My friend Dan in a recent conversation told me he has played 1450 different disc golf courses, it’s kind of his thing. Similarly my friend Tess loves to travel and climb in new places in the last two years she has been in WV, Patagonia, The Pacific Northwest, Chamonix, Italy, China, Bishop, and is currently on her way to Alaska . Some people want to experience a wide breadth of experience see the full world for all it has worth.
Other people I know want to fully experience one small area of the world. Last summer I went out to the New River Gorge with my friend Landon and his friend Lou, they have been climbing in the New for years and have hit most of the main areas and classic lines, the mission they were on was looking for the buried gems, that may need some (a lot) of cleaning up. Similarly in getting deeper into the love and appreciation of our local courses my friend Tyler has lately been investing a ton of time and effort into improving one of our local courses potential, adding alternate pin location cleaning up the trash, edging the tee pads, and clearing some of the low hanging limbs around some of the baskets.
Some people are looking for a wide expansive experience in their hobbies and others are looking for a deeper experience in an area. I do not think either is particularly the right way and I think there are seasons of life for each aspect.
The wide path exposes you to a much larger variety for experiences. Climbing steep limestone in Wyoming, is drastically different than climbing the granite domes of North Carolina. The skills required are different for both, and some people prefer one over the other. Have the wide breadth of travel set you up to have open perspectives about how things can be done and gives you a larger set of tools to choose from in climbing and in disc golf, playing elevation changes in colorado requires different discs and shot selections than cutting through the wind in Kansas. You will learn and see so much on this path.
The deep path lets you get an intimate knowledge of an area, which allows you to learn its subtleties, and develop an appreciation for a place on a different level. The New River Gorge may seem like one continuous rock band that stretches for miles, however the rock varies wildly in its consistency, friction, color, and style, throughout its expanse. Sections of rock 8 feet away. In diving deep into an area you get to learn the subtle differences and can appreciate the character they add, and even use them to your advantage at times. An example of this is on our local course the basket sits just over a ridge and you cannot see the landing area slopes right to left, and this causes a lot of back hand shots to skip long and away from the basket, but a forehand will check up on slope and stop rather than skip away.
Not only is your interaction with the area different but so is your interactions with people. People who choose a wide breadth of experience will also find they also chose a wide breadth of friends. Going to new places will by the very nature of it cause you to meet new people, develop new connections, find new compadres to climb, and disc with. I’ve personally made a number for friends passing through traveling in areas, and it is great to have a network of connections all over the help organize trips to areas get beta for routes, give rides to courses.
Equally however I’ve been on the other side being deeply invested in an area. You do not meet as many people this way, but the connection with these people is much deeper over a mutual love, and appreciation for the area you are in. A local community develops in these places and being part of the scene and in the know is always a fun part. Belonging to both an a place and a tribe, adds stability and comfort to some people, that the vagabond travel life does not provide.
There is something to be said for wanting to spread your wings to travel to learn and I think there is a time where we all should be out learning, but I also think there is equal value of setting roots and digging deep into an area and becoming part of it.