple of stairs appeared in the distance. We pull over. Jump out. Start running up the stairs.
We had made it just in time.
Everyone was yelling in awe of the sun setting over the panoramic view of the lush valley below.
Despite having fond memories of tasting incredible food around the world, one distinct taste that comes to mind whenever someone mentions if I can recall a memory from a taste is the day I coughed up blood in the Blue Mountains. Adventuring and undertaking thrill seeking, adrenaline pumping activities does come with risks - it’s not all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows I'm afraid to say.
After having a brisk night sleep in the Blueys, we wanted to venture and explore Dargan Dam. These dams were renowned for their jump rocks and rope swings. After taking a couple of wrong turns we eventually found our way down to the dam. Damn, the water was cold!!
Knowing how injury prone I am, I stayed clear of flipping off the jump rocks, and I had also just lost Zac’s new GoPro Hero 9 in the water trying to capture his flips. Wasn’t the best of mornings. With the adrenaline pumping in everyone’s blood, we make our way over to the 10 meter rope swing. I was super hesitant about it, but ended up doing a successful backflip. Zac and Sam S were throwing double backies, so I thought I could surely land one too.
In the lead up to swinging, I hesitated and did a little weird step, and then let go of the swing a bit early. I tucked into a ball, closed my eyes, and went for it. This wasn’t the best idea… I made it around two times in the air but on the third rotation landed on my upper back and neck area. Instantly, tingles struck my entire body. I became lost underwater. Panic arised. My mind ticked over one thousand times… “Can I feel my body?”, “Where is the surface”, “Am I alive?”
I gasped for air when I surfaced, shortly followed by coughing up blood. Relieved to still be in one piece, I floated on my back to try and rest and regain my breath, whilst the crew ran down over to the nearest rock. Still coughing up blood, they helped me out of the water, and were extremely thankful that I wasn’t badly injured.
That metallic, dark taste of blood is one of the memories I look back on and am ever so thankful that nothing worse happened.
Can you remember the last time you showered after being around a campfire? The smoke smell poreing out of you (pun intended). It makes you reminisce on the memories made around the fire hey?.
This is a smell I love, it brings up so many amazing memories that have been made around a campfire. One of my favourite associations with that smell is when we were all camping in a family’s backyard that we had only just met. They were incredibly kind to us and before they went away for the weekend, they let us pitch our tents and hammocks out back. By the time we got back to light a bonfire at night, they had collected old trees and wood for us to use. We danced, sang to music, fire twirled, drank and had an absolute ball. We honestly had the best weekend there and we couldn’t thank them enough.
What would your memories be?
Pillar 2: Pushing Limits
If you’ve come from Part 1 of this introduction blog, welcome back! If you haven’t, howdy! My name is Sam and I would highly recommend you to give it a geese here before continuing on, might be handy 🙂
Now, you may be wondering, what happened next? Where did you and Zac end up going? Did all this fear about pushing your introverted self out of the comfort zone just disappear into thin air?
In fact, it wasn’t just myself and Zac on our first adventure.
But before I dive into the adventure abyss, let me start with a quick debrief about being an introvert for those extroverts reading this. (Albeit, all introverts are different).
To summarise being an introvert, you are often described as quiet and reserved. You often have a small circle of close friends and find it hard to open up to people outside of those that you know well. This is accompanied by traits such as: enjoying solitude, being very self-aware and learning best visually. On top of all of this, socialising drains our social batteries, whereas for extroverts, it fuels it. The catch is that you can’t control the level of that battery.
With this in mind, I naturally didn’t want to go on this alone. So I invited one of my closest friends Andrew (we call him JuJu nowadays) to join in and experience the adventure. Andrew and I have known each other since mothers’ group - 24 years and counting. You could say he knows me pretty well, and I appreciate his company (even when that social battery runs out).
After a busy Saturday and Sunday morning catching up with some work friends at Turimetta beach, attending a surprise birthday party on the Eastern Suburbs and going to another birthday brunch, Andrew and I finally packed my trusty little Subaru Impreza with our day packs and we were off to meet this mystery man.
Due to the abnormal swell, we held off on hiking down to the Figure 8 pools and instead dropped the meeting location pin at the renowned ‘glow worm’ tunnel, aka Helensburgh Tunnel. The last time I had ventured down to the tunnel was back in 2017 and wow, things have changed. There were now these huge, ‘prison like’ gates staring down at you, obstructing the railway and path to enter this abandoned tunnel.
On the other side of these gates, stepping cautiously across the flooded railway tracks, we spotted an adventurous looking man. He had his snapback cap on backwards, black backpack hanging low, guns bulging out of his black singlet, black shorts, with plastic bags wrapped around his ankles, protecting his pristine Nike shoes and white Adidas socks.
We called out to him before he carefully walked back, making sure not to miss calculate a step. As he arrived up to the gate, Andrew and I briefly introduced ourselves to him. It felt like we were meeting a long lost cousin through a prison fence. It was Zac.
To the right of the gate, Zac guided us towards a narrow path, edged between the rocks and ferns. Andrew and I passed our bags through the gate before making the ascent. Leading the way, Andrew calculated a path up the rocks. Avoiding the moss and loose leaves we started to boulder up the side wall. As we neared the top, I suddenly became oblivious to my surroundings as a steady weird feeling came over me. I noticed it in my breathing first, then in my hands and feet. Inside, I could hear my heart starting to race. Each beat impounded my tightening chest. Aware of my surroundings once again, I was wary that any miscalculated step could make us slip and be impaled by the sharp spikes jutting out along the top. This was the feeling that I had been craving. This was the feeling that I had been trying to discover in my monotonous life.
Andrew and Zac were calling me to hurry up from halfway down the railway, they were already heading towards the perpetually dark tunnel. I snapped out of my daze, scurried down the other side of the rocks, slung my gear over my shoulder and caught up to them.
We followed the tracks into the darkness. Each step we took got progressively colder and the smell of the damp tunnel crept up on us. Until eventually, the only light that you could see was the reflection of our torches in each other's eyes. It was at this point in time we knew to grab our cameras, turn the torches off and snap away to see if we could capture the glow worms.
The next location we set on the map was Sea Cliff Bridge, renowned for it’s windy road alongside overhanging cliffs and blue ocean. Being a Sunday, it was incredibly busy, but somehow Zac managed to snag a lucky park right at the start whereas Andrew and I had to drive past the bridge for quite a while until we found a spot. (Note to anyone that wants to head there, go early!). We knew that there was a trail up the side of the cliff, so we crossed over to the cliff side and found the entrance hidden in the bushes.
Instantly, we all knew that we were wearing the wrong shoes. As every step we took up we had to hold on to a branch, the vines, or go on all fours to make sure we didn’t slide down the steep dirt trail. After a grueling incline up, following the ropes tied to the trees and yellow marks, the horizon slowly started to peak it’s way over the top. Until we saw Sea Cliff Bridge from above, it was stunning. You could follow the path of each car winding its way over the bridge, you could see the people taking selfies 150m below. The blue sea and waves were crashing against the rocks. But, it wasn’t all bliss - the wind was insane and the closer we got to the edge the faster my heart beated. The feeling I had earlier started to creep back up on me, my extremities became numb, heart pounding against my chest. It was adrenaline rushing over me. A fear of heights. Falling. But this time I embraced it. I sat down near the edge (making sure to sit somewhere sturdy), and listened to my breathing. Calming myself down and taking in the incredible view.
. . .
Since this day, Zac and I have been pushing ourselves to our limits. Although the feeling of adrenaline throughout the tunnel and climbing Sea Cliff Bridge may have been smaller compared to other adventurous moments, it took us in the right direction. We embrace the feeling of adrenaline now as it makes us feel alive. We have been cliff jumping, waterfall hunting, learning new skills, meeting new people and helping them overcome their fears. We feed off this feeling and want others to feel the achievement of accomplishing something that you wouldn’t normally do. Every step, or leap, takes you in the right direction, and this is why pushing limits is our second core pillar.
Hey guys!! Sam here - to introduce Live To Adventure, Zac and I have decided that we would share six introductory personal / adventure stories that directly relate to our core pillars. This will help us convey our emotions and how we came up with the pillars! Now, neither Zac nor I are professional writers or bloggers but we thought we’d give this a go and the words will be coming straight from our hearts. As such, we hope you enjoy the journey 🙂
It was a lovely start to Spring, despite the infamous year of 2020. My home country, Australia, was just beginning to open up again after being in multiple soul killing lockdowns. As it was for most people, 2020 was a bumpy year for me. It all started when I returned from Europe and life became just a little more complicated. I started my first graduate job, my father was diagnosed with cancer, and to top it off the global pandemic brought more uncertainty and chaos.
It was during this time that Father Buchwald said to me…
“This should be the time in your life where you’re out having fun, meeting new friends and experiencing what life has to offer”
Maybe the world is trying to tell us something?
Maybe it’s hinting at us that we need to slow down and re-evaluate why we are here living on this beautiful planet. It could be pushing us to try and figure out what sets the fire within us alight, or encouraging us to find a career, a hobby or an activity that truly makes us happy. This is the time where we should set out goals for the next 6 months, 3 years, 5 years…
For me personally, this was a real challenge. I had always been stuck in the “expectations” and “path” that my immediate family wanted me to follow. Could it be my selfless nature to do this? Will I ever hit a limit?
I undertook an Engineering degree to follow my dad's footsteps, to make my family happy, proud, and to “get a stable job and degree under my belt”. I don’t regret these 5 years. In fact, I learned so much, made amazing friends and now have a degree under my belt. But I know the times that I try and set out to achieve, I am bombarded with criticism, doubt and many questions from those that I love.
Now, to say that I actually sat down and mapped out my entire life is a lie. Jeez, I don’t even know what I will be eating for brekky tomorrow! (Just kidding - Zac and I have recently discovered our amazing banana chocolate protein shakes. This limits my indecisiveness! Anyways you get the point)
But I’ve always had one goal that I’ve really wanted to strive towards. The desire to push myself out of my introverted self to meet new people and escape my comfort zone.
This brings me back to a lovely spring day, the 20th of September 2020. I had been added to an Instagram engagement group and this “accountant and national swimmer” (who went by the name of Zac Freuden) was keen on going on an adventure down South of Sydney to explore, shoot some content and to meet some like minded people.
We set a date, did some location planning and the count down to the weekend began!
Little did I know, that exactly a year later, would be the start of Live To Adventure and tie into one of our core pillars. Human Connection.