adventures before social media
Some highlights from our guest adventures before the era of social media.
adventures before social media
Some highlights from our guest adventures before the era of social media.

Adventures before the era of blogs

If you can imagine, it was only a few decades ago when sharing an adventure was a painstaking process. Often the adventures were long-completed before the celebratory phone call was made and the newspaper article was published. Prior to newspapers, adventures were recorded by hand and took years, and sometimes lifetimes, before they saw publication. Lewis and Clark’s journals lay dormant for over a century.

When Scott’s first adventure-travel website, theArgonauts.com, came online in 1999, our vision was to give adventurers a forum to share their adventures in real-time — as they were happening! We wanted people to be able to share their hopes and dreams and pass along the boon of their adventures, like new discoveries, new ideas and lessons learned. We were an online adventure magazine before the concept of a webzine, blog or guest post existed, and long before mobile phones and social media were invented, which has now made it easy to share content with a few clicks, with beautiful photos from automated, high-tech cameras.

We could see the Internet was going to revolutionize global communication, but the infrastructure and technology still weren’t in place. In fact, the only way many adventurers had to share their inspirational story was to email us and have us post their story online. Many people wanted us to automate these features, which would have essentially been one of the first social media platforms. TheArgonauts.com was ahead of its time and unfortunately, we could never find the estimated $50-100,000 to create the features that companies like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and WordPress now make so free and easy for everyone.

Below are a collection of stories that are from before the digital era of cell phones and social media. We’re really proud to have been on the cutting edge. We cared about every story. That being said, hundreds of poor-quality blogs were deleted. Many of them were just random updates, like a picture or a sentence. They were more like a Tweet or Facebook post, but without more context, they aren’t very interesting anymore.

We are proud of what we have accomplished, and we hope these stories live on. Thanks for being part of the adventure.


Feature Adventurers

We featured stories about people doing amazing things. We called the Argonauts, but you can call the adventurers, explorers or travelers, but definitely not vacationers. These are well-crafted, magazine-quality stories (our website use to be called a webzine) that talk a lot about what motivates people and the human spirit.

Alastair Humphreys with the setting sun perfectly behind his silhouette.Just Giving

Goran Kropp ice climbingMeet Göran Kropp

Around the world yacht race 01Rounding The Horn

BT Global Challenge 2000-2001, “The World’s Toughest Yacht Race.” A 36,000 nautical mile circumnavigation of the globe against prevailing winds and currents.

David Clark onboard the Mollie MilarThe Oldest Person to Sail Solo Around the World

Thailand and Laos by BikeThailand and Laos by Bike

Mikkel meditatingThrowing Stones to Save the World

Boneparth Greek adventure 01Women Across the Millennia: A Greek Adventure

Participants in the Global Fund for Women’s forum Guinea

Where the Road Ends and the Walking Begins

This is the story of one woman, and how her real education began the moment she set out to travel the world.

Joshua Tree, California. Rocks and sky illuminated purple and pink by the sunset.

A Traveler Honors Her Soul

Camel Festival in IndiaFor the Love of Travel

Indian Princess by Lisa Kristine HuffA Photographer is at Home with the World

“The experience of traveling has always been a great mentor for me, a far greater mentor than academia.”

Filmmaker Gia Marie Amella

Her Sacred Island

“I wanted to show what it’s like to live in a country that never really found its place.”

Dr Lillian Larson sitting with villagers in IndonesiaGetting an Education During Summer Vacation

Dr. Lillian Larson: “I travel in order to enrich my life and the life of others. I feel that I can help bring remote parts of the world a little closer together.”

Chamonix French Alps mountain climber.The Making of a Mountain Climber

Paul Mansky: “You’re on top of the world, vast views in every direction. 5,000 feet down to the floor of the valley… perfect blue sky… the wind blowing… “

The face of an emperor penguin. Black and white with a little orange blush.

Encounter Your Soul in Antarctica

“Where would you go to find the answers to life’s deepest questions? Is there a God? Why am I here? Is there life after death?” For seventy-six-year-old Professor Graham Collier, the answers were found in Antarctica.

Mark Loftin profile picture

In and Out of Cuba

An Illegal Trip Turns into a Financial Nightmare

Panna Ceremony the bringing home of the brideRe-Realizing My Roots

A Wedding Offers a Double Dose of Indian Culture

Burning Man terra wind sculptureBurning Man — A pagan desert fiesta

And many more.

