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.
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.
Meet Göran Kropp
Rounding 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.
The Oldest Person to Sail Solo Around the World
Thailand and Laos by Bike
Throwing Stones to Save the World
Women Across the Millennia: A Greek Adventure
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.
A Traveler Honors Her Soul
For the Love of Travel
A 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.”
Her Sacred Island
“I wanted to show what it’s like to live in a country that never really found its place.”
Getting 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.”
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… “
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.
In and Out of Cuba
An Illegal Trip Turns into a Financial Nightmare
Re-Realizing My Roots
A Wedding Offers a Double Dose of Indian Culture
Burning 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.
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.
A Trip to Mount Everest
KCBS news reporter updates his trip via satellite phone, including news of 6 deaths.
See the photo pictorial or read the complete journals of his Antarctic adventure.
Down the Mississippi River by canoe
Retired couple bicycles Alaska
See the photo pictorial AND read the complete journals of their Alaskan Adventure.
Around the world by horse
Promoting a world without borders
The Americas and Europe on a bicycle
Dennis shares stories about his bicycle trip around the world with Scott.
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.
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.
Yucatan Photo Pictorial
Discoveries of American Highways
“Like being in a giant amusement park, alternating between ever-changing geography and roadside curios.”
EGYPT: A Ride Into The Desert, My Friend?
Thailand: A Photographer’s Eden
TIBET: A World Away
African Photo Pictorial
The Faces of Everyday Life
Iranian Photo Pictorial
Feature photo: The Treasury
Feature photo: Sunrise Machu Picchu
Explorer of the Cosmos, Journeyman of the Mind
Tarzan’s Real Jane
We came in peace for all mankind
Everything is an adventure if you have eyes filled with wonder.
The Legacy of Julia
Search for Extraterrestrial Life From Your Home
INDIA ENTERS THE POLLUTION AGE
No, You Didn’t Miss Earth Day…
Because Earth Day is Every Day
The Traveling Tattoo Artist
An Emotion that turns into Dance
A Poetic Journey
A story on traveling poets, Joi Barrios and Abena Songbird
What’s your favorite poem?
American Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky