Podcast Episodes

In Episode 111, Heidi Dusek explains how Ordinary Sherpa can transform any activity into a memorable adventure

Today I have a fun interview with a woman who guides people on ways to transform just about any activity into an adventure.

Heidi Dusek is a married mother of three who lives in northeast Wisconsin. Her family enjoys a lot of outdoor activities, and even though they own a pop-up camper, they have rented larger RVs in the past to take longer trips. Everyone loves the RV adventures so much that they are hoping to buy a motorhome soon to enjoy some periods of extended travel.

Heidi works remotely and her husband is a teacher so they do have more time for adventure in the summer. Even though they can’t embrace a full-time RV lifestyle at the moment, they can enjoy short-term trips and those that extend for weeks at a time.

She was always adventurous, but as Heidi got older, she didn’t like being forced to choose between a life of adventure or becoming a mother and trying to fit in a career into all her other responsibilities. So, Heidi launched Ordinary Sherpa to build a community to inspire families to connect with each other through adventures.

When COVID paralyzed even the most active of families, Heidi knew that the weekly field trips and backyard adventures her family enjoyed were much more than just fun outings – they were pillars holding up the entire family by allowing parents and kids to connect more closely with each other.

Through Ordinary Sherpa, Heidi helps other families build lasting memories and discover how much fun it can be to share common experiences that enable everyone really get to know each other on a more personal level.

Heidi describes some of the things her family does to engage in adventures that don’t cost a lot of money. In fact, many times they are free.

As an ordinary Sherpa, Heidi encourages parents to create opportunities for their children to pursue their own interests, but with the family. Her kids are old enough now that they can research things to do in an area once a destination has been set. Making the children part of the planning process simply enhances their feeling of adventure. Grandparents can do this, too.

It’s all about creating experiences and making memories. Heidi’s kids will certainly remember their moose encounters on a hiking trail much longer and more vividly than they would likely remember watching a new animated movie. Both are fine examples of entertainment, but adventures add life to living.

Heidi pointed out that many people believe adventures must be epic to be enjoyable and memorable. For example, they may think going on an adventure means to hop on an airplane or cruise ship to visit a far-off destination.

However, Heidi’s family looks for what they call “brown sign” adventures in their area that others may overlook because they are so close or routine. County parks and historical sites are perfect examples. They’re still places to go hiking, camping, cook outdoors, go on a nature scavenger hunt, play games and just be together doing something ordinary in a way that makes it extraordinary.

Having an RV goes a long way to helping Heidi’s family enjoy low-cost adventures. By making their own meals in an RV, they can invest more money into paying admission fees or acquiring tools that let the kids explore.

Heidi urges families to consider renting RVs to see if they’ll like it before they jump in and buy an RV. Renting lets people evaluate different equipment to see what they’d like to have in an RV of their own. For example, setting up an awning was a cumbersome task until Heidi discovered power awnings.

Owning a motorhome would also allow the Duseks to bring the two things their kids really missed when traveling, and that was their dog and their bikes.

The bottom line to becoming an ordinary Sherpa is that it doesn’t require a lot of additional money, just a reallocation of the resources people already have. People who don’t think they could own an RV may be surprised to discover how affordable it is when they factor in not having to eat out all the time.

The money parents spend on trinkets for their kids that just add noise to their lives and clutter to the house can be reinvested into memory-making park admissions and tools like butterfly nets and fishing poles.

To learn more about Heidi Dusek and what Ordinary Sherpa can do for you, please visit www.ordinarysherpa.com. She also leads a Facebook group by the same name.

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Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is a former journalist who covered the recreation vehicle industry since 2009. He started podcasting in 2014 and enjoys interviewing people about ways to live, work and play in their RVs.

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