What to Pack for an Extraordinary Expedition

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The COVID19 Pandemic is an historical marker for this generation.  

For more than a year, we've been on a journey into an unknown territory with physical, psychological and even spiritual challenges.  We've been on a year-long(er) expedition.    

And expeditions have extraordinary goals.

Lewis and Clark began their expedition to explore the great unknown territory of the American West on May 14, 1804.  Their goal was to find a northwest passage to the Pacific Ocean.

Shackleton began his expedition to the South Pole on December 5th, 1914.  His goal was to cross the Antarctic continent from one coast to the other via the South Pole.  

One met the expedition goals.  The other did not.  And yet both expeditions gave us stories of extraordinary courage and leadership.  

If your goal of the COVID19 Pandemic Expedition was to return to status quo, to arrive where you started, you may have reached your goal by now.  On the surface, things seem to be returning to normal.

However, if a return to status quo was your goal, you missed something powerful in the journey.  

Like Shackleton, Lewis and Clark, our Pandemic Expedition threw untenable obstacles in front of us.  It took us into hostile territory where people were not friendly.  

COVID19 tested you.  It tested me.  It tested our community.  

It was and is a test of our humanity.

We are emerging….different.

Before you just turn back to normal, I offer a challenge: 

Take stock of what you learned over the past year.  

Let's Evolve Our Humanity.

Consciously journaling your learnings from the past year is like packing your bag with essentials for the next leg of our Humanity's Expedition.  Lewis and Clark and many of their men kept journals.

Here's what one of his men wrote 217 years ago on June 13, 1804.

We proceeded early on our voyage; passed a small creek on the north side in a long bend of the river; and encamped at the mouth of the Grand River on the North side.  This is as handsome a place as I ever saw in an uncultivated state.

In the midst of facing life-threatening difficulties every day, this foot solider noted…..Beauty.

Crack open that journal and begin writing.  What 10 or more things changed your routines over the last year.  Don't think too hard.  Keep it simple.


Here's mine:

  • More time physically in my home since …. Forever 
  • Watched less TV series and added Game Night every night with my wife
  • Not seeing my daughters or their families for holidays
  • Zero travel and saved a LOT of money
  • Sauna'd almost every night which created alone time for me to reflect
  • Spent much more time in the yard and garden 
  • Hundreds of zoom calls    
  • Dropped 10 pounds
  • Walked into 6 commercial buildings from March 2020 to May 2021.  
  • Cleaned out 'stuff' in the garage and basement
  • Launched a Wednesday night virtual spirituality series

Now, boil down your list to 5 critical things you gained over the last year.


  • Deeper relationship with my wife
  • Yearning to see my daughters, their partners, our grandchildren, and even their lovable dogs!
  • Huge appreciation for the beauty in and around our home
  • Stronger and broader connection with friends and colleagues
  • Much more intentional curation of my time and energy 

These are the 5 precious items I'm packing in my bag for the next leg of humanity's extraordinary expedition.  

What did you pack?  Willing to share? 

Because …. Wisdom isn't Wisdom Until It's Shared


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