We used to partner with some other websites to bring stories like an ultramarathon in the Sahara, a blind man’s journey in the Himalayas, live coverage of the 2000 Eco-Challenge, surfing Antarctica, and lots of updates along the way. Unfortunately, these stories have disappeared, but we like to think the inspiration lives on.


Travelogues

Before social media existed or mobile devices became commonplace, The Argonauts gave dozens of people a chance to share their story as it was happening. Here are some of our favorite adventures.

Doug Sovern Kala Pattar Mount PumoriA Trip to Mount Everest

KCBS news reporter updates his trip via satellite phone, including news of 6 deaths.

Antarctica pictorial 05 icebergAntarctica

See the photo pictorial or read the complete journals of his Antarctic adventure.

Rich stands with his paddle next to the iconic Mississippi headwaters monument.

Down the Mississippi River by canoe

Dick and Ingrid Adams pictured on their bicycle trip in AlaskaRetired couple bicycles Alaska

See the photo pictorial AND read the complete journals of their Alaskan Adventure.

Manfred Shulze around the world by horse

Around the world by horse

Promoting a world without borders

Dennis and ScottThe Americas and Europe on a bicycle

Dennis shares stories about his bicycle trip around the world with Scott.

Forrest MacCormack kneeling beneath the "Welcome to Colorado" during his bike tour in 1997.Cycling the North Eastern United States

And a few more classic styles of journeys.

The following are travelogues that represent some classic solutions to an alternative lifestyle of living on the road. These travelogues were updated via email prior the era of digital devices and social media. We posted them as fast as we got them, so the world could follow the journey in real-time. Because of the difficulty finding internet access these emails covered a long period of time. And, since digital cameras were expensive and not very good, pictures were rare.

  • Hannu Berghäll: Backpacking Asia and teaching English in China.
  • Mike and Linda: Quit their jobs, sold their car, rented their condominium and took an 18-month journey to disconnect and reconnect to what’s important.
  • Marty Page: An Aussie Gap Year. The Australian ritual of fun and more fun for recent college graduates.

Columns

To the stars the earth as seen from the moonTo The Stars: Space Tourism

Jen Dalton cycling

Backyard Adventures

David Clark and Andy Hobo TravelerMaking a living while traveling the world


Photo Pictorials

About the photographs

In the beginning, our website showcased hundreds of Feature Photos by travelers on the road with no ability to share their pictures with the world. However, now with the advent of social media, travelers can easily share their own photos without us. So, we don’t post single pics or blurbs anymore; but, we still have an audience that loves an inspirational story with lots of photographs. So please share your guest post.

Update 2020: We found a lot of the original high-res photographs. See the side-by-side difference.

A small picture of Chac Mool Yucatan Photo Pictorial

The Great Salt Lake desertDiscoveries of American Highways

“Like being in a giant amusement park, alternating between ever-changing geography and roadside curios.”

The sphinxEGYPT: A Ride Into The Desert, My Friend?

Limestone cliffs.Thailand: A Photographer’s Eden

Tibet pictorial Loren Brown 08TIBET: A World Away

Sunrise in the desert of Namibia.African Photo Pictorial

Pictorial Cheryl Friedman 10 dean and delucaThe Faces of Everyday Life

Griffin-headed capital, Parsa (Persepolis).

Iranian Photo Pictorial

Petra Jordon in early morning light

Feature photo: The Treasury

Two llamas greet the sunrise in the Andes Mountains.

Feature photo: Sunrise Machu Picchu


Famous Explorers

Voyager I flies past JupiterExplorer of the Cosmos, Journeyman of the Mind

Dr Jane Goodall and UruharaTarzan’s Real Jane

Robert Scotts hut Cape Evans AntarcticThe Amateur

Buzz Aldrin walking on the moonWe came in peace for all mankind


Miscellaneous Stories

Everything is an adventure if you have eyes filled with wonder.

Julia Hill and Luna the redwood treeThe Legacy of Julia

The infamous grey alienSearch for Extraterrestrial Life From Your Home

Map of IndiaINDIA ENTERS THE POLLUTION AGE

Denis Hayes in a cowboy hatNo, You Didn’t Miss Earth Day…

Because Earth Day is Every Day

Tattoo artist Aleks Figueroa crop

The Traveling Tattoo Artist

Tango dancers perform a milongaArgentine Tango

An Emotion that turns into Dance

A poetic journeyA Poetic Journey

A story on traveling poets, Joi Barrios and Abena Songbird

Robert Pinsky Poet LaureateWhat’s your favorite poem?

American Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky

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Thanks to everyone that has helped us make dreams come true for the past 20 years!

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