*The following was written by Rick Stella and is an excerpt of a larger feature originally published in The Manual.
Based on the raw personal transformation he experienced over the course of the trip [Between The Peaks], Ronzio wanted to find a way to pass that on to other travelers. To him, creating Explore Inspired in the wake of his film was much more than just curating a blog or simply taking a group of people on a trip.
“It’s a mentality. A philosophy. A mission within the message,” he continued. “What I do isn’t confined to the start and end of the trip. The way you look at the world is something you want to continue feeling so what I wanted to create was a continuous experience about being inspired by the world around you. A slight change in perception of how you see your environment can change everything.”
At Explore Inspired’s core, it’s this change in perception Ronzio is particularly after. Though documenting and sharing the details of his travels may serve as the genesis of the website, Ronzio’s startup is all about experiencing these perception-shattering voyages with other people.
Don’t think of it as your run-of-the-mill group getaway, however, an Explore Inspired trip typically consists of no more than four to six people — Jonathan included — to keep the personal interaction of the trip goers at an absolute maximum. Because each seven-day trip lacks considerably in the department of extensive planning (on purpose), these small groups will rely on each other for almost everything (again, this is done on purpose).
Selected via an application process, those who join Ronzio on an Explore Inspired trip are not only expected to possess an open mind but also boast the ability to literally go with the flow. Be it an unexpected detour, an unforeseen change in weather, or an uncomfortable night at the end of a long day, there’s no room for pre-conceived expectations.
To Jonathan, it’s all about letting go and being open to how changes in the road can turn into optimism in different ways.
“Expectation is something we all bring to the table. No matter what, everyone has expectations of what something’s going to be like,” Ronzio explained. “Breaking the expectations of those who join us has been one of the best things we’ve been able to change. Everyone needs to be taught how to let go, be it professionally, personally, or with relationships. We want to teach people to stop trying to define their future.”