You may remember Bethany (Oliver) Green from her post How Desab, Haiti Taught Me How To Travel With Purpose. Not only is Bethany an Explore Inspired contributing author, she’s also the co-founder of Conquering Life Retreat, coordinator of leadership and volunteerism at University of North Alabama, and now, co-founder of High Tide Adventure.
Today marks the launch of Bethany and husband Tucker’s non-profit journey, High Tide Adventure. I’m particularly passionate about helping High Tide get the attention it needs to get off the ground and realize its purpose both because Bethany is a friend and incredibly driven, cool, inspiring person, and also because I helped design the brand and messaging for High Tide! So let’s learn more about the vision, the mission, the people, and the purpose behind High Tide Adventure!
What is High Tide and who is it for?
The mission of High Tide is to create unique opportunities for personal growth in today’s high school teens through adventure and service experiences. We’re trying to help broaden perspectives, and encourage adolescents to grow into the best men and women they can possibly be through trips that are centered around community service and that incorporate a connection to adventure. Our goal is to get them focused on who they are, what their interests are, how they want to contribute to the world and figuring out how to get there.
When and where did you first feel the spark of inspiration for High Tide and why did you feel compelled to make this idea real?
The inspiration for High Tide actually comes from a combination of moments. I (Bethany) was actually sitting on the beach in Haiti contemplating what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Typical mid- twenties thought process. There were a couple of things that I was completely sure of:
I am passionate about promoting positive development in adolescents, and traveling is extremely important to me.
So, I decided to put those together and see what would come of it. I actually vocalized the idea for the first time at the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon and they bought into it more than I could have ever imagined. That was when I knew I had something awesome on my hands.
Around the same time, I was advising a student who had never traveled more than 45 minutes outside of her hometown until she came to college. After two months of being in school, she was overwhelmed, ready to drop out, and had really limited herself on what she was capable of. We were able to get her connected with some service and travel opportunities and her world completely changed. She started looking at life from a different angle and to this day, is thriving more than she ever has before.
When Tucker and I met, he immediately jumped on board with the idea. One of my favorite points that he made was, “How many more people are out there that are in the same situation as that college student?” We think that opening teenagers up to what the world has to offer can dramatically impact what they do with the rest of their lives.
The top 3 books and/or movies you look to for inspiration. Go!
1) Braveheart. Obviously. I would be lying if I said that I’ve never used Halloween as the perfect opportunity to paint my face blue and yell “FREEDOM” at everyone I saw. It really does get you pumped.
2) The History of the Philadelphia Flyers, because I personally believe that they’re the greatest organization that has ever existed. Ever.
3) The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, because it’s all about breaking out of your comfort zone. Plus, to longboard through Iceland would be sick.
1) Daring Greatly by Brene’ Brown is a new favorite. She focuses a lot on being “in the arena”, and even in error and shortcoming, there can be triumph and achievement if every great effort is applied.
2) Big Fish. There’s something about that movie that gets the creative juices flowing, and it emphasizes the importance of a story. We are in charge of our own story and we each have the opportunity to make something great of it.
3) Dead Poet’s Society gets me too. By the end of it, I’m standing on desks reciting “Oh Captain, My Captain” with them.
You’re currently fundraising on IndieGoGo. How much do you need to get started and what will you use the funds for?
Our campaign goal on IndieGoGo is $5,000. We are still in the start-up phase of getting High Tide going, and in order to get past IRS paperwork, filing fees, and other expenses, we need some financial support. We can’t actually start applying for grants, seeking out large donations, or much less, planning full-out trips until we get past this point. It’s a tedious, but absolutely necessary piece to the puzzle. After paperwork fees are covered, we will put the remaining funds towards further branding, web hosting, and trip program materials.
When do you expect to launch the first trip and where would that be?
We’re hoping to have things squared away so that we can start taking some trial-run trips throughout the next year. This will help us figure out what works and what doesn’t. By the summer of 2017, we plan to have our full program up and running for any high school teen to take part in. Most of that will depend on how well the crowdfunding campaign goes and how quickly we’ll be able to move forward.
We’ll definitely start stateside. We’re both in agreement that there are endless opportunities to serve in the United States and a lot of surface area to cover. Eventually, once the program has taken shape, we’ll start branching out internationally too.
What do you always pack too much of when you travel?
Tucker: Q-tips. There’s no real explanation for that other than your ears can never be too clean.
Bethany: Underwear, no doubt. My excuse is that they don’t take up as much space, so there’s always room for more. In reality, I could probably hold off on 2, 3…6 pair.
What do you always wish you had more of?
Definitely sky miles/points. We both have friends and family that are spread out across the globe, and since we love to travel, we don’t mind being the ones that go to them. Not to mention, our bucket list is long and growing by the day. One more article about the top 18 places to hike or something of that nature, and we’ll end up having more of a novel than a list.
What does High Tide look like 5 years out?
One of the things we’re both pretty excited about is incorporating college counselors to have a role in leading the trips. We’ll open up applications for these positions in the fall, have an extensive training program with them in the spring, and then they will lead their assigned trip(s) during the summer. We think both the young adults and adolescents can learn a lot from each other, while also providing the teens with a positive mentor.
In addition to that, we plan to roll out some sponsorship/scholarship opportunities, added trips, full-time staff, and a reorientation process that gets the participants plugged in to their own communities after their High Tide adventures. It’s incredibly important to us that we help them figure out ways to incorporate the service-learning that they participate in on the trips to their everyday lives at home.
Do you have any advice for fellow aspiring travel-addicted entrepreneurs?
When your gut tells you that it’s right, go with it. There are endless amounts of travel oriented opportunities out there, so you have to figure out what sets you apart from everyone else. What makes you different? Don’t be afraid to step in to the arena.
Remember the quote, “A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are meant for.” Meditate on it and adopt it as your mantra. You’re a vessel and there’s a great, big world out there. Just be willing to leave your harbor.
For more on Bethany, Tucker, and High Tide Adventure, make sure to head on over to their IndieGoGo page and consider making a donation to help bring their incredible mission to life!